Aspassia D. Chatziefthimiou

Aspassia D. Chatziefthimiou
Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar | WCM-Q

Ph.D in Microbial Ecology

About

58
Publications
9,468
Reads
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406
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2016 - present
Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar
Position
  • Visiting Research Scientist
Description
  • Microbial stabilization of mobile dunes for infrastructure protection and environmental preservation
June 2016 - present
Exxon Mobil Research Qatar
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Biodegradation of oil contaminants in wastewater using indigenous microbial communities in constructed wetlands
November 2015 - May 2016
Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar
Position
  • Postdoctorate Fellow
Description
  • Microbial stabilization of mobile dunes for infrastructure protection and environmental preservation
Education
September 2005 - January 2012
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolution, Microbial Ecology
September 2001 - October 2006
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Field of study
  • Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
January 1997 - May 2000
Montclair State University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
Full-text available
Grazing has long been recognized as an effective means of modifying natural habitats and, by extension, as a wildlife and protected area management tool, in addition to the obvious economic value it has for pastoral communities. A holistic approach to grazing management requires the estimation of grazing timing, frequency, and season length, as wel...
Article
We present a global atlas of 4,728 metagenomic samples from mass-transit systems in 60 cities over 3 years, representing the first systematic, worldwide catalog of the urban microbial ecosystem. This atlas provides an annotated, geospatial profile of microbial strains, functional characteristics, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) markers, and genetic...
Article
Full-text available
We present a global atlas of 4,728 metagenomic samples from mass-transit systems in 60 cities over 3 years, representing the first systematic, worldwide catalog of the urban microbial ecosystem. This atlas provides an annotated, geospatial profile of microbial strains, functional characteristics, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) markers, and genetic...
Chapter
Full-text available
Drylands, which make up 41–45% of the Earth’s land area, are inhabited by 31% of the world’s human population and are characterized by climatic forces which shape the Maliva and Missimer, 2012 physical environment and its biological life (UNCCD 2012; Prăvălie 2016; IPCC 2017). Although deserts were conceptualized singularly in the context of temper...
Chapter
Full-text available
Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Cyanobacterial Algal Bloom (CyanoHAB) events, pose a threat to ecosystem and human health, and their environmental management requires the formulation of shared specific action plans. In this chapter, we compile historical and current knowledge on the causes and consequences of bloom events and report instituted polici...
Article
Full-text available
The fate and persistence of the neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and its isomers N-(2aminoethyl)glycine (AEG) and 2,4-diaminobuytric acid (DAB) in soil profiles is poorly understood. In desert environments, these cyanotoxins are commonly found in both terrestrial and adjacent marine ecosystems; they accumulate in biocrusts and groundwate...
Article
Full-text available
In a literature survey, Chernoff et al. (2017) dismissed the hypothesis that chronic exposure to β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) may be a risk factor for progressive neurodegenerative disease. They question the growing scientific literature that suggests the following: (1) BMAA exposure causes ALS/PDC among the indigenous Chamorro people of Guam;...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although studies have shown that urban environments and mass-transit systems have geospatially distinct metagenomes, no study has ever systematically studied these dense, human/microbial ecosystems around the world. To address this gap in knowledge, we created a global metagenomic and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) atlas of urban mass transit syste...
Presentation
MetaSUB was founded in 2015 as a global, transparent, and integrated metagenomics initiative, bringing together scientists, bioinformaticians, medical practitioners, industrial partners, government officials and artists. MetaSUB collaborative efforts aim to inform work in city planning, urban design, transit systems, public health, ecological studi...
Article
Full-text available
Human health risks associated with exposure to algal and cyanobacterial toxins (phycotoxins) have been largely concerned with aquatic habitats. People inhabiting desert environments may be exposed to phycotoxins present in terrestrial environments, where cyanobacterial crusts dominate. Seafood comprises a significant portion of the human diet in de...
Research
Full-text available
The State of Qatar has chosen to pursue the path of sustainable development, making it the focus of the Qatar National Development Strategy. Given the large scale industrialization and the limited land availability, the urban environment will be crucial in maintaining native species. Current landscaping practices in Qatar are heavily reliant on int...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Over the past 22 years, annual mean temperatures have increased by 1°C in Qatar and even greater increases are projected in the future. Since lizards depend on thermoregulation to survive, how do such rises in air temperature affect the Eastern sandfish Scincus mitranus in Qatar? S. mitranus exclusively inhabit Barchan dunes, which are restricted t...
