Dr Katherine Fish (she/her)

MSc, PhD

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Research Fellow in Water Systems Microbiology

CIV Kat Fish
Profile picture of CIV Kat Fish
+44 114 222 5732

Full contact details

Dr Katherine Fish
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building (Broad Lane Building)
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

I am an applied environmental microbiologist with inter-disciplinary research interests regarding understanding the microbial ecology of natural and engineered environments, particularly with respect to microbial biofilms.

My PhD used the full-scale drinking water distribution system test facility at Sheffield to investigate the impact of hydraulic patterns on the physical and community structure of drinking water biofilms and their discolouration response.

Since then, I have worked on industry and research council funded projects, specialising in investigating the interactions between environmental microbial ecology, drinking water distribution systems and water quality.

Specifically, I am interested in understanding how microbial management approaches impact biofilms and, in turn, how biofilms respond to these practices, predominantly (but not exclusively) in aquatic systems.

My current research involves collaborative projects which incorporate (micro)biological, physical and chemical analyses to explore the influence of management approaches, such as disinfection concentration, on biofilm physical (EPS and cells) and community structure (using molecular analysis), with consideration of impacts on public health and water quality.

Research Themes


Research interests
  • Applied environmental microbiology
  • Biofilm formation and mobilisation/stability
  • Biofilm management
  • Drinking water quality
  • Microbial ecology

Current Projects

  • “Managing Aquatic Biofilms via Surface Manipulation” – a collaborative project working with AkzoNobel and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (funded by the National Biofilm Innovation Centre , BBSRC)
  • “Biomonitoring” (with South Staffs Water)
  • “Disinfection and discolouration” (with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water)

Associated Research


Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Pick FC, Fish KE, Moses JP & Boxall JB (2018) Development of assimilable organic carbon assay and field application within drinking water treatment. 1st International WDSA / CCWI 2018 Joint Conference RIS download Bibtex download
  • Fish KE, Husband SP & Boxall JB (2018) The impact of chlorine concentration on the discolouration response of biofilms in drinking water distribution systems. 1st International WDSA / CCWI 2018 Joint Conference RIS download Bibtex download
  • Fish K, Collins R, Sharpe R, Osborn AM & Boxall JB (2012) The structure and stability of drinking water biofilms. 14th Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference 2012, WDSA 2012, Vol. 1 (pp 455-467) RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Water Distribution Systems & Infrastructure