Atlanta Metropolitan State College



Research Description:

Persistence of Indicator Organisms Water Sources

My research interest is in water microbiology. Indicator bacteria, such as fecal coliforms and enterococci, are used to indicate fecal contamination in water. Presence of these organisms beyond a certain level implies pathogen presence. There are a variety of sources that can bring indicator organisms into water, including birds and cold blooded animals, resulting in false positives. One other problem is the persistence of these organisms in environmental waters which might not correlate with pathogen presence. One of the projects in our lab focuses on understanding the persistence of indicator organisms such as fecal coliforms and enterococci in various water sources. I am also interested in quorum sensing in bacteria, especially Serratia marcescens and Pseudomonas fluorescens. Quorum sensing is basically bacteria communicating with each other. They use chemical signaling molecules to convey the messages which help synchronize their activities. Additionally, these molecules help the bacteria gauge their cell density in that particular environment.

Vasanta Chivukula, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Environmental Microbiology, Marine Biotechnology
B.S., Osmania University
M.S., Andhra University
Ph.D., University of South Florida (Environmental Microbiology)

Division of Science, Math, and Health Professions Atlanta Metropolitan State College
1630 Metropolitan Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30310
Phone: 404-756-1256
Office - 208 Academic Sciences Building
Email -