Wisconsin Discovery Portal

Researcher's Profile

Last Name


First Name

Katherine (Trina) 

Middle Initial

Areas of Research Expertise

* Improvement of the capacity to predict and model microbial behavior
* Biologically mediated transformations that can be harnessed for engineering applications
* Microbial ecology and biogeochemistry in freshwater systems
* Links between microbial community structure and function
* Process performance during biological wastewater treatment
* Microbial communities as antibiotic resistance reservoirs in agricultural environments
* Phosphate metabolism in activated sludge
* Phosphate metabolism of EBPR organisms
* Pollutant removing microbes
* Genome evolution in mixed microbe populations

Web site

Trina McMahon's University Home Page 

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Trina McMahon's CV 

Current/Active Funding

  • NSF, 2007-2012, Career: Microbes and Phosphorus: Integrating Engineering Principles, Ecology, and Undergraduate Learning to Manage Eutrophication of Freshwater Lakes
  • NSF, 2007-2012, Collaborative Research: Microbial Observatory: Forces Driving Microbial Community Diversity and Composition in Humic Lakes
  • Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, 2006-2033
  • Hatch Act Formula Fund, 2010-2014, Water quality modeling in Lake Mendota: do the bacteria matter?
  • NSF, 2010-2013, Eco-Systems Biology of Polyphosphate Accumulating Consortia
  • WARF, 2011-2012, Does Nitrogen Fixation Support Cyanobacterial Blooms And Cyanotoxin Production In Madison-Area Lakes?

Issued Patent(s)


USPTO Published Applications

  • 20110171496 - Light-powered microbial fuel cells, granted Jul 2011.

Recent Publication(s)

  • "Microbiology of 'Candidatus Accumulibacter' in activated sludge"

He SM, McMahon KD, Microbial Biotechnology 4(5): 603-619 Sep 2011. In this review, we focus on the metabolism, physiology, fine-scale population structure and ecological distribution of Accumulibacter, aiming to integrate the information learned so far and to present a more complete picture of the microbiology of this important bacterial group.

  • "A Guide to the Natural History of Freshwater Lake Bacteria"

Newton RJ, Jones SE, Eiler A, et al., Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 75(1): 14-49 Mar 2011. Here we present a new freshwater lake phylogeny constructed from all published 16S rRNA gene sequences from lake epilimnia and propose a unifying vocabulary to discuss freshwater taxa.

  • "Phage Encoded H-NS: A Potential Achilles Heel in the Bacterial Defence System"

Skennerton CT, Angly FE, Bragg L, et al., Plos One 6(5): e20095 May 2011. Metagenomic data from an EBPR reactor dominated by Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis (CAP), led to the recovery of three complete and six partial phage genomes.

  • ""Gradual Entrainment Lake Inverter" (GELI): A novel device for experimental lake mixing"

Read JS, Shade A, Wu CH, et al., Limnology and Oceanography-Methods 9: 14-28 Jan 2011. A Gradual Entrainment Lake Inverter (GELI) designed to destroy thermal stratification was constructed and used to destratify a darkly stained humic lake.

Recent Artistic Works



  • University of Notre Dame, Biological Science
  • Uppsala University, Ecology & Genetics
  • Intra-University Collaboration: Soil Science, Limnology & Marine Science, Great Lakes WATER Inst
  • UC-Berkeley
  • Concordia University
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene
  • Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab

Research Tools


Research Facilities


E-mail Address


Phone Number

(608) 263-3137 

Current University

UW - Madison 


Civil and Environmental Engineering 


Associate Professor 

Other Appointments


Address Line 1

3204 Engineering Hall 

Address Line 2

1415 Engineering Drive 





Zip Code


Bachelor's Degree

BS, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Civil Engineering, 1995

Master's Degree

MS, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Environmental Engineering, 1997


PhD, University of California-Berkeley, Environmental Engineering, 2002

Other Degrees


Technologies Available for Licensing


Created at 6/18/2007 3:14 PM  by EXTWEB\mbrown 
Last modified at 12/8/2011 4:39 PM  by Mike Cenci