Dr Dânia Elisa C. MAZZEO MORALES (Brazil)

Dânia’s academic work focuses on the investigation of the bioremediation potential to detoxify sludge from Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants (WTP and WWTP). She aims to discover ways to decontaminate sewage sludge and sludge from water treatment plants, providing more sustainable and safe reuse for these wastes, especially for agricultural purposes.

PhD in Biological Sciences

Current position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Brazil

Research focus: low cost and environmentally friendly technologies for detoxifying sewage sludge and sludge from water treatment plant

The Green Talents award provided an attractive platform and helped her to make valuable contacts with professionals, such as environmental managers and agriculturalists who could benefit from her work. The award represented an exciting experience, which was followed by São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), two of the most important research agencies in Brazil, funding her postdoctoral projects.

2015-2018 Postdoctoral Fellowship São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
2014            Award in Research and Technological Innovation, Semifinalist, National Water Agency, Brazil
2010-2013 PhD Fellowship São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
2007            Academic Merit Award Best Performance - Bachelor of Biological Sciences (UNESP)

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2013):

Institute of Bioscience, University Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Brazil

Research focus: bioattenuation to decrease the toxicity of urban sewage sludge to transform it into a safe material to be used in agriculture

Combining bioscience and environmental sciences, Dânia Elisa Christofoletti Mazzeo is finding new ways to reuse waste from wastewater treatment plants. With her research, she aims to discover ways to decontaminate sewage sludge, and then put it to use in various areas, especially in agriculture.

Dânia Elisa Christofoletti Mazzeo has managed to combine two prominent fields: environment and bioscience. During her studies, she received various scholarships from impressive institutions and is currently finishing her PhD research in a promising area.

Wishing to become not only an expert on environmental questions, but also to apply her research for the good of humanity, Mazzeo focuses her research on one of the most valuable resources on earth: water. As the world’s population increases, so does the wastewater – going down the drain. However, thanks to the research conducted by Mazzeo, sewage sludge can be reused in agriculture, disburdening the clean water sources.

In particular, her research aims for sewage sludge to be used as fertilizer in agricultural areas or as a conditioner of physical, chemical and biological proprieties for soil. Sewage sludge serves her purposes the most, thanks to its high concentration of organic matter and some micronutrients. Mazzeo emphasises the sustainability of her project when claiming: “The use of sewage sludge in agricultural activities can be considered as a more adequate solution for this waste, for both economic and environmental aspects.”