Alison Cupples

Photo of Alison Cupples in the lab with her student.
Associate Professor



Research Interests

The application of microbiology to understand and treat soil and water contamination

  • The identification of the microorganisms and functional genes involved in biodegradation of traditional, problematic contaminants (chlorinated solvents, BTEX, MTBE, RDX, 1,4-dioxane) and emerging contaminants (antimicrobials, pharmaceuticals and personal care products)
  • The application of molecular methods to environmental microbiology including quantitative PCR, TRFLP, stable isotope probing, LAMP, high throughout sequencing
  • The occurrence and fate of emerging contaminants in engineered and natural systems

Current Projects

  • The fate and biodegradation of contaminants of emerging concern in agricultural soils
  • The application of high throughput sequencing and PICRUSt to identify microbial communities capable of rapid contaminant biodegradation
  • The development of LAMP assays to detect functional genes associated with the reductive dechlorination of the chlorinated solvents
  • The development of microbial cultures capable to 1,4-dioxane biodegradation
  • The application of stable isotope probing to identify microorganisms involved in the degradation of agricultural chemicals