October 20. Eduardo Leiva, assistant professor at PUC in Chile, joins our group for a 10-month sabbatical.

October 18. Group Coffee at Hagerty!

August 20. Yanina Nahum, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, joins the research group as new doctoral student

July 10. Aura Ontiveros, Ph.D. leaves our group to take faculty position at Tecnólogical de Monterrey in Puebla, Mexico. Congratulations, Aura!

April 22-24. Nerenberg group hosts NSF-funded workshop "Mechanical Properties of Biofilms: State of the Art and Research Needs." Around 50 researchers from the US and overseas participated. See

April 18-24. Nicolas Derlon of EAWAG (Switzerland) visits group prior to Biofilms workshop. Prior to the workshop he gave an outstanding presentation on biofilms and membrane filtration.

April 12 - July 12. Cristian Picioreanu of TU Delft visits group for "mini-sabbatical," including a keynote presentation for the Biofilm Mechanical Properties workshop and a short course on biofilm modeling. Shown below with former doctoral student Kelly Gordon.

February 5. Lara Grotz defends her MS thesis "Enhancing Nitrification fluxes in MABRs: Modeling and Experimental Approaches, congratulations." Congratulations Lara!

February 5. Patricia Perez is back in the group, this time as a post-doc! Welcome back Patricia.

February 18. Group Brunch at Rob's place!

February 5. Rob visited Barth Smets group at DTU and attended a PhD defense. Very impressive research group, and Copenhagen is a beautiful city (even in winter)!

January 30. Saul Garcia arrived from Tec de Monterrey, Mexico, and is spending two months as a visiting researcher. He will be addressing microalgae formation in MBfRs.

January 12. Claudia Sanchez is visiting once again from KAUST. She will continue her research on the degradation of micropollutants in biofilm processes. Nice to have her back!


August. BK Kim joined research group as doctoral student, and Meenu Garg as a MS student. Welcome!

July 25. Group Cookout with Alex Rosenthal (left) as a special guest.


July 24 - 26. Alex Rosenthal from George Well's group at Northwestern came to teach us his FISH technique for biofilms.


July 18. Patricia Perez defended her PhD at the Universidad de Cantabria in Santander, Spain. Rob got to attend as a committee member! Excellent job, congratulation Patricia! Congratulations also to her adviser, Lorena Esteban!


June 23. David Weissbrodt of TU Delft came to visit, following the AEESP conference in Ann Arbor. He gave a great talk on recovering biopolymers from granular sludge. Also, we had some nice lab visits and discussions on PAOs in granules and biofilms.

June 23. Aura Ontiveros joined the research group as a new post-doctoral researcher. Aura obtained her Ph.D. with Bruce Rittmann and Rosy Krajmalmik-Brown at ASU.

June 16. Sarajane Roenke joined the research group as a new Ph.D. student. Welcome Sarajane!

June 1. Claudia Sanchez Huerta, PhD student from KAUST, arrived for a three-month internship on MABR research.

May 20. Fabrizio Sabba is back in South Bend for graduation. Congratulations, Fab!


May 2017. Nerenberg lab reunion at Biofilms 2017 Conference in Dublin, Ireland!

Our research was presented by Marcelo and Patricia, and Rob gave a keynote presentation. Also, former lab members Leon Downing, Ph.D., Caitlyn Bulter, Ph.D., Kelly Martin, Ph.D., and Fabrizio Sabba, Ph.D., all had platform presentations on their own work! It was a nice opportunity to get together and catch up!

March 2017. Farewell lunch for Marcelo and Patricia. Hopefully they will be back soon!

March 2017. The MABR pilot at the South Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant is almost ready for action!


February 2017. Juan Pablo returns to his faculty position at UAI in Chile after a 3-month visiting faculty stint at Notre Dame. Below is Juan Pablo's farewell coffee at Au Bon Pain.

From left to right: Patricia, Marcelo, Juan Pablo, Lara, Marcela, Mengfei, Rob.


January, 2017. Mengfei Li joins the Nerenberg group as a new doctoral student. Welcome Mengfei!



December, 2016. Juan Pablo Pavissich and Marcelo Aybar return to group for 3 - 4 months as visiting faculty.

September 4, 2016. Rob, Fabrizio, and Kelly Martin (former group member) present at the MEWE/Biofilms conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.


August 31, 2016. Fabrizio Sabba defended his PhD. Congratulations Fabrizio!

July 2016. Lara Sisman joined the group as a new PhD student. Welcome Lara!
July 14, 2016. Marcelo Aybar defended his PhD. Congratulations Marcelo! Marcelo is starting as assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineerng the Universidad de Concepcion, Chile in August.
July 10 – 14, 2016. Cristian Picioreanu visited Notre Dame for Marcelo’s defense.
July 2016. Fabrizio Sabba and Lorena Esteban (collaborator from Universidad de Cantabria) presented at ECOSTP in Cambridge, England.
July 2016. Andrew DeVries defended his MS. Congratulations Andrew!
June 2016. Marcelo Aybar and Patricia Perez present at the IWA Leading Edge Technology (LET) conference in Jerez, Spain.
June – August 2016. Carlos Comiotto joined us as a visiting undergraduate student from the University of Rio Grande, Brazil.

May 2016. Yue received her PhD diploma!


April 2016. Fabrizio Sabba and Kelly Martin and Leon Downing (collaborators and former PhD students) presented at WWTmod2016 in Annecy, France. Fab’s presentation selected as Best of WWTMod!


January – June 2016. Andrei Gavryliuk joined us as a visiting undergraduate researcher from the University of Loughborough, England

August 2015. Yue Wang defends her doctoral dissertation. Congratulations Yue!
August 2015. Sam Bruce defends his MS thesis. Congratulations Sam!
August 2015. Juan Pablo Pavissich begans his faculty position at the Univeridad Adolfo Ibañez in Chile
August 2015. Rob attended the IWA Biofilms conference in Arosa, Switzerland.
July 2015. Patricia Perez, Marcelo Aybar, Yue Wang, Fabrizio Sabba, and Rob Nerenberg attended the AEESP conference at Yale. All presented posters, Rob sat on a panel on writing a CAREER proposal.
June 2015. Rob Nerenberg was a keynote speaker at the IWA LET conference in Hong Kong
March 2015. Rob Nerenberg gave a seminar at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (PUC)
March 2015. Former PhD student Kelly Martin took a position with Black & Veatch in Kansas City
Fabrizio Sabba presented at the IWA Nutrients conference in Gdansk, Poland
January 2015. Former PhD student Juan Pablo Pavissich started his post-doctoral fellowship at TU Delft in The Netherlands

December. Patricia Perez presented at the IWA Water Research conference, Shenzhen, China
December. Juan Pablo Pavissich defended his PhD dissertation. Congratulations Juan Pablo!
January – July. Cristian Picioreanu of TU Delft, an expert in biofilm modeling, was a visiting faculty at Notre Dame

January - February. Gonzalo Pizarro, professor at PUC in Chile, came to Notre Dame as a visiting professor
June – August. Lorena Esteban, professor at the Universidad de Cantabria (Patricia Perez’s adviser) came as a visiting professor