Shawn A. Hawkins

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Real-time PCR assays using TaqMan or Molecular Beacon probes were developed and optimized for the quantification of total bacteria, the nitrite-oxidizing bacteria Nitrospira, and Nitrosomonas oligotropha-like ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) from a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) using a single-sludge(More)
The aims of this study were to determine the power of discrimination of the real-time PCR assay for monitoring fluctuations in microbial populations within activated sludge and to identify sample processing points where methodological changes are needed to minimize the variability in target quantification. DNA was extracted using a commercially available(More)
The genome of a fecal pollution indicator phage, Bacteroides fragilis ATCC 51477-B1, was sequenced and consisted of 44,929 bases with a G+C content of 38.7%. Forty-six putative open reading frames were identified and genes were organized into functional clusters for host specificity, lysis, replication and regulation, and packaging and structural proteins.
Free ammonia has long been identified as a nitrite oxidation inhibitor. However, past attempts to use this compound to eliminate nitrite oxidation and thereby promote more efficient nitrogen removal strategies during biological wastewater treatment have often failed. Additionally, contradictory results exist in the literature where direct measurements of(More)
The Nitrobacter spp. ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) and transcript (rRNAt) abundance were quantified in a bench scale nitrification reactor during baseline periods of high nitrification efficiency and an intervening staged inhibition event. The transcript to gene ratio (rRNAt/rDNA) was highly sensitive to changes in the reactor nitrite oxidation rate. During(More)
The focus of this research effort was to develop an autonomous, inducible, lux-based bioluminescent bioreporter for the real-time detection of dichloromethane. Dichloromethane (DCM), also known as methylene chloride, is a volatile organic compound and one of the most commonly used halogenated solvents in the U.S., with applications ranging from grease and(More)
The Nitrobacter spp. rRNA gene (rDNA) and relative rRNA transcript abundance (rRNAt/rDNA ratio) were evaluated in response to sudden changes in the nitrite oxidation rate. The rDNA abundance poorly indicated sudden transitions in the rate, whereas the relative rRNAt abundance usually varied quickly and significantly. In response to changes in nitrite(More)
Concentrated animal feeding operations typically store livestock waste in clay-lined ponds. Although these ponds are regulated to include a liner with a small hydraulic conductivity to limit leaching, previous studies have traced surface and groundwater contamination from such regulated animal waste ponds. This research examined the transport of(More)
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