Amy Pruden

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Pruden is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Associate Dean and Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Education in the Graduate School at Virginia Tech.  Her research program at Virginia Tech focuses on applied environmental microbiology.

In relation to global change, Dr. Pruden studies the role of microbial communities in dynamic environmental systems. For example, there is currently a boom in the manufacture of nanomaterials, and therefore a need to understand the implications of these new products in terms of biodegradability by and toxicity to microbes in wastewater treatment plants. Similarly, efforts to conserve water and energy result in new “green” building designs that impose atypical water flow regimes in pipes. This will shift the kinds of microbes that reside there and the potential for pathogens to establish. A third example: how will changes in antibiotic use guidelines for livestock impact the actual attenuation of antibiotic resistant bacteria and the antibiotic resistance genes that they carry? 

Dr. Pruden serves as the Director of Strategic Planning for the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Sciences Water Sustainability Thrust. She is an Associate Editor for the journal Biodegradation and serves on an advisory panel on Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) in recycled water. Dr. Pruden has published more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters on subjects pertaining to bioremediation, pathogens, and antibiotic resistance.

At Virginia Tech, Dr. Pruden teaches an undergraduate course in Introduction to Environmental Engineering. At the Graduate level, she teaches Environmental Engineering Microbiology and an IGEP Course on Interdisciplinary Research. She is a core faculty member in two interdisciplinary graduate education programs, Water for Health and Interfaces of Global Change.

Email address          Lab Website


Recent Relevant Publications

Willson, J. D., and W.A. Hopkins. In press. Beyond the wetland: Effects of environmental mercury contamination on source-sink dynamics in a pond-breeding amphibian. Conservation Biology.

Riquelme Breazeal, M.V.*, Vikesland, P.J., Novak, J.T., and A. Pruden. (2013). Effect of Wastewater Colloids on Membrane Removal of Microconstituent Antibiotic Resistance Genes. Water Research 47, 130-140.

Aruguete, D.M., Kim, B., Hochella, M.F. Jr., Ma, Y.*, Chenge, Y., Hoegh, A., Liue, J., and A. Pruden. (2013). Antimicrobial Nanotechnology: Implications for the Management of Multiple Drug-Resistant Pathogens. Environmental Science: Process & Impacts. 15(1), 93102.

Fahrenfeld, N.*, Widdowson, M., Zoeckler, J. and A. Pruden. (2013). Effect of Biostimulants on 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) Degradation and Bacterial Community Composition in Contaminated Aquifer Sediment Enrichments. Biodegradation 24 (2): 24:179-190.

Wang, H.*, Edwards, M.A., Falkinham III, J.O., and A. Pruden. (2012). Molecular Survey of Occurrence of Legionella spp., Mycobacterium spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Amoeba Hosts in Two Chloraminated Drinking Water Distribution Systems. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 78 (17): 6285-6294.

McKinney, C.W.* and A. Pruden. (2012). Effect Cell Type and DNA Sequence Variation on UV Damage of Antibiotic Resistance Genes. Environmental Science and Technology 46 (24):13393-13400.

Pruden, A., Arabi, M., and Storteboom, H.N.* (2012). Correlation of upstream human activities with riverine antibiotic resistance genes. Environmental Science and Technology 46 (21): 11541–11549.

Singh, G.*, Widdowson, M., and A. Pruden. (2012). Influence of Petroleum Deposit Geometry on Local Gradient of Electron Acceptors and Microbial Catabolic Potential. Environmental Science and Technology 46 (11): 5782–5788.

For a complete list of published work, please see Dr. Pruden’s website.