My research focuses on microbial dehalogenation of halogenated organic and inorganic compounds, and the enrichment and isolation of novel dehalogenating microbes from diverse pristine and contaminated environments like river-, marine- and hypersaline lake sediments.
Natural and anthropogenic produced organic and inorganic halogenated compounds are widely distributed in different ecosystems like soils as well as sediments of rivers, marine environments and hypersaline lakes. Most of these halogenated compounds are known as toxic environmental pollutants and accumulate in animal and human tissues where they cause adverse health effects. For many of these compounds, aerobic and/or anaerobic microorganisms have been described that are capable of removing the halogen substituents to produce lower halogenated or fully dehalogenated products with less/no toxicity. Thus, these microorganisms play important roles in detoxification/mineralization of the halogenated compounds and the natural halogen cycle in the environment.