Assist. Prof. Dr. Zöhre Kurt

Assist. Prof. Dr. Zöhre Kurt
(Erasmus Coordinator)
 
Interest Areas
Assessment of microbial processes
Establishing biodegradation pathways of contaminants
Environmental biochemistry, microbiology and genomics of environmentally relevant microbes
Computational approaches to determine microbial functions and microbial adaptation
Evaluation and improvement of natural attenuation, biotransformation, bioremediation and bioaugmentation
E-mail:  zkurt {at} metu.edu.tr
Phone: +90-312-210-5873  Fax: +90-312-210-2646 

Education

  • Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA (2012); Environmental Engineering
  • M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA (2011); Chemical and Biomolecular Eng.
  • M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA (2008); Environmental Engineering
  • B.S., Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey (2007); Chemical Engineering
  • B.S., Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey (2006); Environmental Engineering

Memberships

  • 2014-2015, Fulbright Georgia Chapter – Vice president
  • 2010-2012, Fulbright Georgia Chapter – Student Representative
  • 2009-Present, ASM Member 
  • 2014-Present, Advisor, 2009-2012 - President , 2007 - Vice-president of Georgia Tech Fulbright Association
  • 2009, Chair of Georgia Tech, AEES-Dialogue for Academic Excellence Committee 
  • 2009, Chair of Distinguished lecturer , AEES
  • 2008, Treasurer , 2007 Sept-2008 June - Secretary of Georgia Tech Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AEES)
  • 2001-2007, Middle East Technical University (METU) Music Societies
  • 2006, Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects - Chamber Of Environmental Engineers

Awards

  • October 2017, El Sistema Nacional de Investigación (SNI), SENACYT, Panama City, Panama
  • April 2013, AEES Outstanding PhD Candidate, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • March 2013, Remediation Technology (RemTEC) Summit Student Presentation Competition Winner  (1st place) Westminster, CO, USA
  • June 2012, American Society of Microbiology Student Travel Award
  • June 2012, Student Government Association Graduate Conference Funds, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • April 2012, Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists Poster Competition Winner Second Place, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • May 2009, Full sponsorship for attendance to INNOVATE conference, Vietnam and Taiwan. Sponsors: CIBER, Women in Engineering, Student Affairs, and the College of Engineering of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 2007-2009, Fulbright Scholarship, International Institute of Education , NY, USA
  • 2007-2009, Graduate Study Scholarship, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 2006-2007, TÜBİTAK Graduate Study Scholarship, Ankara ,Turkey
  • June  2006, Best Design Award: Middle East Technical University Department of Environmental Engineering, Wastewater Treatment Plant Design for Trabzon Municipality Slaughterhouse
  • 1999- 2001, Government Fellow Examination Award (Devlet Parasiz Yatili Okullari Sinavi)
  • 1992-1994, Private Bilim Primary School Tuition Free Education Scholarship, Ankara, Turkey

Employment History

Sep 2017- Present
Principal investigator for “Identification a strategy for cleaning the contaminated water in the District of Santa Isabel, Colón” supported by National Secretary of Science and Technology (SENACYT)
March 2017- Present
Researcher, Urban Risk Center, Florida State University, Panama
Aug 2016- Present
Adjunct faculty, Florida State University, Panama
April 2016- Present
Adjunct faculty, Institute of Scientific Research and High Technology Services (INDICASAT), Panama City, Panama
March 2016- Present
Visiting professor, Master’s program in Mechanical Engineering, Technological University of Panama, Panama City, Panama
Nov 2015- Present
Consultant, Agrofino, Panama City, Panama
Jun 2015- May 2016
Co-principal investigator for “Biodegradation of toxic chemicals as a basis of natural attenuation” supported by Dupont
Jan 2015- Present
Researcher, Georgia Institute of Technology, GA, USA
April 2014 
Judge, Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AEES) poster competition at the annual symposium, GA, USA
Feb 2013-Present
Reviewer, Water Quality, Exposure and Health
Feb - August 2013
Laboratory Manager, Georgia Institute of Technology, GA, USA
Jan 2013- Jan 2015
Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology, GA, USA
June 2009-Present
Adviser, Current Protocols Advisory Panel, NJ, USA
May 2008- Dec 2012
Graduate Assistant, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
May 2007- Present
Consulting Dupont Corporate Remediation Group
2006-2007
Teaching Assistant, Environmental Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
2006-2007
Assistant for laboratory accreditation, Environmental Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
June 2006
Intern,  ISTAS Cement, Ankara, Turkey
June 2005
Intern,  AK-TEL Engineering, Ankara, Turkey
June 2004
Intern,  Ankara Water Sewage Administration (ASKI), Ankara, Turkey

