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Research Group

 

Dr. Despo Fatta-Kassinos, Director of the Laboratory

Dr. Despo Fatta-Kassinos is an Associate Professor of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Director of Nireas-International Water Research Center (Nireas-IWRC) at the University of Cyprus (UCY). Since 2011, she directs and coordinates all the scientific and administrative activities of Nireas-IWRC, which is the first Water Research Centre in Cyprus, and is very active in the research area of water and wastewater treatment, management and reuse.

In 2012, she received the distinguished national research award 'Nikos Symeonides' by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation for her work on wastewater treatment and xenobiotics and in 2017 she received an honorary award for her long-standing contribution and activity in the research area of Environmental Protection, awarded by the Hellenic Open University.

She is the Editor of the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, Elsevier and the leader of the Working Group 5 'Wastewater reuse' of NORMAN Association. She is the Chair of the COST Action ES1403 'New and emerging challenges and opportunities in wastewater reuse (NEREUS)' (2014-2018), the Coordinator of the ANSWER project 'Antibiotics and mobile resistance elements in wastewater reuse applications: risks and innovative solutions' (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015/675530) (with budget: 3.7 M€), and the Chair of the Scientific and Technological Advisory Board of the European Joint Programming Initiative 'Water Challenges for a Changing World'.

She has over 137 peer-reviewed scientific publications in SCI journals, 170 conference papers, various chapters in book series and she has co-edited one book on the “Xenobiotics in the Urban Water Cycle” by Springer (which is one of the very first and most popular books in the field), while two others books entitled “Wastewater Reuse and Current Challenges” and “Advanced Treatment Technologies for Urban Wastewater Reuse” in “The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry Series” have been published by Springer. Also, she has participated in more than 70 research projects (European and national research projects of Greece and Cyprus).

She serves on numerous scientific evaluation panels (e.g. National Research Funding Agencies from Europe, Middle East, Asia, Canada, USA, the European Science Foundation, the European Commission).

Dr. Despo Fatta-Kassinos research activities focus on: (i) the development and application of advanced chromatographic methods for the identification of microcontaminants and of their transformation products (TPs) in environmental matrices, (ii) the assessment of their potential biological potency through the application of bioassays (e.g. toxicity, mutagenicity, and estrogenicity), (iii) the design and evaluation of advanced treatment technologies for the removal of microcontaminants including antibiotic-resistant bacteria and resistance genes (ARB&ARGs) from urban wastewater, and (iv) the assessment of their potential to be taken up by crops through agricultural reuse.

E-mail:dfatta@ucy.ac.cy

   
SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATES  
   

Costas Michael

Dr. Costas Michael graduated in chemistry (1969) and got his PhD in chemistry (1974) from the Athens University, Greece. He has been Lecturer and then Assistant Professor at the department of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, Athens University (1970-1978). He worked for 29 years at the multidisciplinary State General Laboratory in Cyprus from which he left as its Director. He has long experience in the separation, identification and quantitation of organics and inorganics at trace levels, particularly in the domain of the environment, with state-of-art instrumentation. He is now a scientific associate at GAIA Lab. As a special scientist he is teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cyprus.

His research interests fall within the area of environmental measurements and assessment with focus on the wastewater quality and treatment and the removal of xenobiotics from waters and wastewaters through advanced oxidation processes. He published over 30 papers in peer review journals and in proceedings of national and international refereed conferences. He has participated in many National and EU funded projects.

E-mail: tsimicha@spidernet.com.cy

 
ASSOCIATE RESEARCHERS
 
 

Irene Michael-Kordatou

Dr. Irene Michael-Kordatou is a Chemical Engineer graduated from the School of Chemical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens in July 2008. She has received her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Cyprus in May 2012 and since then, she has been a Senior researcher at the Nireas-IWRC of the University of Cyprus.


Her core research area focuses on the assessment of the fate and behaviour of various contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) after their release in the environment through urban wastewater reuse practices and the determination of their potential biological potency. One basic pillar of her research is the study of the degradation of various CECs (with particular interest on pharmaceutical compounds) frequently detected in urban wastewater effluents through the application of various advanced oxidation processes (e.g. light-driven oxidation, ozonation, etc.). She has participated as a guest researcher at the Plataforma Solar de Almería funded by the European Commission (SFERA project), wherein she acquired extensive experience in the design, development and operation of solar-driven pilot plants for the removal of various CECs and dissolved effluent organic matter present in urban wastewater effluents. She is also studying the effects of advanced treatment processes on the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and resistance genes in wastewater.

