No photo of Merja Kontro
  • Niemenkatu 73

    00014

    Finland

  • Viikinkaari 1, Biocentre 3

    00790 Helsinki

    Finland

  • Viikinkaari 5, Biocenter 2

    00790 Helsinki

    Finland

1988 …2020
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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Research in my group, and teaching at the University of Helsinki is related to Bio- and Environmental Technology, including remediation of persistent compounds in environment; and different aspects in material recycling (circular economy) to discover new valuable processing methods and products.

 

The aim in the remediation research is to elucidate the relationships between microbial ecology, microbial physiology, and physicochemical properties in environment, and to use the data obtained in enhancing natural pesticide dissipation. Currently the research is focused on pesticides in groundwater in Finland, and they include triazines atratzine, simazine, terbutryn, terbutylazine, hexazinone, and their degradation products, as well as dichlobenil and its degradation product 2,6-dichlorobezamide (BAM). The approaches for remediation are related to microbial and chemical pesticide degradation, a few approaches are in a pilot scale. In addition, the persistence of pesticides in northern environment in Finland, and microbial ecology in pesticide contaminated soils and sediments have been studied.

 

The research in circular economy focuses on novel circular economy products, process development, and safety issues. Molecular methods (real-time PCR, pyrosequencing/metagenomics, enzymology, lipids) combined with traditional approaches (organic matter, elements, physicochemical conditions), and recyclable materials are used as tools to discover novel approaches in material recycling issues. The current research in this field is related to molecular pathogen detection in environment, and bioactive molecule isolation from waste material.

 

Teaching in Bio- and Environmental Technology include courses ECGS-041 Advanced Course in Environmental Biotechnology, ECGS-043 Environmental Remediation and ECGS-044 Laboratory Course in Environmental Biotechnology.

Keywords

  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • 219 Environmental biotechnology
  • 218 Environmental engineering
  • 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
  • 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
  • 416 Food Science
  • 116 Chemical sciences

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 1988 2018

DNA Nanotechnology

Yaradoddi, J., Kontro, M. H., Ganachari, S. V., Sulochana, M. B., Agsar, D., Tapaskar, R. & Shettar, A., 3 Oct 2018, Handbook of Ecomaterials. Martinez, L., Kharissova, O. & Kharisov, B. (eds.). Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland, p. 1-12 12 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Genes for Enzymes Degrading Poly-ß-Acetyl Glucosamine in Staphylococcus Aureus Environmental Biofilms

Wen, R. & Kontro, M. H., 10 Jun 2018, p. PP02-068.

Research output: Conference materialsPosterResearchpeer-review

Influence of organic matter, nutrients, and cyclodextrin on microbial and chemical herbicide and degradate dissipation in subsurface sediment slurries

Kerminen, K. A. M., Moël, R. L., Harju, A. V. & Kontro, M. H., 15 Mar 2018, In : Science of the Total Environment. 618, p. 1449-1458 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Intrapopulation genotypic variation in leaf litter chemistry does not control microbial abundance and litter mass loss in silver birch, Betula pendula

Silfver, T., Kontro, M., Paaso, U., Karvinen, H., Keski-Saari, S., Keinanen, M., Rousi, M. & Mikola, J., May 2018, In : Plant and Soil. 426, 1-2, p. 253-266 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
File

Protein nanotechnology

Yaradoddi, J., Kontro, M. H., Ganachari, S. V., Sulochana, M. B. & Dayanand, A., 19 Sep 2018, Handbook of Ecomaterials. Martínez, L., Kharissova, O. & Kharisov, B. (eds.). Springer Nature Switzerland, p. 1-13 13 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Projects 2017 2020

TWIN-A: Transforming waste into new antibiotics

Fallarero, A., Kontro, M., Peltonen, J., Sikanen, T., Vuorela, P. & Yli-Kauhaluoma, J.

01/01/201731/12/2020

Project: Research project

Torjunta-aineiden kustannustehokas hajottaminen

Harju, V. A., Lipponen, M., Tuominen, S., Liimatainen, M. & Kontro, M.

06/06/201730/11/2018

Project: Research project

Activities 2016 2018

  • 3 Organisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

BioFuture 2025 Annual Seminar 2018

Jari Tapani Yli-Kauhaluoma (Speaker: Presenter), Merja Hannele Kontro (Speaker: Presenter), Jouko Peltonen (Speaker: Presenter)
16 May 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Suomi 100 Forum

Merja Kontro (Attendee)
2 Mar 20173 Mar 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

9th European Conference on Pesticides and Related Organic Micropollutants in the Environment, 15th Symposium on Chemistry and Fate of Modern Pesticides

Kaisa Kerminen (Poster Presentation), Merja Hannele Kontro (Poster Presentation)
4 Oct 20167 Oct 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars