Jane Fowler

Assistant Professor, Environmental Microbiology (she/her)

Areas of interest

Applied biology
Cellular, Developmental and Molecular biology


  • BSc Hons. University of Calgary, 2007
  • PhD University of Calgary, 2014


My research interests focus on water quality and microbial biotechnology, with a focus on biological drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment and pollutant biodegradation.

Open microbial communities are widely used for contaminant removal and nutrient cycling in engineered and natural environments. Microbial communities have enormous potential as a resource for improving the sustainability and efficiency of waste management and contaminant treatment, and are a mainstay of environmental and public health protection in modern society. However, little is still known about how these communities assemble, and how to optimise their performance.

A key focus of my research is on the ecology of these component mixed microbial communities, including their assembly, structure-function relationships, and how communities can be managed using ecological principles. In addition, my work investigates the pathways and organisms involved in the biotransformation and biodegradation of inorganic and organic pollutants.

This work involves both full-scale field studies and lab-scale experimental systems, and combines methodologies from quantitative molecular biology and ‘omics, analytical chemistry, and computational modelling.