She has participated (or she is currently involved) in a number of collaborative water-related research projects (more than 20) funded by the EU. She is the Scientific Manager of the ANSWER project (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015/675530). She is participating in the COST Action ES1403 "New and emerging challenges and opportunities in wastewater reuse (NEREUS)", in which she is a Management Committee Substitute and the Grand Holder Administrator. She has (co)authored more than 20 refereed journal papers in high-impact international scientific journals and 8 book chapters, and she presented her work in a number of scientific conferences.

Email: imicha04@ucy.ac.cy

 

Lida Ioannou-Ttofa

Dr. Lida Ioannou-Ttofa received her first degree from the Department of Chemical Engineers, of the Technical University of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2008. She also completed her master course at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Cyprus as a full-time student in December 2009, and her phD from the same university in November 2013 (pHD in Environmental Engineering). She has been a Senior researcher at the Nireas International Water Research Center of the University of Cyprus since November 2013.


Her research focuses on biological processes, advanced chemical oxidation processes and membrane separation processes, as well as their combination for the treatment of agro-industrial wastewater (i.e. winery and olive mill wastewater) and for the removal of contaminants of emerging concern from urban wastewater effluents; and on the Life Cycle Assessment of these technologies.

She has participated (or she is currently involved) in a number of collaborative water-related research projects (more than 12) funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, the European Regional Development Fund, and the EU. She has participated in a number of scientific conferences and has already published 11 refereed journal papers in high-impact international scientific journals (while more are in preparation) and she has co-authored two book chapters. She is the Dissemination & Outreach Manager of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network project ANSWER (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015/675530) (total budget: 3.7 M€) and she is also participating in the the COST Action ES1403 "New and emerging challenges and opportunities in wastewater reuse (NEREUS)".

Email :ioannou.lida@ucy.ac.cy

 

Evroula Hapeshi

Dr. Evroula Hapeshi has been an associate researcher at NIREAS-International Water Research Center since January 2011 and a post-doctoral fellow at GAIA-Laboratory of Environmental Engineering of the University of Cyprus since January 2008. She received a BSc in Chemistry with direction of Physical analytical Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a PhD in Chemistry, from the Department of Chemistry of the University of Cyprus.

Her current research interests focus on the development/application of advanced analytical methods based on UPLC tandem MS/MS and UPLC hybrid MS (QqTOF) capable for the multi-residue target analysis of emerging contaminants in different aqueous matrices including groundwater and urban wastewater and for the identification of unknown bio(photo)degradation products of selected xenobiotics, including elucidation of degradation pathways. Special attention has been directed on the determination of licit and illicit drugs and their transformation products in urban wastewater. In addition, her research is directed on the development and the application of biological and Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs), which are efficient novel methods for the degradation of xenobiotics in different aqueous matrices.

As associated researcher and post-doc fellow at NIREAS-International Water Research Center and GAIA-Laboratory of Environmental Engineering of the University of Cyprus has actively participated in several scientific projects that are funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation or co-funded by the Republic of Cyprus and the European Regional Development Fund. She has authored or co-authored 25 refereed journal papers, 30 papers in refereed conference proceedings and 2 book chapters.

Email:hapeshi.evroula@ucy.ac.cy

 
Ph.D. CANDIDATES
   

Popi Karaolia

Popi Karaolia received her degree in Biology from the University of Nottingham, UK in 2006. She also completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Management at the University of Nottingham in 2007 and a Masters in Environmental Health at the Cyprus University of Technology in association with Harvard University in 2011.

She has previously worked as a laboratory technician in the private sector and has gained work experience as a trainee in DG Health and Consumers in the European Commission.
Since January 2010 she is a full-time Ph.D. candidate and her research focuses on xenobiotics and wastewater.

Email: pkarao01@ucy.ac.cy

Stella Michael

Stella Michael holds a 5-year Diploma in Environmental Engineering (BSc & MSc equivalent) from Technical University of Crete. Over the past years, Ms. Michael has worked as an Environmental Engineer in the consultancy sector and has been involved in a number of projects in the fields of Environmental Policy, Water & Flood Management, Waste & Pollution Management, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA & SEA) and Renewable Energy Sources. Since January 2015, she is a full-time Ph.D. candidate and her research focuses on the removal of contaminants of emerging concern from wastewater by advanced treatment processes.

Email: smicha17@ucy.ac.cy

Iakovos Iakovides

Iakovos C. Iakovides is a Chemical Engineer with a B.Sc. from the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Patras (2012). He obtained his M.Sc. in October, 2015 in ‘Energy and Environment’ from the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Patras with a grade 9.05 out of 10.

His M.Sc. thesis focused on the use of physicochemical methods for the treatment of agricultural and industrial by-products that was carried out at the Laboratory of Transport Phenomena and Physicochemical Hydrodynamics (TPPH) of the University of Patras. During his postgraduate studies, he got involved in several scientific projects funded by the General Secretariat of Research and Technology of the Ministry of Development in Greece and Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (FORTH/ICE-HT). His research interests lie in the field of investigation, analysis and optimisation of wastewater treatment processes for the efficient removal of pollutants, and the recovery of resources in the form of nutrients and energy, that could help provide environmental solutions to pressing environmental issues.

