Dr Katherine Fish (she/her)
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Research Fellow in Water Systems Microbiology
+44 114 222 5732
Full contact details
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building (Broad Lane Building)
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.
- PhD in Civil and Structural Engineering, December 2013. The University of Sheffield. Thesis entitled "The impact of hydraulic regime upon biofilms in drinking water distribution systems".
- Masters in Biological Science, First Class (hons), 2009. Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, The University of Sheffield.
- Research interests
- Applied environmental microbiology
- Biofilm formation and mobilisation/stability
- Biofilm management
- Drinking water quality
- Microbial ecology
- “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)
- Impacts of temperature and hydraulic regime on discolouration and biofilm fouling in drinking water distribution systems. Plos Water, 1(8).
- Non-invasive biofouling monitoring to assess drinking water distribution system performance. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12.
- Assimilable organic carbon cycling within drinking water distribution systems. Water Research, 198.
- Uncharted waters: the unintended impacts of residual chlorine on water quality and biofilms. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, 6.
- Effects of phosphate and hydrogen peroxide on the performance of a biological activated carbon filter for enhanced biofiltration. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 388.
- Drinking water temperature around the globe : understanding, policies, challenges and opportunities. Water, 12(4).
- Application of enhanced assimilable organic carbon method across operational drinking water systems. PLOS ONE, 14(12).
- Understanding microbial ecology to improve management of drinking water distribution systems. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 6(1).
- Biofilm microbiome (re)growth dynamics in drinking water distribution systems are impacted by chlorine concentration. Frontiers in Microbiology.
- Succession of bacterial and fungal communities within biofilms of a chlorinated drinking water distribution system. Water Research, 141, 74-85.
- Biofilm structures (EPS and bacterial communities) in drinking water distribution systems are conditioned by hydraulics and influence discolouration. Science of the Total Environment, 593-4, 571-580.
- Linking discolouration modelling and biofilm behaviour within drinking water distribution systems. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 16(4), 942-950.
- Characterising and understanding the impact of microbial biofilms and the extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix in drinking water distribution systems. Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2(4), 614-630.
- Characterisation of the Physical Composition and Microbial Community Structure of Biofilms within a Model Full-Scale Drinking Water Distribution System. PLOS ONE, 10(2), e0115824-e0115824.
- Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems. Water Research, 65, 134-156.
- Microplastics in aquatic environments – a review of recent advances. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science, 1-19.
Conference proceedings papers
- Development of assimilable organic carbon assay and field application within drinking water treatment. 1st International WDSA / CCWI 2018 Joint Conference
- The impact of chlorine concentration on the discolouration response of biofilms in drinking water distribution systems. 1st International WDSA / CCWI 2018 Joint Conference
- The structure and stability of drinking water biofilms. 14th Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference 2012, WDSA 2012, Vol. 1 (pp 455-467)
- Research group