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Research Group

 

Dr. Despo Fatta-Kassinos, Director of the Laboratory

Dr. Despo Fatta-Kassinos has been responsible for the establishment and operation of GAIA since 2003. Prior to this appointment, she worked as a researcher at the National Technical University of Athens, School of Chemical Engineering. Prior to this appointment, she worked as a researcher at the National Technical University of Athens, School of Chemical Engineering.

From 2000 until 2004 she was also an inner circle expert of the European Topic Center of Waste and Material Flows of the European Environment Agency. She received her first degree from the National Technical University of Athens in 1993, (Diploma in Chemical Engineering), her MSc in Environmental Management from the European Association for Environmental Management and Education in 1995, (University of Athens, JRC Ispra), and her PhD from the National Technical University of Athens in 1999, (PhD in Chemical Engineering).

Her principal research interests are in the field of wastewater treatment systems, solid waste management, environmental pollution monitoring and environmental risk assessment. She has authored or co-authored over 60 refereed journal papers, over 80 papers in refereed conference proceedings. She has participated in more than 50 projects funded by the European Commission or by national governmental and other bodies. Her teaching experience extends to both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

RESEARCH INTERESTS
Environmental pollution monitoring techniques (e.g water quality, xenobiotics in wastewater), wastewater treatment (e.g. anaerobic digestion, chemical oxidation), solid waste management, environmental hazard analysis and risk assessment, implementation of the integrated pollution prevention and control principles in the industrial sector, life cycle analysis of products and processes.

   
SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATES  
   

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
 

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

 

Irene Michael

Dr. Irene Michael graduated from the School of Chemical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens in July 2008 with excellent grade (9.06 out of 10). She has been an associate researcher at Nireas-International Water Research Center and a post-doctoral fellow at GAIA-Laboratory of Environmental Engineering of the University of Cyprus since May 2012.

Her research focuses mainly on the homogeneous and heterogeneous photocatalytic degradation of contaminants of emerging concern (i.e. antibiotics) in secondary treated domestic effluents. In addition, she participates in the design, development and operation of solar-driven pilot plants (i.e. concentrating parabolic collectors) for the removal of the dissolved organic matter and micropollutants present in wastewater effluents. Also, her research focuses on the assessment of the potential toxicity of various microcontaminants and their transformation products formed during the various stages of the chemical oxidation. She also investigates the efficiency of various treatment technologies (individual and combined) in removing antibiotic resistant bacteria.

She has participated in scientific projects that are funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and the “Nireas” International Water Research Center co-funded by the Republic of Cyprus and the European Regional Development Fund. She has also participated as a guest researcher at the Plataforma Solar de Almería under SFERA project funded by the European Commission. Moreover, she is participating in the research program ''Detecting evolutionary hot spots of antibiotic resistances in Europe (DARE)''. He has collaborated with several laboratories including the CSIC (Spanish Council of Scientific Research) and the Escola Superior de Biotecnologia (Universidade Católica Portuguesa). She has participated in a number of conferences and published her work in international high impact scientific journals. In addition, she has authored three book chapters.

Email: imicha04@ucy.ac.cy

 

Lida Ioannou

Dr. Lida Ioannou 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 an associate researcher at NIREAS-International Water Research Center and a post-doctoral fellow at GAIA-Laboratory of Environmental Engineering of the University of Cyprus since November 2013.

Her research focuses on advanced oxidation processes (homogeneous solar photo-Fenton and heterogeneous photocatalysis (titanium dioxide)), which are a family of processes that are based primarily (but not exclusively) on the intermediacy of hydroxyl radicals in the mechanisms leading to the destruction of target contaminants (including organics, inorganics, metals and pathogens) and on membrane separation processes (reverse osmosis). More specifically, her research focuses on the removal of the organic load (COD, DOC, BOD, color, and total phenolic compounds) in winery wastewater that were previously treated biologically, by a sequential batch reactor (SBR) and a membrane bioreactor (MBR). In addition, she participate in the design, development and operation of a prototype photocatalytic reactor and a solar pilot plant for the degradation of organic compounds in biologically pretreated winery effluents.

She has been researcher on the LIFE-WineC project - “Advanced systems for the enhancement of the environmental performance of WINEries in Cyprus”, from 2010 until 2012. And she has also participated in scientific projects that are funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and the “NIREAS” International Water Research Center co-funded by the Republic of Cyprus and the European Regional Development Fund.

Email :ioannou.lida@ucy.ac.cy

 

Toumazis Toumazi

is a Special Scientist at NIREAS- IWRC, since February 2012.

He received his BSc in Geology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2008.

His previous work experience includes management of various projects funded by the European Commission and the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation. He has also worked in the private sector as a Geologist where he gained fieldwork experience regarding sampling and mapping, as well as, digital map creation with the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). His field of expertise includes monitoring of water quality, site location of landfills, noise measurements and modeling, environmental impact assessment studies with respect to photovoltaic parks, biomass utilization, wastewater reuse applications etc.

He is currently involved in a number of technical tasks in the field of water/wastewater treatment, agro-industrial wastewater treatment and valorization and industrial activities’ best practices, etc.

Email: toumazi.toumazis@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


MEng STUDENTS

Stephanie Hadjiprocopiou

Stephanie Hadjiprocopiou is a graduate of the Department of Environmental Science and Technologyof the Cyprus University of Technology. Since September 2015, she is attending a master course at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an Environmental Engineering full-time student. Her thesis is titled "Guidelines on the minimization of the environmental impacts caused by the operation of Environmental Science and Technology Laboratories".
email:

Email:shadji12@ucy.ac.cy

 

Marina Hadjicosta

Marina Hadjicosta is a graduate from the Department of Science and Environmental Technology of the Technological University of Cyprus. In September 2015, she started attending a master course at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a part-time student. Her master thesis is titled "Pharmaceutical compounds from the marine environment".

Email: hadjicosta.marina@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

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

 
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