Grad Student Spotlight – Krishna

Hi, I am Krishna, currently working for Dr. Jenna Jambeck at the Driftmier Engineering Center and pursuing my Masters in Environmental Engineering at the University of Georgia. I graduated with my Bachelors degree in Biotechnology from Anna University, Chennai, India in 2009. My dream to pursue higher education in Environmental Engineering was to contribute to environmental research, and to help make the world a safer place for the future generations.

Here, at Dr. Jambeck’s laboratory in Driftmier Engineering Center, we are currently working on developing semi-continuous microbial fuel cells to treat landfill leachate. Microbial fuel cells are used to treat wastewater/leachate and can produce power simultaneously.  We are using two new electrode materials in our fuel cell. The focus of our research is to build microbial fuel cells with less expensive and highly efficient materials and thereby bringing it closer to real world applications.

The University of Georgia, situated in Athens, is an amazing student town, with a historic past, it is rated as one of the best student towns in the entire United States. It is a perfect place for a student to develop his academic as well as interpersonal skills. In my free time, I play badminton, racquetball at the recreation center or go out with friends to watch the latest movie in town. I am glad to have chosen the right university for my masters program!

After my graduation, with the knowledge I gain through my education, I aim to be a part of a consulting firm and gain experience as a professional in the environmental field.

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Marine Debris Tracker

The app, Marine Debris Tracker, co-developed with Kyle Johnsen (also in UGA FOE) has been released through the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI). The app, funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Division, allows you to track and log marine debris. I used it over spring break and was able to easily log 136 items. It has been released on Android and is available in the Market. The iPhone version is coming soon – hope to upload it to the App Store for review next week. Marine Debris Tracker was just also presented by Megan Forbes (NOAA Marine Debris Division National Communications Coordinator) at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference in Honolulu, HI.

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Spring 2011 Semester is here!

Classes have been going (with a slight and rare snow delay) since January 10 at UGA. The Jambeck Research Group is off to an exciting start to the semester. We are working on kicking off the SEA-MDI project further with the formation of the Consortium and rolling out of the Android and iPhone Marine Debris Tracker App and website. They will be presented at the 5IMDC in March in Hawaii.

Krishnadas, working on his masters, is designing a continuous microbial fuel cell using landfill leachate. He is going to evaluate the MFC for leachate treatment from samples of leachate from a near-by landfill.

Eliana, also working on her masters, is working on her smart bin prototype to deploy it for some experiments later this spring and also to showcase at an Office of Sustainability First Friday EATS in March.

The undergraduates and research engineer are working on measuring the mass of all the different marine debris items we have gathered (we could still use more!) to present at 5IMDC in March as well.

Jenna, a new undergraduate member of the group is starting a CURO project with Dr. Jambeck to further study batch MFC treatment of leachate and building stacked cells.

Dr. Jambeck is teaching ENVE 3510 this semester – mostly a statistics course, but also covering modeling and uncertainty. Everyone is happy it is no longer at 8am like it was last year.

We will be instituting a guest blog policy from the various group members so that they can express themselves what they are working on for research in the group. Keep watch for new postings every week.

Welcome back to all the students and welcome to our newest group members. Here is to a happy, healthy, productive semester and year!

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Waste Not, Want Not Blog is here!

This new website allows me to easily update the site and blog – all in the same location. Previous blog posts have been imported, but the old blog can also be found here:

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Send us your Marine Debris!

Many volunteers will be cleaning up debris for the International Coastal Cleanup September 25. I am creating a database of the “average” weight of various debris items, so I need your debris! If you are willing to send marine debris (I cannot fund the shipping at this time) to be weighed in a scientific research project, please send a bucket or large zip-loc baggie full of marine debris along with a piece of paper that has:
1) The date it was collected
2) The beach/location it was collected at
IMPORTANT, I must have the above information or I will not be able to include it in the database. Also note, debris will not be returned. Also, I can only handle U.S. Debris at this time.
Ship to:
Jenna Jambeck
University of Georgia
412 Driftmier Engineering Center
Athens, GA  30602
Phone: 706-542-6454
Any questions, feel free to email me at jjambeck(at)
Thank you so much for your contribution to science and to the study of marine debris!
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My colleague Kyle Johnsen and I developed a tool for research and teaching to Geotag data. It is a skeleton for a marine debris mobile application I will be putting out this fall as a part of a NOAA grant, but Geo-Log is more general and flexible. You can log and map… ANYTHING! Just make an effort, make a list and start logging. The data is available to view online in a map or list, or download the data into Excel or as a .kml file for Google Earth. We hope it will be useful to many and it will be available on the Android Market and for iPhone soon. To learn more go to the website here >>>

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Environmental Science and Technology Commentary on the Oil Spill

Thank you Dr. Schnoor, Editor of Environmental Science and Technology, for your well written and insightful commentary about the Gulf Oil Spill. To read it, click here >>>

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A Marine Debris Story

A digital camera in a waterproof case was dropped at sea near Aruba and washed ashore in Key West, FL. It also was carried some way by a sea turtle as shown on this YouTube video. You can see the turtle thrashing about while the camera strap is connected to it. This story gives a first hand look at how any debris or trash at sea can travel many miles… and how it nearly always impacts wildlife. While a nice personal story from the standpoint of the man who located the camera’s owner, I also see it as a lesson in marine debris travel and impacts.
More details on the story here >>>

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Map of UGA Trash Cans and Recycle Bins Complete

Thanks to two great undergraduate students who did an independent study with me this spring (Shanell Davis and Malin Dartnell), I now have a map of the trash cans (both permanent and mobile) and recycle bins/cans (both for containers and containers+paper) on the University of Georgia campus. Special thanks to the UGA Office of Sustainability’s Mark Milby. Also, a very special thanks to Alex Devine, GIS Technical Coordinator from UGA Architects for Facilities Planning for helping me overcome my Google Earth “bug” to get all my layers in one project. I will update this blog with a link to the project on my website, but for now, here is a screen shot. More spatial analysis data to follow too.

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New Hampshire Coastline Marine Debris Analysis Maps

I am posting the Google Earth file (.kml) here so that I can also post it to the Google Earth Gallery. I think this data could be really helpful and interesting to some! It is also posted on my website where you can download the .kmz file.

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