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3Qs: Why you should not love that dirty water

A recent out­break of blue-​​green algae in the Charles River prompted offi­cials to issue a health advi­sory. Here, water quality expert Ferdi Hell­weger explains how this set­back could impact the efforts to make the Charles River swimmable.

Bridge over River in Urban city

Towering Boston snow mound was environmental wake-​​up call

The once 75-​​foot-​​high snow pile hov­ering over the Sea­port Dis­trict brings the issue of surface-​​water pol­lu­tants into plain view, says North­eastern asso­ciate pro­fessor Ferdi Hellweger.

Credit: City of Boston

New research sheds light on microbes’ evolution

Ferdi Hell­weger, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of civil and envi­ron­mental engi­neering, and his research col­leagues have cre­ated an advanced model aimed at exploring the role of neu­tral evo­lu­tion in the bio­geo­graphic dis­tri­b­u­tion of ocean microbes.

Ferdinand Hellweger

Hey, bacteria are individuals too

Advances in obser­va­tional tech­nolo­gies show that pop­u­la­tions of bac­te­rial cells are as diverse as any other species, but ana­lyt­ical tools have yet to evolve to study this indi­vid­u­ality, says asso­ciate pro­fessor of civil and envi­ron­mental engi­neering Ferdi Hellweger.

Ferdinand Hellweger

Love that clean water

On Sat­urday, civil and envi­ron­mental engi­neering pro­fessor Ferdi Hell­weger par­tic­i­pated in the first com­mu­nity swim of Boston’s Charles River in more than half a century.


An old species blossoms anew to pollute water

Fer­di­nand Hell­weger, asso­ciate pro­fessor of civil and envi­ron­mental engi­neering, received a grant from the National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion to study the fac­tors con­tributing to mas­sive cyanobac­teria blooms in China’s Lake Taihu.

Ferdinand Hellweger

Selected Publications

For a complete list of faculty citations, please visit iRis, Northeastern’s digital archive.


Biphasic Decay Kinetics of Fecal Bacteria in Surface Water Not a Density Effect

(with Bucci, V., Litman, M.R., Gu, A.Z., and Onnis-Hayden, A) Journal of Environmental Engineering, 135(5), 372-376.

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