Faculty Profile

Julie Zilles

Julie Zilles
Julie Zilles

Primary Research Area

  • Environmental Science

Education

  • Ph.D., Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999
  • B.S., Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993

Biography

Julie L. Zilles received her B.S. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1993) and her Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin Madison (1999). She joined the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2002 following postdoctoral work in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She is a member of the Graduate College of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and an affiliate of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Dr. Zilles currently teaches biological principles of environmental engineering and scientific writing.

Dr. Zilles' research interests lie at the intersection of environmental engineering and microbiology. In systems such as biological wastewater treatment, a more complete understanding of the microbial ecology and physiology may be applied to the development of process improvements. Current research areas include the effects of agricultural antibiotic use on antibiotic resistance levels in swine waste treatment systems and manure-amended soils, development of biomimetic materials for desalination, perchlorate removal, and other water treatment applications, and the microbial ecology of denitrification in tile drainage bioreactors.

Academic Positions

  • Adjunct Faculty, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006-present, 0% appointment
  • Research Assistant Professor, Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006 - present, 67% appointment
  • Research Scientist/Lecturer, Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002 - 2006, 67% appointment
  • Research Associate, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999 - 2002
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993 - 1999
  • Research Assistant, Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992 - 1993
  • Research Assistant, Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1991

For more information

Major Consulting Activities

  • None

Professional Registrations

  • None

Research Statement

Dr. Zilles' research interests lie at the intersection of environmental engineering and microbiology. In systems such as biological wastewater treatment, a more complete understanding of the microbial ecology and physiology may be applied to the development of process improvements. Research areas include the effects of agricultural antibiotic use on antibiotic resistance levels in swine waste treatment systems and manure-amended soils, the microbial ecology of denitrification in tile drainage bioreactors, the development of biomimetic membranes for desalination, the microbial physiology of enhanced biological phosphorus removal, and gene expression and genetic adaptation for herbicide degradation in a model dynamic soil system.

Research Interests

  • microbial biofuel production
  • enhanced biological phosphorus removal
  • antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance in agricultural and pharmaceutical waste treatment
  • denitrification in tile drainage biofilters, agricultural nitrogen pollution
  • biomimetic materials for desalination & perchlorate removal

Books Authored or Co-Authored (Original Editions)

  • None

Books Authored or Co-Authored (Revisions)

  • None

Books Edited or Co-Edited (Original Editions)

  • None

Books Edited or Co-Edited (Revisions)

  • None

Chapters in Books

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Hutchison, J. M., J. L. Zilles. 2016. Talk. Biocatalytic perchlorate reduction in spent ion exchange brine. 215st ACS National Meeting. San Diego, CA. March 13-17, 2016.
  • Mobilia, K. C., J. M. Hutchison, J. L. Zilles. 2015. Poster. Biocatalytic Removal of Chlorine Oxyanions: Identifying a Robust Chlorite Dismutase. 2015 Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Research and Education Conference. New Haven, CT. June 14-16, 2015.
  • Hutchison, J. M., J. L. Zilles. 2015. Talk. Development of biocatalysts for water treatment: perchlorate model system. 2015 Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Research and Education Conference. New Haven, CT. June 14-16, 2015.
  • Mobilia, K. C., J. M. Hutchison, J. L. Zilles. 2015. Poster. Mining Biological Diversity to Optimize Chlorite Dismutase for Water Treatment. Abstracts of the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. New Orleans, LA. May 30 - June 2, 2015.
  • Hutchison, J. M., J. L. Zilles. 2015. Poster. Biocatalytic Treatment of Perchlorate in Groundwater. Abstracts of the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. New Orleans, LA. May 30 - June 2, 2015.
  • Mobilia, K. C.*, J. M. Hutchison, J. L. Zilles. 2014. Poster. Mining Biological Diversity to Optimize Chlorite Dismutase for Large-Scale Water Treatment. Fourth International Conference on Emerging Contaminants in the Environment. Iowa City, IA. August 19-22, 2014.
  • J. L. Zilles*, N. Lu, T. H. Nguyen. 2014. Talk. Investigating the Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes through Transfer of Extracellular DNA. Fourth International Conference on Emerging Contaminants in the Environment. Iowa City, IA. August 19-22, 2014.
  • Hutchison, J. M., J. L. Zilles*. 2014. Talk. Biomimetic Catalysts for Perchlorate Reduction in Drinking Water. Fourth International Conference on Emerging Contaminants in the Environment. Iowa City, IA. August 19-22, 2014.
  • Zilles, J. L.*, N. Lu, T. H. Nguyen. 2014. Poster. Horizontal Gene Transfer through Natural Transformation of Adsorbed DNA. Antibiotics in Agriculture: State of the Science Workshop.
  • Lu, N.*, A. Massoudieh, X. Liang, T. Karmai, J. L. Zilles, T. H. Nguyen, T. R. Ginn. 2013. Talk. Bacterial Transport and Fate and Its Effect on Horizontal Gene Transfer in Soil. American Geophysical Union￿s 46th annual Fall meeting.

