Introducing George Wells...


I left Rice University in Houston, TX in December of 2003, armed with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering, a desire to learn and experience as much as possible in life, and a goal of applying science and technology to solve environmental problems.  After a very rewarding 6-month internship in an environmental support position at BP Chemicals outside of Chicago, IL, I joined the Criddle group at Stanford University in the fall of 2004.

My primary research interest lies in the field of environmental biotechnology, including wastewater treatment and bioremediation.  My focus at this point is on analyzing shifts in microbial community structure that might be linked to instability in nitrification, a key nutrient removal step in wastewater treatment and an important part of the global nitrogen cycle.  Although nitrification has been used in water quality control for decades, a thorough understanding of the process, particularly of the microbial community involved and the causes of instabilities, has eluded investigators.  With the advent of molecular tools such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), a more complete understanding is within reach. 

My general research interests are quite broad and include membrane technology, fate and transport of anthropogenic chemicals, climate change, alternative energy sources, environmental microbiology (particularly related to transformation of halogenated organic chemicals in the environment), microbial ecology, ecological engineering, and brownfields and urban planning. I plan to use the knowledge I gain in graduate school to pursue a career in academia focusing on applications of environmental biotechnology.

In my free time, I enjoy strumming on my guitar (old time and folk music), contra dancing, cooking, sampling fine caffeinated beverages (i.e. coffee), and enjoying the great outdoors (camping, hiking, biking, climbing, etc.).


Publications:
Cortalezzi, M.M., J. Rose, G. F. Wells,  J. Y. Bottero, A. R. Barron, M.R. Wiesner, (2003).  “Ceramic Membranes Derived from Ferroxane Nanoparticles: A New Route for the Fabrication of Iron Oxide Ultrafiltration Membranes,” Journal of Membrane Science. 227(1-2), 207-217.