Environmental Biotechnology

A Biosystems Approach


  • Daniel Vallero, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Environmental Biotechnology: A Biosystems Approach introduces a systems approach to environmental biotechnology and its applications to a range of environmental problems. A systems approach requires a basic understanding of four disciplines: environmental engineering, systems biology, environmental microbiology, and ecology. These disciplines are discussed in the context of their application to achieve specific environmental outcomes and to avoid problems in such applications. The book begins with a discussion of the background and historical context of contemporary issues in biotechnology. It then explains the scientific principles of environmental biotechnologies; environmental biochemodynamic processes; environmental risk assessment; and the reduction and management of biotechnological risks. It describes ways to address environmental problems caused or exacerbated by biotechnologies. It also emphasizes need for professionalism in environmental biotechnological enterprises. This book was designed to serve as a primary text for two full semesters of undergraduate study (e.g., Introduction to Environmental Biotechnology or Advanced Environmental Biotechnology). It will also be a resource text for a graduate-level seminar in environmental biotechnology (e.g., Environmental Implications of Biotechnology).
View full description


researchers in environmental biology, nanotechnology, systems biology and microbiology; environmental engineers; scientists at engineering and remediation companies and public organizations; practitioners in applied biology fields; graduate and post-doctoral students in these areas of science


Book information

  • Published: March 2010
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-375089-1

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Environmental biotechnology: An overview

Chapter 2 A question of balance: Using versus abusing biological systems

Chapter 3 Environmental biochemodynamic processes

Chapter 4 Systems

Chapter 5 Environmental risks of biotechnologies

Chapter 6 Reducing biotechnological risks

Chapter 7 Applied microbial ecology: Bioremediation

Chapter 8 Biotechnological implications: a systems approach

Chapter 9 Environmental risks of biotechnologies: economic sector perspectives

Chapter 10 Addressing biotechnological pollutants

Chapter 11 Analyzing the environmental implications of biotechnologies

Chapter 12 Responsible management of biotechnologies

Appendix 1 Background information on environmental impact statements

Appendix 2 Cancer slope factors

Appendix 3 Verification method for rapid polymerase chain reaction systems to detect biological agents

Appendix 4 Summary of persistent and toxic organic compounds in North America, identified by the United Nations as highest priorities for regional actions

Appendix 5 Sample retrieval from ECOTOX database for Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to DDT and its metabolites in freshwater



Color Plate