Teaching Experience

  • Summer 17, Instructor, CHM 1046L- General Chemistry 2 Laboratory, Florida State University
  • Summer 17, Instructor, CHM 1046- General Chemistry 2, Florida State University
  • Fall 2016-Present, Instructor, CHM 1020L- Chemistry For Liberal Studies Laboratory, Florida State University
  • Fall 2016-Present, Instructor, CHM 1020- Chemistry For Liberal Studies, Florida State University
  • Fall 2016, Instructor, Regression and Experimental Analysis,Technical University of Panama, Mechanical Engineering ABET accrediated master’s programm, Panama City- Panama
  • Spring 2016, Instructor, Instrumental Analysis,Technical University of Panama, Mechanical Engineering ABET accrediated master’s programm, Panama City- Panama
  • May 2015, Invited Lecturer, Advances in Bioremediation Technologies, 3th division of Environmental Protection Agency, Atlanta-GA, USA
  • May 2014, Apr 2013, Guest Lecturer, CEE 2300- Environmental Engineering Principles,  Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta-GA, USA
  • Nov 2013, Guest Lecturer, CEE 6351- Biotransformation, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta-GA, USA
  • Feb 2007 – Jun 2007, Teaching Assistant, ENVE 330-Principles of Environmental Engineering, Environmental Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Sep 2006 - Jan 2007, Teaching Assistant, ENVE 201-Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering Processes, Environmental Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Projects

Mar 2016 – Present
Control systems for cooperative inspections
Nov 2015 – Present
Effects of leonardite on agricultural applications
Jan 2014 – Nov 2016
Activity of mutase with chloronitrobenzenes
Jan 2014 – Aug 2015
Function and christal structure of 5NAA hydrolase
Jan 2013 – Nov 2015
Finding ways to improve soil quality for agriculture by biodegradation pathways of allophatic chemicals (m-tyrosine, resveratrol, p-terostilbene etc.) – supported by USDA
Jan 2013 – May 2015
Bioremediation of non-volatile contaminants in the vadose zone (aniline, diphenylamine) – supported by Dupont
May 2012 – Dec 2012
Fluidized bed reactor tratment of groundwater contaminated with 1,2-dichlorobenzene– supported by Dupont
May 2011 – Feb 2014
Bioremediation of volatile contaminants causing vapor intrusion (cis-dichloroethene, vinyl chloride, chlorobenzene, 1,2-dichlorobenzene, 1,4-dichlorobenzene) – supported by Dupont
Dec 2010 – Dec 2012
Biodegradation of 4-nitroaniline– supported by Airforce
Aug 2010 – Jan 2012
Field study landfarming of nitrobenzene, aniline and diphenylamine– supported by Dupont
May 2009 – Dec 2012
Biodegradation of chlorobenzene, 1,2-dichloroethene, 1,2 and 1,4 dichlorobenzene in the vadose zone– supported by Dupont
Sep 2008 – Dec 2009
Isotop fractination of 4-nitrophenol
May 2007 – Dec 2009
Biodegradation of chlorobenzene at the sediment/water interface– supported by Dupont
Jan 2007 – May 2008
Endophytic behavior of Burholderia capacia JS872 in wheat plants for DNT degradation
Sept 2007- Dec 2009
3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) biodegradation
Sept  2007 – Feb 2010
Pseudomonas pesudoalcaligenes JS45 Hydroxylaminobenzene Mutase B(HabB) purification    
Sept 2006– July 2007
Virus Removal of Vacuum Biomembrane Reactors in Treatment of Domestic Wastewaters, METU Department of Environmental Engineering, Ankara
Sept 2006-June 2007
Design of Acetone Recovery Plant
Sept 2005- June 2006
Design of Trabzon Slaughterhouse wastewater treatment plant

 


Publications

Articles Published

  • S. Karthikeyan, Z. Kurt, G. Pandey and J. C. Spain. Immobilized biocatalyst for detection and destruction of the insensitive explosive, 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN). Environmental Science and Technology. September 2016.
  • Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain. Biodegradation of Non-volatile Compounds in the Unsaturated Zone. Environmental Science and Technology. 2016, 50, (18), 10172-10178.
  • S. Kalyoncu, D. P. Heaner Jr., Z. Kurt, C. M. Bethel, C. U. Ukachukwu, S. Chakravarthy, J. C. Spain and R. L. Lieberman. Molecular adaptation of a metalloprotease for the hydrolysis of 5-nitroanthranilic acid. Nature Chemical Biology. October 2016.
  • J. Luo, Z. Kurt, D. Hou and J. C. Spain. Modeling Aerobic Biodegradation in Unsaturated Zone. Environmental Science and Technology. 2014, 49, (3), 1501-1510.
  • Z. Kurt, E. E. Mack and J. C. Spain. Natural Attenuation to Prevent Vapor Intrusion: Biodegradation of cis-Dichloroethene and Vinyl Chloride in the Unsaturated Zone. Environmental Science and Technology. Environmental Science & Technology2014, 48, (22), 13350-13357.
  • S. Oh, Z. Kurt, D. Tsementzi, M. R. Weigand, M. Kim, J. Hatt, M. Tandukar, S. G. Pavlostathis, J. C. Spain, and K. T. Konstantinidis. Microbial community degradation of widely used quaternary ammonium disinfectants. Applied Environmental Microbiology. 2014, 80, (19), 5892-5900.
  • Wijker, R., Z. Kurt, J. C. Spain, J. Bolotin, J. Zeyer, and T. Hofstetter. Isotope fractionation associated with the biodegradation of 2- and 4-nitrophenols via monooxygenation pathways. Environmental Science and Technology 47 (24): 14185-14193.
  • Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain. 2013. Biodegradation of Chlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichlorobenzene, and 1,4-Dichlorobenzene in the Vadose Zone. Environmental Science and Technology 47 (13): 6846-6854
  • Z. Kurt, K. H. Shin, and J. C. Spain. 2012. Biodegradation of Chlorobenzene and Nitrobenzene at the Oxic/Anoxic Interface between Sediment and Water. Environmental Science and Technology 46:11829-11835
  • Hofstetter, T. B., J. Bolotin, M. Skarpeli-Liati, R. Wijker, Z. Kurt, S. F. Nishino, and J. C. Spain. 2011. Tracking transformation processes of organic micropollutants in aquatic environments using multi-element isotope fractionation analysis. Applied Geochemistry 26:S334-S336.