Currently he is a full-time Ph.D. candidate and a Marie Curie “ANSWER” Early Stage Researcher. His research focuses on the removal of contaminants of emerging concern from urban wastewater through the use of a membrane bioreactor (MBR) followed by light-driven oxidation.

Email: iakovidis.iakovos@ucy.ac.cy

Vasiliki Beretsou

Vasiliki Beretsou is a Chemist with a B.Sc. degree from the Department of Chemistry of the University of Athens (Greece) (2013). During her B.Sc. studies, she had a four-month internship at the Pesticide Residues Laboratory of General Chemical State Laboratory (Greece).

She received her M.Sc. in October of 2015 with specialization in “Analytical Chemistry” from the same university and she conducted her master thesis under the supervision of Dr. Nikolaos Thomaidis. Her research interests are focused on the occurrence and fate of contaminants of emerging concern in engineered and natural environments, with emphasis on the identification of transformation products of pharmaceuticals by applying state-of-the-art analytical techniques (LC-QTOFMS), and suspect and non-target screening approaches.

Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cyprus and an Early Stage Researcher of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN “ANSWER”. Her research focuses on the investigation of the potential of transformation products of antibiotics formed during advanced wastewater treatment to induce biological adverse effects and antibiotic resistance.

Email: beretsou.vasiliki@ucy.ac.cy

   
MSc STUDENTS

Rafail Papamarkou

Rafail Papamarkou is a graduate of the Department of Environmental Science and Technology of the Cyprus University of Technology, in May 2016. His dissertation, graded with 10/10, was about Environmental Biotechnology focusing on the "Production of exopolysaccharides (EPS) with high emulsifying capacity by the newly isolated Halomonas Salina RPA5 from Akrotiri salt lake in Limassol". He became a Lead Auditor of ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management System (EMS), TUV AUSTRIA CYPRUS ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 – Occupational Health and Safety Management (OHS), TUV AUSTRIA CYPRUS in July 2016.

He is currently attending a Master of Science course in Environmental Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at the University of Cyprus, as a full-time student. His thesis is titled "Monitoring of the antibiotic resistant bacteria and of selected viruses in urban wastewater".

Email:rpapam02@ucy.ac.cy

Maria Dionysiou

Maria Dionysiou is a graduate of the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Patras, since June 2015. Her research project was the separation and recovery of phenolic compounds and hydrocarbons from cocoa extracts. The target of the above project was the isolation of phenolic compounds from cocoa extracts for further utilization for pharmaceutical purposes and uses, due to its antioxidant capabilities and actions. For the isolation, three basic physiochemical methods were studied and used: extraction, filtration using membranes and absorption/desorption in resins.

She is currently attending a Master of Science course in Environmental Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at the University of Cyprus, as a full-time student. Her independent study focused on the research of “Biochar as a means of reduction of crop uptake during treated wastewater irrigation”. Her M.Sc. thesis is titled "Determination and quantification of illicit drugs in urban wastewater in Cyprus".

Email:mdiony01@ucy.ac.cy


MEng STUDENTS
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Eleftheria Nicolaou


Eleftheria Nicolaou is a graduate of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Cyprus, since May 2015. She is currently attending a Master of Science course in Environmental Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, at the University of Cyprus, as a full time student. Her independent study focuses on the research of “Antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes removal by conventional wastewater treatment plants”.

Email: nicolaou.eleftheria@ucy.ac.cy

 
GRADUATED Ph.D. STUDENTS
 
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Lida Ioannou

Thesis title: Advanced systems for the enhancement of the environmental performance of wineries - wastewater purification combining biological, advanced chemical and reverse osmosis treatment, November 2013

 

Μarlen Ines Vasquez Hadjilyra

Thesis title: Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Aqueous Matrices: An Integrated Approach for Assessing Effects, December 2012


 

Irene Michael

Thesis title: Investigating the solar-driven advanced chemical oxidation of ofloxacin and trimethoprim in sewage and other aqueous matrices, May 2012

 


 

Antigoni Achilleos
Thesis title: Application of advanced oxidation methods for the removal of selected pharmaceutical active compounds from urban wastewaters, May 2011

 
GRADUATED M.Sc. STUDENTS
   

Morpho Kodjiamani

Thesis title: Removal of humic and fulvic acids during the application of light-driven oxidation processes, May 2016

Andreas Parpounas

Thesis title: Development of an analytical method for the assessment of the presence of veterinary antibiotics in environmental matrices, December 2015