Working Paper
Full-text available
Development in Qatar is taking place at an unprecedented rate and such activities are putting the environment at risk, and threatening the ecosystem and biodiversity of the country. According to the Qatar National Vision 2030, the country seeks to preserve and protect its unique environment. The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) is tra...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Qatar National Development Framework 2032 outlines the need for enforcing a green belt around the city of Doha to limit urban sprawl and to create a transition zone from the urban to the natural desert environment. Green spaces have been shown to positively affect physical and mental human health mainly by creating opportunities for active livi...
Conference Paper
Historically, urban ecology has been regarded as a mere extension of human ecology in the urban setting, and has been exercised as a science of parts. For example, urbanization has been studied in isolation of its effects on ecosystem services, richness of biodiversity and climate change. In recent years, concepts of sustainability have been infuse...
Conference Paper
Historically, urban ecology has been regarded as a mere extension of human ecology in the urban setting, and has been exercised as a science of parts. For example, urbanization has been studied in isolation of its effects on ecosystem services, richness of biodiversity and climate change. In recent years, concepts of sustainability have been infuse...
Article
Full-text available
This study represents the first characterization of sand microbiota in migrating barchan sand dunes. Bacterial communities were studied through direct counts and cultivation, as well as 16S rRNA gene and metagenomic sequence analysis to gain an understanding of microbial abundance, diversity, and potential metabolic capabilities. Direct on-grain ce...
Article
Full-text available
The Metagenomics and Metadesign of the Subways and Urban Biomes (MetaSUB) International Consortium is a novel, interdisciplinary initiative comprised of experts across many fields, including genomics, data analysis, engineering, public health, and architecture. The ultimate goal of the MetaSUB Consortium is to improve city utilization and planning...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The disappearing Barchan dunes are the sole habitat to the eastern sandfish S cincus mitranus in Qatar. We hypothesiz ed that each dune represents its own self-contained ecosystem, acting as an island habitat to the S. mitranus. For the first time in Qatar, a total of 108 sandfish were captured and tagged from 5 terrestrial and 3 coastal Barchan du...
Article
Full-text available
SINCE the 19th century, fatal poisonings of domestic livestock, pets and wild animals have been attributed to cyanobacterial toxins through exposure to aquatic media (eg, lakes and reservoirs). However, cyanotoxin poisonings in terrestrial environments are an unknown. From November 2013 to March 2014, four dogs were taken to veterinarians in Doha,...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews current knowledge on cyanobacteria, the dominant primary producers, and other microorganisms in arid desert environments. These microorganisms have developed an array of adaptations to hot, arid climates with intense UV radiation, extreme diurnal temperature fluctuations, and high soil salinity. Crust microorganisms positively...
Article
Full-text available
A mesophilic, aerobic, facultatively chemolithoautotrophic bacterium, designated strain EPR70(T), was isolated from hydrothermal fluids from diffuse-flow vents on the East Pacific Rise at degrees 50' N 10 degrees 17' W. Cells were Gram-negative rods, approximately 0.8-1.0 microm long and 0.3-0.5 microm wide. Strain EPR70(T) grew at 20-40 degrees C...
Article
Full-text available
In April 1991, submarine volcanic eruptions initiated the formation of numerous hydrothermal vents between 9°45′ and 9°52′N along the crest of the East Pacific Rise (EPR). Dramatic changes in biological community structure and vent fluid chemistry have been documented throughout this region since the eruptive event. By April 2004, mussels (Bathymod...
Article
The response of deep-sea vent microorganisms to mercury (Hg) was investigated through measurements of total Hg (THg) concentrations in hydrothermal fluids from diffuse and focused flow vents on the East Pacific Rise at 9 degrees N and the estimations of the proportion of Hg-resistant chemosynthetic thiosulfate-oxidizing microbes in a representative...
Article
Full-text available
Mercury rich geothermal springs are likely environments where mercury resistance is critical to microbial life and where microbe-mercury interactions may have evolved. Eleven facultative thermophilic and chemolithoautotrophic, thiosulfate oxidizing bacteria were isolated from thiosulfate enrichments of biofilms from mercury rich hot sulfidic spring...
Thesis
Rutgers University and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Graduate Program in Microbiology and Moecular Genetics." Thesis (M.S.)--Rutgers University, 2005. Includes abstract. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 68-72).
Article
Rutgers University and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Graduate Program in Microbiology and Moecular Genetics." Thesis (M.S.)--Rutgers University, 2005. Includes abstract. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 68-72).

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