Dr. Amy Pruden

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Pruden is the W. Thomas Rice Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Her research program at Virginia Tech focuses on applied environmental microbiology.

Dr. Pruden serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Environmental Science & Technology and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters on subjects pertaining to bioremediation, pathogens, and antibiotic resistance. She is currently the PI on a USDA CAP grant focusing on farm-to-fork sources for the spread of antibiotic resistance and Co-PI on an NSF Partnership for International Research and Education grant where students have the opportunity to collaborate abroad in examining antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater treatment plants in different countries.

Professor Amy Pruden, of the Charles E. Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is currently doing research on antibiotics that get into our water supply and how to remove them.

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?

At Virginia Tech, Dr. Pruden teaches CEE 5194 Environmental Engineering Microbiology and an IGEP Course on Interdisciplinary Research, GRAD 5134. She is a core faculty member in three interdisciplinary graduate education programs, Water for Health, Sustainable Nanotechnology, and Interfaces of Global Change.



Recent Relevant Publications

Munoz Egea, M.C., Ji, P., Pruden, A., Falkinham, J.O. (2017). Inhibition of Adherence ofMycobacterium avium to Plumbing Surface Biofilms of Methylobacterium spp. Pathogens (in press)
Rhoads, W.J.*; Garner, E.D.*; Ji, P.*; Zhu, N.*; Parks, J.; Schwake, D.O.*; Pruden, A.; Edwards, M.A. (2017). Distribution System Operational Deficiencies Coincide with Reported Legionnaires’ Disease Clusters in Flint, MI. Environmental Science & Technology (In press). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b0158.
Dai, D.*, Prussin, A.J.*, Edwards, M.A., Marr, L.C., Pruden, A., Vikesland, P.J. (2017). Factors Shaping the Human Exposome in the Built Environment: Opportunities for Engineering Control.Environmental Science & Technology. 51(14):7759–7774. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01097
Riquelme, M.V.*, Leng, W.*, Carzolio, M.*, Hull, M.*, Pruden, A. and Vikesland, P.J. Stable oligonucleotide-functionalized gold nanosensors for environmental biocontaminant monitoring.Journal of Environmental Sciences- Special Issue on Environmental Chemical Contaminants: Processes and Risks. (in press)
Garner, E.*, Benitez, R.*, von Wagoner, E.*, Sawyer, R.*, Schaberg, E.*, Hessian, W.C., Krometis, LAH, Badgley, B.D., Pruden, A. (2017). Stormwater loadings of antibiotic resistance genes in an urban stream. Water Research 123: 144–152. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.06.046
Rhoads, W.J.*, Pruden, A., and Edwards, M. (2017). Interactive Effects of Corrosion, Copper, and Chloramines on Legionella and mycobacteria in Hot Water Plumbing. Environmental Science & Technology. 51(12): 7065–7075 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05616
Wang, H., Bédard, E., Prévost, M., Camper, A.K., Hill, V.R., Pruden, A. (2017). Methodological approaches for monitoring opportunistic pathogens in premise plumbing: A review. Water Research. 15(117):68-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.03.046
Ji, P.*, Rhoads, W.J.*, Edwards, M.A., and Pruden, A. (2017). Impact of water heater temperature setting and water use frequency on the building plumbing microbiome. ISME Journal, 11, 1318–1330.  DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2017.14
Ray, P.*, Chen, C.*, Knowlton, K.F., Pruden, A., and Xia, K. (2017). Fate and effect of antibiotics in beef and dairy manure during static and turned composting. Journal of Environmental Quality. 46(1):45-54. DOI: 10.2134/jeq2016.07.0269
Friedrich, M.; Jimenez, J.; Pruden, A.; Miller, J.H.*; Metch, J.* (2017). Rethinking growth and decay kinetics in activated sludge – towards a new adaptive kinetics approach. Water Science & Technology. 75(3): 501-506. DOI: 10.2166/wst.2016.439.
Garner, E.*, Wallace, J.S.*, Arango Argoty, G.*, Wilkinson, C.*, Fahrenfeld, N.*, Heath, L.S., Zhang, L., Arabi, M., Aga, D.S., and Pruden, A. (2016). Metagenomic profiling of historic Colorado Front Range flood impact on distribution of riverine antibiotic resistance genes. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 38432.
Arango-Argoty, G.*, Singh, G.*, Heath, L.S., Pruden, A., Xiao, W., and Zhang, L. MetaStorm: A Public Resource for Customizable Metagenomics Annotation. (2016). PLoS One.    doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0162442.
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.