Mon, 13 Nov 2017

TESS Seminar

Townsville, Cairns

When: 13 November 17, 10am -- 11am

Where: At James Cook University
Room 145.030, Building 145 - Australian Tropical Science and Innovation Precinct, Townsville Campus (via video link)
Room A3.002, Building A3 - Crowther Theatres, Cairns Campus

Sustainable landscapes and livelihoods

Denitrifying bioreactors - opportunities and limitations

Presented by Professor Louis Schipper from The University of Waikato


Denitrifying bioreactors for passive nitrate removal in agriculture.

Denitrifying bioreactors are an on-farm technology for removing excess dissolved inorganic nitrogen (mainly nitrate) from ground water prior to discharge to surface waters. These have been primarily investigated in New Zealand and USA and may be a useful tool in removing excess nitrate in the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef. The translation of bioreactor design and implementation to the Australian Wet Tropics must account for the areas unique climatic, hydrologic, and geomorphic setting. Louis Schipper an international expert on nitrogen cycling, and the use of denitrifying bioreactors, presents the state of the art and discusses their potential use here in Australia.


Louis Schipper is a Professor at the University of Waikato who has been studying the role of denitrification in reducing nitrogen inputs to surface water since starting his PhD. He pioneered the use of denitrification walls where he incorporated sawdust into the path of groundwater to stimulate microbial denitrification. He demonstrated high rates of nitrate removal and adapted this approach to build denitrifying bioreactors for treating nitrate in point sources including wastewater and agricultural drainage. He, his colleagues, and students demonstrated factors controlling nitrate removal and have looked for ways to enhance removal. Denitrifying bioreactors are now being installed in several countries including Australia.

Video recordings will be posted to the TESS website the following week.

Seminar followed by tea and cake. All welcome!

Contact details:

Louis Schipper will be visiting JCU alongside other B4GBR (Bioreactors 4 the Great Barrier Reef) project partners. Contact Alex Cheesman ( if you would like to be involved.