Jonathan O. (Josh) Sharp

Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jonathan SharpWith a foundation in environmental engineering microbiology, we gravitate toward interdisciplinary questions that integrate facets of microbiology, engineering, geochemistry and hydrology to enhance our understanding of the natural and built environment. Details about group members and collaborations are provided in the link above. Our research focuses on the ramifications of biological processes as they relate to water quality and reuse in a variety of projects that include:

• The role of microbial processes on the fate and transport of emerging water pollutants
• Attenuation of trace organics and nutrients in managed natural systems such as engineered wetlands, riverbank filtration, and aquifer recharge
• Microbially-mediated redox transformations of metals in the subsurface and engineered bioreactors
• Implications of insect-mediated tree mortality on terrestrial biogeochemistry and water resources



Labs and Research Centers


  • Postdoc – Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, 2006-08
  • PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley, 2006
  • MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley, 2001
  • BA in Geosciences, Princeton University, 1997

Teaching Interests

I am fortunate to blend my passions for laboratory and field based inquiry with an understanding of current environmental processes at the undergraduate level. At the graduate-level, we take these themes further to explore how microbial functionality impacts biogeochemical processes and can be exploited for environmental gains. Where possible, I incorporate directed inquiry, collaborative learning and place-based projects to better achieve learning outcomes and student engagement. Additional details and descriptions of these courses are provided in the link above.

  • CEEN 301: Fundamentals of Environmental Science and Engineering
  • CEEN 303: Environmental Engineering Laboratory (co-taught)
  • CEEN 330: Environmental Engineering Field Session (co-taught)
  • CEEN 562: Environmental Geomicrobiology


  • Weathers TS, Harding-Marjanovic K, Higgins CP, Alvarez-Cohen L, Sharp JO (2016). Perfluoralkyl acids inhibit reductive dechlorination of tricholorethene by repressing Dehalococcoides. Environ Sci Technol. 50(1), pp 240-48
  • Drennan DM, Almstrand R, Lee I, Landkamer L, Figueroa L, Sharp JO (2016). Organoheterotrophic bacterial abundance associates with zinc removal in lignocellulose-based sulfate-reducing systems. Environ Sci Technol. 50(1): 378-87.
  • Mikkelson KM, Lozupone CA, Sharp JO. (2016) Altered edaphic parameters couple to shifts in terrestrial bacterial community structure associated with insect-induced tree mortality. Soil Biology Biogeochem. 95:19-26
  • Li D, Sharp JO, Drewes JE (2016). Influence of wastewater discharge on the metabolic potential of the microbial community in river sediments. Microb Ecol. 71:78-86.
  • Mikkelson KM, Homme CL, Li D, Sharp JO (2015) Propane biostimulation in biologically active carbon selects for clades adept at degrading persistent water pollutants. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts. 17, 1405-14
  • Weathers TS, Higgins CP, Sharp JO (2015) Enhanced biofilm production by a toluene-degrading Rhodococcus observed after exposure to perfluoralkyl acids. Environ Sci Technol. 49(9): 5458-66.
  • Almstrand R, Drennan D, Sharp JO. (2015) Polygold FISH for signal amplification of metallo-labeled microbial cells. J Basic Microbio. 54:1-5
  • Jasper JT, Jones ZL, Sharp JO, Sedlak DL. (2014) Biotransformation of trace organic contaminants in open-water unit process treatment wetlands. Environ Sci Technol. 48(9), 5136-44
  • Mikkelson KM, Bearup LA, Navarre-Sitcher AK, McCray JE, Sharp JO. (2014) Changes in metal mobility associated with bark beetle-induced tree mortality.  Environ Sci: Processes Impacts. 16(6), 1318-27
  • Mikkelson K, Dickenson E, McCray J, Maxwell R, Sharp JO (2013) Adverse water quality impacts from climate-induced forest die-off. Nature Clim Change. 3: 218–222
  • Homme C and Sharp JO. (2013) Differential microbial transformation of nitrosamines by an inducible propane monooxygenase. Environ Sci Technol. 47(13): 7388-95
  • Li D, Alidina M, Ouf M, Sharp JO, Saikaly P, Drewes J (2013). Microbial community evolution during managed aquifer recharge in response to different biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) concentrations. Water Research 47: 2421-2430

Complete Publication List

Honors and Awards

  • NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2011-16)
  • Marie Curie International Fellowship to Postdoc Almstrand (2014-16)
  • EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship to Advisee Mikkelson (2011-14)
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to Advisee Hollenback (2011-14)
  • Swiss NSF International Cooperation Travel Award (2008)
  • U.C. Toxic Substances R & T Graduate Fellowship (2000-02)
  • Hyde Graduate Student Fellowship (1999-2000)