Sarina J. Ergas

Sarina J. Ergas

Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

4202 E. Fowler Avenue ENB 118
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620-5350
Phone: (813) 974-1119; Fax: (813) 974-2957


  • B.S. Environmental Engineering, Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, CA
  • M.S. Civil Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA
  • PhD Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA

Environmental biotechnology including wastewater treatment; biological nutrient removal from stormwater and wastewater from municipal, industrial and agricultural sources; anaerobic digestion of livestock waste, biosolids and municipal solid waste; recirculating aquaculture and aquaponic systems; algal wastewater treatment and biofuel production systems.

  • EES 6107 Biological Principles in Environmental Engineering
  • CWR 4812 Capstone Water Resources/Environmental Engineering Design
  • ENV 6935 Environmental Engineering Design
  • CGN 6945 Graduate Research Methods in Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • CGN 6950 Mentoring Novice Researchers
  • Professional Engineer, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Civil Engineering, 1995-present
  • Board Certified Environ. Engineer, Specialization: Water Supply/Wastewater Engineering, 2012-present
  • Associate Editor: Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment, 2016-present
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Outstanding Mentor Award, 2016
  • USF Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award Runner Up, 2015
  • McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program Outstanding Mentor Award, 2015
  • Water Environment Federation Fellow, 2015
  • AEESP Service Awards: 2011 Chair Lectures Committee, 2011 Co-chair Biannual Conference, 2014 Board Member and Secretary
  • Fulbright Fellow, Technion University, Haifa Israel, 2007/2008
  • ASCE ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) Fellow, 2005
  • Rodriguez-Gonzalez, L., Pettit, S.L., Zhao, W., Michaels, J.T., Kuhn, J.N., Alcantar, N.A., Ergas, S.J. (2019) Oxidation of off flavor compounds in recirculating aquaculture systems using UV-TiO2 photocatalysis, Aquaculture, 502:32-39.
  • Boxman, S., Nystrom, M., Ergas, S.J., Main, K.L., Trotz, M.A. (2018) Evaluation of water treatment capacity, nutrient cycling, and biomass production in a marine aquaponic system, Ecological Engineering, 120(2018): 299-310.
  • Wang, M., Payne, K.A., Tong, S., Ergas, S.J. (2018) Hybrid Algal Photosynthesis and Ion-Exchange (HAPIX) Process for High Ammonium Strength Wastewater Treatment, Water Research, 142 (2018) 65-74.
  • He, Q., Zhang, D., Main, K., Feng, C., Ergas, S.J. (2018) Heterotrophic, autotrophic and mixotrophic denitrification for nitrate removal from marine recirculating aquaculture systems: A microcosm study, Bioresource Technology, 263(2018): 340-349. 
  • Aponte-Morales, V.E., Payne, K.A., Cunningham, J.A, Ergas, S.J. (2018) Bioregeneration of chabazite during nitrification of centrate from anaerobically digested livestock waste: Experimental and modeling studies, Environmental Science & Technology, 52(7): 4090-4098. 
  • Wang, M., Keeley, R., Zalivina, N., Halfhide, T., Scott, K., Zhang, Q., van der Steen, P., Ergas, S.J. (2018) Advances in algal-prokaryotic wastewater treatment: a review of nitrogen transformations, reactor configurations and molecular tools, J. Environmental Management, 217: 845-857. 
  • Tong, S., Rodriguez-Gonzalez, L.C., Payne, K.A., Stocks, J.L, Feng, C., Ergas, S.J. (2018) Effect of pyrite pretreatment, particle size, dose and biomass concentration on particulate pyrite autotrophic denitrification (PPAD) of nitrified domestic wastewater, Environmental Engineering Science,
  • Tong, S., Stocks, J.L., Rodriguez-Gonzalez, L.C., Feng, C, Ergas, S.J. (2017) Effect of oyster shell medium and organic substrate on the performance of a particulate pyrite autotrophic denitrification (PPAD) process, Bioresource Technology, 244(2017): 296-303. 
  • Amini, A., Aponte-Morales, V.A., Wang, M., Dilbeck, M.P., Lahav, O., Zhang, Q., Cunningham, J.A., Ergas, S.J. (2017) Cost-effective treatment of swine wastes through recovery of energy and nutrients, Waste Management, 69(2017):508-517.
  • Lynn, T.J., Nachabe, M.H., Ergas, S.J. (2017) Nitrogen load model for a denitrifying stormwater biofiltration system using SWMM5. J. Sustainable Water and the Built Environment – ASCE, 4(1): DOI: 10.1061/JSWBAY.0000844   
  • Sengupta, S., Ergas, S.J., Cunningham, J., Goel, R., Feldman, A., Chen, Y-H. (2017) Concept Inventory (CI) for Fundamentals of environmental engineering courses: Findings from concept inventory development and testing, Environmental Engineering Science, 34(12): 895-907. 
  • Lopez-Ponnada, E.V., Lynn, T.J., Peterson, M., Ergas, S.J., Mihelcic, J.R. (2017) Application of denitrifying wood chip bioreactors for management of residential non-point sources of nitrogen, J. Biological Engineering, 11:16 DOI 10.1186/s13036-017-0057-4. 
  • Arashiro, L.T., Rada-Ariza, A.M., Wang, M., van der Steen, P., Ergas, S.J. (2017) Modelling shortcut nitrogen removal from wastewater using an algal-bacterial consortium, Water Science & Technology, 75(4): 782-792.
  • Tong, S., Rodriguez-Gonzalez, L.C., Feng, C., Ergas, S.J. (2017) Comparison of Particulate Pyrite Autotrophic Denitrification (PPAD) and Sulfur Oxidizing Denitrification (SOD) for Treatment of Nitrified Wastewater, Water Science & Technology, 75(1): 239-246.