Invited Lectures

  • Biomimetic processes for water treatment
  • Biomimetic materials for desalination and perchlorate remediation
  • Investigating the Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance near Animal Facilities: Mechanisms of Extracellular DNA Transport and Transfer
  • Aquaporin-based membranes
  • Engineering ecosystems for resilience and reliability of microbially-mediated nutrient removal
  • Gene expression and genetic adaptation for herbicide degradation in a model dynamic soil system
  • Antimicrobials and resistance in swine waste
  • Antimicrobials and Antimicrobial Resistance in Manure Amended Soils

Journal Editorships

  • Editorial board, Frontiers in Microbiology: Antimicrobials, Resistance and Chemotherapy, 2011-present
  • Associate editor for Water Research, 2009-2016

Professional Societies

  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, member of education committee 2011-2016
  • American Society for Microbiology, chair-elect of Division K (July 2015-June 2016)

Service on Department Committees

  • member, Langelier Scholarship Committee (2005-12)
  • member, Engineering Open House departmental committee (2008-present)
  • non-tenure-track faculty representative, administrative committee (2011-2012)
  • chair & co-chair, graduate student recruitment weekend for EES (with Morgenroth 2004-7, solo 2008-10 & 2014)
  • Esmilla Award committee (2011-present)
  • co-chair, EES visioning committee (2014)

Service on Campus Committees

  • presenter, Graduate Academy for College Teaching (2008-10)

Service to Federal and State Government

  • Proposal reviewer for National Pork Board (2011)
  • USDA review panel (2011)
  • Proposal reviewer for Water Resources Institute (2013)
  • NSF review panel (2009, 2012, 2014, 2015)
  • Expert review of Draft Screening Assessment for Government of Canada

Other Outside Service

  • development and presentation of science demonstrations and hands on activities for 3,4,&5 year olds, Montessori Habitat school
  • development and presentation of science experiments for middle school, Montessori Habitat school, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015
  • development and presentation of mini-course on microbiology and its applications in environmental engineering, University Laboratory High School, 2014
  • Journal article reviewer in 2010 for Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, Applied & Environmental Microbiology, Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology, Journal of Environmental Engineering, Journal of Environmental Quality, Microbial Ecology, Science of the Total Environment, Water Research
  • Journal article reviewer in 2011 for Applied & Environmental Microbiology, Frontiers in Microbiology, Journal of Applied Microbiology, Water Environment Research, Water Research
  • Journal article reviewer in 2012 for Biodegradation, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, Environmental Science and Technology, Frontiers in Microbiology, Journal of Applied Microbiology, Journal of Environmental Engineering, Water Research
  • Journal article reviewer in 2013 for Applied Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Science and Technology, Frontiers in Antimicrobials, Resistance, and Chemotherapy, Microbial Ecology, Science of the Total Environment, Water Research
  • Journal article reviewer in 2014 for Applied Microbiology, Biodegradation, Environmental Science and Technology, Frontiers in Microbiology, Limnologica, Microbial Ecology, Water Research, WIREs Water
  • Journal article reviewer in 2015 for Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Applied Microbiology, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Ecological Engineering, Environmental Science and Technology, Frontiers in Microbiology: Antimicrobials, Journal of Bacteriology, Microbial Ecology, Water Research, Water Science and Technology

Teaching Honors

  • List of teachers ranked as excellent by their students (Fall 2011)
  • List of teachers ranked as excellent by their students (Fall 2009)
  • List of teachers ranked as excellent by their students (Fall 2008)
  • Sigrid Leirmo Memorial Award recognizing scientific mentorship (1997)

Research Honors

  • CH2M Hill / AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, advisor (2011)
  • Advisor to Manish Kumar, winner of AWWA's Academic Achievement Award for best doctoral dissertation (2011)
  • Phillip and Vera Gerhardt Graduate Travel Award (1998)
  • American Society for Microbiology Travel Grant (1997)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship (1993-1996)
  • Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Annual Fellowship (1993)
  • Randolph G. Wei award for outstanding undergraduate research at the interface of the life sciences and engineering (1993)

Public Service Honors

  • None

Other Honors

  • None