Wisconsin Discovery Portal

Researcher: Katherine (Trina) McMahon

[ printable ]
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 [email protected]
Phone Number (608) 263-3137
Current University UW - Madison
Department Civil and Environmental Engineering
Title Associate Professor
Other Appointments  
Address Line 1 3204 Engineering Hall
Address Line 2 1415 Engineering Drive
City Madison
State WI
Zip Code 53706
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 PhD, University of California-Berkeley, Environmental Engineering, 2002
Other Degrees
Technologies Available for Licensing