Reyes Sierra
(520) 626-2896

Research Area
•    Anaerobic waste(water) treatment & biological nutrient removal
•    Soil/groundwater bioremediation: bioremediation of nitroaromatic explosives and heavy metals
•    Microbial transformation of hazardous metal and metalloids
•    Fate and removal of engineered nanomaterials; nanotoxicity
•    Environmentally technology for semiconductor manufacturing

Curriculum Vitae

Educational Qualifications
•    B.S., Chemistry, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain, 1984
•    M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain, 1985
•    Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 1990

The focus of our research is on the investigation and development of processes relying on microorganisms for the treatment of hazardous contaminants. Ongoing research projects include the following:
•    Bioremediation of nitro-aromatic explosives
•    Innovative processes for the biological removal of nitrogen in wastewater (Anammox)
•    Bioremediation of metals and metalloids in mine-impacted water
•    Toxicity and environmental fate of engineered nanomaterials
•    Methods for the removal of engineered nanopartiples in semiconductor effluents
•    Fate of electronic waste in municipal waste landfills

•    College of Engineering Research Faculty Fellow (2011-2013)
•    Fulbright Senior Specialist, October 2008.
•    NSF Advance Fellows Award. 2002-2005.
•    2002 Editor’s Award, ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering.
•    2001 Lettinga Award (Co-recipient)

Selected Publications
Puyol D, JM Carvajal-Arroyo, B La Pena, R Sierra-Alvarez, JA Field. 2013. Kinetic characterization of Brocadia spp.-dominated anammox cultures. Bioresource Technol. (In press).

Rottman J, L. Platt, R. Sierra-Alvarez, F. Shadman. 2013. Removal of TiO2 nanoparticles by porous media: effect of filtration media and water chemistry. Chem. Eng. J. 217(1):212-220.

Olivares C, J Liang, L Abrell, R Sierra-Alvarez, JA Field. 2013. Pathways of reductive 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN) biotransformation in sludge. Biotechnol. Bioeng. (In press).

Sun W, A Luna-Velasco, R Sierra-Alvarez, JA Field. 2013. Assessing protein oxidation by inorganic nanoparticles with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Biotechnol. Bioeng. 110:694-701.

Carvajal-Arroyo JM, W Sun, R Sierra-Alvarez, JA Field. 2012. Inhibition of anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (Anammox) enrichment cultures by substrates, metabolites and wastewater constituents. Chemosphere 91:22-27.

Gómez-Rivera, F., J. A. Field, D. Brown, R. Sierra-Alvarez. 2012. Fate of cerium dioxide (CeO2) nanoparticles in municipal wastewater during activated sludge treatment. Bioresource Technol. 108:300-304.

Otero-Gonzalez L, R. Sierra-Alvarez, SA Boitano, JA Field. 2012. Application and validation of an impedance based real time cell analyzer to measure the toxicity of nanoparticles impacting 16HBE14o- lung epithelial cells. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46:10271–10278.

Rodriguez-Freire L, W Sun, R Sierra-Alvarez, JA Field. 2012. Flexible bacterial strains that oxidize arsenite in anoxic or aerobic conditions and utilize hydrogen or acetate as alternative electron donors. Biodegradation 23:133-143.

Tapia-Rodriguez A, A Luna-Velasco, R Sierra-Alvarez, JA Field. 2012. Toxicity of uranium to microbial communities in anaerobic biofilms. Water Air & Soil Pollution. 223 3859-3868.

Ochoa-Herrera V, G León, Q Banihani, JA Field, R Sierra-Alvarez. 2011. Toxicity of copper(II) ions to microorganisms in biological wastewater treatment systems. Sci. Total Environ. 412–413:380-385.

Tapia-Rodriguez A, V Tordable-Martinez, W Sun, JA Field, R Sierra-Alvarez. 2011. Uranium bioremediation in continuously fed upflow sand columns inoculated with anaerobic granules. Biotechnol. Bioeng.. 108:2583-2591.

Sun W, R Sierra-Alvarez, JA Field. 2010. The role of denitrification on arsenite oxidation and arsenic mobility in an anoxic sediment column model with activated alumina. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 107:786-794.

Tapia-Rodriguez A, A Luna-Velasco, JA Field, R Sierra-Alvarez. 2010. Anaerobic bioremediation of hexavalent uranium in groundwater by reductive precipitation with methanogenic granular sludge. Water Res. 44:2153-2162.

Sun W, R. Sierra-Alvarez, N Fernandez N, JL Sanz, R Amils, A Legatzki, R Maier, JA Field. 2009. Molecular characterization and in situ quantification of anoxic arsenite oxidizing denitrifying enrichment cultures. FEMS Microb. Ecol. 68:72-85.

Ochoa-Herrera V, R Sierra-Alvarez, A Somogyi, NE Jacobsen, VH Wysocki, JA Field. 2008. Reductive defluorination of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS). Environ. Sci. Technol. 42(9):3260-3264.

Ochoa-Herrera V, R. Sierra-Alvarez. 2008. Removal of perfluorinated surfactants by sorption onto granular activated carbon, zeolite and sludge. Chemosphere. 72:1588–1593.

Freeman SA, R Sierra-Alvarez, M Altinbas, J Hollingsworth, H Smidt, AJM Stams. 2008. Molecular characterization of mesophilic and thermophilic sulfate reducing microbial communities in expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactors. Biodegradation. 19(2):161-177.


University of Arizona College of Engineering