  • Lynn, T.J., Nachabe, M., Ergas, S.J. (2017) Modeling Denitrifying Stormwater Biofilters Using SWMM-5, J. Environmental Engineering-ASCE, 143(7): 04017017. 
  • Hinds, G.R., Mussoline, W., Casimir, L., Dick, G., Yeh, D.H., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Enhanced methane production from yard waste in high-solids anaerobic digestion through inoculation with pulp and paper mill anaerobic sludge, Environmental Engineering Science, 33(11): 907-917.
  • Manser, N., Cunningham, J.A., Ergas, S.J., Mihelcic, J.M. (2016) Modeling inactivation of highly persistent pathogens in household-scale semi-continuous anaerobic digesters, Environmental Engineering Science, 33(11): 851-860.
  • Wang, M., Lee, E., Zhang, Q., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Anaerobic co-digestion of swine manure and microalgae Chlorella sp.: experimental studies and energy analysis, Bioenergy Research, 9:1204-1215.
  • Trimmer, J.T., Nakyania, N., Ssekubugu, R., Sklar, M., Mihelcic, J.M., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Assessing the promotion of Urine-Diverting Dry Toilets through school-based demonstration facilities in Kalisizo, Uganda, J. Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Development, 6 (2): 276-286.
  • Trimmer J.T., Nakyanjo, N., Ssekubugu, R., Sklar, M., Mihelcic, J.R., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Ascaris Egg Inactivation by Free Ammonia Treatment of Collected Feces Using Stored Urine, J. Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Development, 6 (2) 259-268.
  • Kinyua, M.N., Wald, I., Camacho-Céspedes, F., Haas, C., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Does the use of tubular digesters to treat livestock waste lower the risk of infection from Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia?, J. Water and Health, 14 (5) 738-753.
  • Wang, M., Lee, E., Dilbeck, M.P., Liebelt, M., Zhang, Q., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Thermal Pretreatment of Microalgae for Biomethane Production: Experimental Studies, Kinetics and Energy Analysis, J. Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, 92(2): 399-407. 
  • Aponte-Morales, V., Tong, S., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Nitrogen removal from anaerobically digested swine waste centrate using a chabazite - sequencing batch reactor (chabazite-SBR), Environmental Engineering Science, 33(5): 324-332. 
  • Boxman, S. Nystrom, M., Capodice, J.C., Ergas, S.J., Main, K.L., Trotz, M.A. (2016) Effect of support medium, hydraulic loading rate, and plant density on water quality and growth of halophytes in marine aquaponic systems, Aquaculture Research, 48(5): 2463-2477. 
  • Lynn, T.J., Ergas, S.J., Nachabe, M.H. (2016) Effect of Hydrodynamic Dispersion in Denitrifying Wood-Chip Stormwater Biofilters, J. Sustainable Water in the Built Environment – ASCE, 2(4):
  • Manser, N., Wang, M., Ergas, S.J., Mihelcic, J.R., Mulder, A., van de Vossenberg, J., van Lier, J.B., van der Steen, P. (2016) Biological Nitrogen Removal in a Photo-Sequencing Batch Reactor with an Algal-Nitrifying Bacterial Consortium and Anammox Granules, ES&T Letters, 3(4):175-179. 
  • Kinyua, M.N., Trimmer, J., Izurieta, R. Cunningham, J., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Viability and Fate of Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia in Tubular Anaerobic Digesters, Science of the Total Environment, 554–555 (2016): 167–177.
  • Kinyua, M.N., Zhang, J., Camacho-Céspedes, F., Tejada-Martinez, A., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Physical and Biological Process Modeling of Tubular Anaerobic Digesters Treating Swine Waste in Rural Costa Rica, Biochemical Engineering J. 107(2016):35-44. 
  • Kinyua, M.N., Rowse, L., Ergas, S.J. (2016) Review of Small-Scale Tubular Anaerobic Digesters Treating Livestock Waste in the Developing World, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 58: 896–910.  
  • Zhao, W., Zhang, Y., Rodriguez-Gonzalez, L.C., Zhong, F., Ergas, S.J., Alcantar, N.A. (2015) Removal of Off-Flavor Compounds in Aquaculture Water by Spray-Coated TiO2 Photocatalysis, Chemical Engineering & Process Technology, 6(3): 237.
  • Wang, M., Yang, H., Ergas, S.J., van der Steen, P. (2015) A novel shortcut nitrogen removal process using an algal-bacterial consortium in a photo-sequencing batch reactor (PSBR), Water Research, 87:38-48. 
  • Boxman, S., Kruglick, A., McCarthy, B., Main, K.L., Brennan, N. P., Nystrom, M., Hanson, T., Ergas, S.J., Trotz, M.A. (2015) Performance evaluation of a commercial land-based integrated multi-trophic aquaculture system using constructed wetlands and geotextile bags for solids treatment, Aquacultural Engineering, 69:23-36.   
  • Lynn, T.J., Yeh, D., Ergas, S.J. (2015) Performance of Denitrifying Stormwater Biofilters Under Intermittent Conditions, Environmental Engineering Science, 32(9): 796-805.
  • Manser, N., Mihelcic, M., Ergas, S.J. (2015) Semi-continuous mesophilic anaerobic digester performance under variations in solids retention time and feeding frequency, Bioresource Technology, 190: 359-366.
  • Manser, N., Wald, I., Ergas, S.J., Izurieta, R., Mihelcic, J. (2015) Assessing the Fate of Ascaris suum Ova during Mesophilic Anaerobic Digestion, Environmental Science & Technology, 49(5): 3128-3135. 

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests