M.S. DegreePHD DegreeAdditional Requirements
seminarsGraduate CoursesUndergraduate CoursesOther Courses
Environmental and Water Resources Engineering - The University of Texas - College of Engineering
Apply Online
EWRE Faculty
Mary Jo Kirisits Mary Jo Kirisits
Associate Professor

caee homepage
Office: ECJ 8.216
Phone: (512) 232-7120
Fax: (512) 471-0592
UT Mail: C1786

Dr. Kirisits's teaching interests include water and wastewater treatment processes, particularly biological processes, biofilms, environmental microbiology, and molecular biology. Her research emphasizes the importance of applying the tools of molecular biology and microbiology to better understand and optimize the performance of biological treatment processes and to prevent their catastrophic failure. Current and recent projects include

1. Microbial perchlorate and bromate reduction in drinking water
2. The impact of nanomaterials on bacteria in engineered treatment processes
3. Rainwater harvesting:  water quality and treatment
4. The impact of nutrient supplementation in biological drinking water treatment processes
5. Prokaryotic cDNA subtraction: a focused tool for gene identification
6. Biomineralization in cement paste
7. Assessment of phenotypic variation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms
8. Investigation of microbial communities in pediatric ear infections


B.S., State University of New York at Buffalo, Civil Engineering, 1995
M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Environmental Engineering, 1997
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Environmental Engineering, 2000

Representative Publications
Mendez, C. B., J. B. Klenzendorf, B. R. Afshar, M. T. Simmons, M. E. Barrett, K. A. Kinney, and M. J. Kirisits. (2011) "The Effect of Roofing Material on the Quality of Harvested Rainwater." Water Research 45:5:2049-2059.

Davidson, A. N., J. C. Chee-Sanford, H. Y. (M.) Lai, C.-h. Ho, J. B. Klenzendorf, and M. J. Kirisits. (2011) "Characterization of Bromate-Reducing Bacterial Isolates and their Potential for Drinking Water Treatment." Water Research 45:18:6051-6062.

Sejkora, P., M. J. Kirisits, and M. Barrett. (2011) "Colonies of Cliff Swallows on Highway Bridges: A Source of Escherichia coli in Surface Waters." Journal of the American Water Resources Association 47:6:1275-1284.

De Long, S. K., X. Li, S. Bae, J. C. Brown, L. Raskin, K. A. Kinney, and M. J. Kirisits. (2012) "Quantification of Genes and Gene Transcripts for Microbial Perchlorate Reduction in Fixed-Bed Bioreactors." Journal of Applied Microbiology 112:3:579-592.

Lauderdale, C., P. Chadik, M. J. Kirisits, and J. Brown. (2012) "Engineered Biofiltration: Managing Microbial Conditions for Enhanced Biofiltration Performance." Journal of the American Water Works Association 104:5:http://dx.doi.org/10.5942/ jawwa.2012.104.0073.

Smith, A. M., M. J. Kirisits, and D. D. Reible.  (2012)  "Assessment of Potential Anaerobic Biotransformation of Organic Pollutants in Sediment Caps."  New Biotechnology 30:1:80-87.