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Dr. Amy Pruden

FACULTY AFFILIATE   |   Global Change Center

Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Pruden is a University Distinguished Professor and the W. Thomas Rice Professor in the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where her research program seeks to advance water engineering and agricultural practices through deeper understanding of the microbial communities inhabiting these systems.  Her team applies a combination of next-generation DNA sequencing and bioinformatic tools to track targets of interest, including opportunistic pathogens, antibiotic resistance genes, and various functional groups of bacteria.

Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 2008, Pruden was a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. Pruden earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. This interdisciplinary training makes Environmental Engineering Microbiology a natural fit for her. Pruden’s research interests are broad and interdisciplinary, including: antibiotic resistance genes as environmental contaminants; bioremediation of environmental pollution; environmental impacts of nanotechnology; and microbial ecology of drinking water systems.

Pruden is also the Director of the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) in Combating Antimicrobial Resistance. This NRT brings together PhD students across disciplines to help develop science-based policy to combat the spread of antimicrobial resistance as a pressing societal challenge.