June 27, 2024 IndustryMembership

Winners of ISME/IWA BioCluster Award 2024 announced

In order to recognise the importance and impact of interdisciplinary research at the interface of microbial ecology, water & wastewater treatment and engineering sciences, the IWA/ISME BioCluster created the ISME/IWA BioCluster Award. The award is a collaboration between the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) and the International Water Association (IWA). The prestigious prizes reward internationally-recognized research of unusual merit in this field. This award is presented every two years. There are two award categories:

  • the Grand Prize
  • the Rising Star Award

2024 Winners

The Grand Prize has been awarded to Professor Amy Pruden,  Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, USA

Prof. Amy Pruden is the W. Thomas Rice Professor and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech University, USA. She earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences and her PhD in Environmental Science, both at the University of Cincinnati.  Her research and teaching focus on bringing a microbial ecological perspective to advancing control of pathogens and antibiotic resistance in the design and management of environmental systems, especially water, wastewater, and recycled water systems. Pruden is widely known for her research on antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) as environmental contaminants and is currently engaged in research aimed at advancing metagenomic approaches for surveillance of pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in sewage. Pruden is a Fellow of the International Water Association (IWA) and currently serves as a Senior Editor of the ISME Journal. To learn more, please connect with Prof. Amy Pruden on the IWA Connect Plus

The Rising Star Prize has been awarded to Dr. Ryan Ziels, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Dr. Ryan Ziels is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, with appointments in the Genome Sciences and Technology and Environmental Engineering programs at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada). He received his PhD in 2016 from the University of Washington (Seattle, USA) in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He joined the University of British Columbia as an Assistant Professor in 2017.

Broadly, Dr. Ziels’ research focuses on the utilization of microbial communities to convert waste materials into high-value resources, such as bioenergy, nutrients, and clean water. His work has also advanced long-read sequencing for rapid profiling of microbiomes in water systems. Since starting at UBC, his research endeavors have been supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Natural Sciences and Research Council of Canada, and Genome Canada, among others. He remains actively engaged in the IWA and ISME community through the IWA Microbial Ecology and Water Engineering Specialist Group and the IWA/ISME BioCluster. To learn more, please connect with Dr.Ryan Ziels on the IWA Connect Plus

Further information

The Awards will be presented at:

The review committee is composed of the following members: Cindy Smith, Glen Daigger, Per H. Nielsen, Kelly Wrighton, Phil Hugenholtz, Michael Wagner.

Interested in finding out more about the IWA Biocluster and connecting with the professionals associated with it? Please visit the website IWA Clusters – International Water Association (iwa-network.org)