Rafaella Andreou

Thesis title: Αbatement of parabens in secondary treated wastewater by ozonation and UV-C light-activated persulfate oxidation, May 2015

Maria Tarapoulouzi

Thesis title: Advanced bioassays for evaluating the effects of pharmaceuticals to organisms and humans, December 2014

Angeliki Panayi

Thesis title: Purification of olive mill wastewater by coagulation and solar Fenton oxidation at a pilot-scale, December 2014

Constastia Anastasiadou

Thesis title: Optimizing the solar photocatalytic treatment of parabens in municipal wastewater effluents: Evaluation of operational and kinetic parameters, May 2014

Petros Koutsoftas

Thesis title: Removal of X-Ray Contrast Media by Μoving Βed Βiofilm Reactor, December 2013

Constantinos Yiannapas

Thesis title: Optimising olive oil wastewater treatment by coagulation-flocculation and solar Fenton oxidation, September 2013

Elena Eliadou

Thesis title: Heavy metals uptake by soil and crops in areas of intense wastewater reuse irrigation, May 2013

 

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Julie Fotiou

Thesis title: Sonolysis and sonophotocatalysis for the treatment of wastewater laden with pharmaceutical compounds, May 2013

 

Lida Ioannou
Thesis title: Solar photocatalysis for the removal of sulfamethoxazole and amoxicillin from sewage, December 2009

Aleka Papaioannou
Thesis title: Solar photocatalysis for the removal of sulfamethoxazole and amoxicillin from sewage, May 2009

   

Chariklia Mavronikola
Thesis title: Removal of amoxicillin from aqueous solutions through the application of homogeneous photocatalytic process and investigation of the possible use of solar light as a photon flux source, June 2008

   

Maria Constantinou
Thesis title: Chemical degradation of recalcitrant and toxic herbicides and insecticides in aqueous solutions, June 2008

   

Nektaria Varnava
Thesis title: Homogeneous Catalytic Chemical Oxidation of Atrazine and Fenitrothion in Aqueous Solutions by Dark Fenton and Photo Fenton Reactions, June 2008

   

Costas Voskos
Thesis title: Assessment of the environmental impacts caused by the operation of livestock units in a selected area in Cyprus, June 2008

   
GRADUATED M.Eng. STUDENTS

A. Evagorou

Thesis title: Microplastics in the marine environment: major sources and already identified effects, May 2018

S. Hadjiprokopiou

Thesis title: Guidelines on the minimization of the environmental impacts caused by the operation of Environmental Science and Technology Laboratories, May 2017

A. Theophanous

Thesis title: Water and wastewater management - A glossary, May 2017

P. Photiou

Thesis title: Insights into Solid Phase Extraction methods for optimum recovery of pharmaceutical compounds from complex environmental matrices, December 2016

P. Panayiotou

Thesis title: Adsorption behavior of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in soils, May 2015

M. Iakovou

Thesis title: Removal of clarythromycin from sewage and investigation of the parameters affecting the formation of bromate ions during ozonation, May 2015

P. Kitrou

Thesis title: Occurrence and fate of antibiotics in the terrestrial environment, December 2014

M. Parpi

Thesis title: An environmental and socioeconomic approach of olive mill wastewater management - Current status in some Mediterranean countries, December 2014

S. Christodoulou

Thesis title: A comparative study of the effects of chloride, sulfate and carbonate ions on the rates of decomposition of ethyl paraben by solar photo-Fenton, December 2014

E. Constantinou

Thesis title: Exploring the biological potency of wastewater matrices, July 2014

M. Michael

Thesis title: Development of public communication material using as examples winery wastewater management and the assessment of effects of pharmaceutical residues in the environment, May 2013

V. Sophokleous

Thesis title: Evaluation of the potential biological effects of mixtures of pharmaceuticals in aqueous matrices, April 2011.

D. Karalagas

Thesis title: Systems and methods for the treatment of olive oil wastewaters, April 2011.

G. Michaelides
Thesis title: Environmental Management Systems in wineries, Μay 2010

I. Elia
Thesis title: Wineries: Current situation, environmental impacts and environmental success stories, Μay 2010

E. Efthimiou
Thesis title: Occurence, fate and effects of antibiotics in the environment, May 2010

P. Kakouri
Thesis title: Occurence, fate and effects of pharmaceuticals in hospital wastewater, May 2010

E. Kassinidis
Thesis title: Evaluation of the impact caused by the presence of active pharmaceutical ingredients in environmental waters and wastewaters, Μay 2010

S. Panayiotou
Thesis title: Parameters affecting the cost and the efficiency of waste management schemes in islands. Particularities of island states and their comparison with mainland countries with islands, Μay 2009

 
LABORATORY TECHNICIAN