Proceedings

  • Z. Kurt and C. A. Donado M. 2016. Solutions to agricultural contamination: Microbial processes. APANAC 16th Science and Technology Conference. Panama City, Panama.
  • Z. Kurt. 2016. Evaluating microbial processes as a mechanism to decontaminate toxic compounds. V Mechanical Engineering Internacional Congress. Panama City, Panama (invited talk).
  • Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain. 2016. Biodegradation pathways of plant produced chemicals. Second International Symposium of Bioinformatics, Biosciences and Bioengineering. Panama City, Panama.
  • L. Davila-Santiago, N. DeLeon-Rodriguez, K. Y. LaSanta-Pagan, Z. Kurt, E. Padilla-Crespo, J. Hatt, J. Spain, K.
  • Konstantinidis and A. Massol-Deya. 2016. Metagenomic Survey of a Military-Impacted Lagoon in Puerto Rico. Ocean Sciences Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA.
  • A. Bommarius, B. Bommarius, Z. Kurt and J. Spain. 2015. Amine syntheses to life science targets. European Symposium for Bioorganic Chemistry, Wales, UK.
  • Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain. 2015. Natural attenuation of the non-volatile compounds at the capillary fringe. Battelle Bioremediation Symposium, Miami, FL, USA (invited talk).
  • Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain. 2015. Natural attenuation at the capillary fringe. RemTec Summit, Westminster, CO, USA.
  • Z.Kurt and J. C. Spain. 2014. Aerobic biodegradation of chlorinated solvents prevents vapor migration. 23rd National Association of Remedial Project Managers (NARPM) Training Program, EPA, Atlanta, GA, USA (invited talk).
  • Z. Kurt, S. Craven and J. C. Spain. 2014. Chloramphenicol biodegradation pathway following hydroxyamino benzoate by Nocardea JS360.15th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME), Seoul, South Korea.
  • M. Kim, S. Oh, Z. Kurt, D.Tsementzi, M. R. Weigand, S. G. Pavlostathis, J. C. Spain, and K. T. Konstantinidis. 2014. Microbial community degradation of widely used quaternary ammonium disinfectants and implications for controlling disinfectant-induced antibiotic resistance.15th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME), Seoul, South Korea.
  • Z. Kurt, M. Minoia and J. C. Spain. 2014. Resveratrol biodegradation pathway by Acinetobacter JS678. 114th General Meeting of American Society of Microbiology, Boston, MA, USA.
  • Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain. 2014. Biodegradation of resveratrol. Southeastern Biogeochemistry Symposium, Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain. 2013. Enzymes Responsible of First Two Steps of 4-Nitroaniline Biodegradation by Rhodococcus sp. Strain JS360. Southeastern Enzyme Conference, Atlanta, GA, USA.
  • Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain. 2013. Natural attenuation at oxic/anoxic interfaces. RemTec Summit, Westminster, CO, USA.
  • Z. Kurt, Y. Qu, E. Lang, and J. C. Spain. 2012. Biodegradation of 4-nitroaniline by a Rhodococcus sp. 112th General Meeting of American Society of Microbiology , San Fracisco, CA, USA.
  • Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain. 2012. Role of interfaces in the degradation of substituted benzenes. University Consortium for Field Focused Groundwater Contamination Research. University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
  • Wijker, R. S., Z. Kurt, J. C. Spain, J. Bolotin, and T. B. Hofstetter. 2011. Enzyme kinetics of flavin-dependent monooxygenases modulate the observable isotope fractionation during monooxidation of 4-nitrophenol. American Chemical Society Symposium on Reaction Mechanisms in Environmental Organic Chemistry. Denver, CO, USA.
  • Padhye L., Goldman G., Szeinbaum N., Rogers S., Goktas R., and Z. Kurt. 2009. The Online Survey: An Efficient and Effective Means Of Engineering Graduate Student Assessment, National ASEE Conference.