Dr Charles Knapp


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Personal statement

Dr Knapp is Director of Postgraduate Studies and an active researcher in the "Water, Environment, Sustainability and Public Health" (WESP) research centre.

Think you can live without microbes?  Do you want to take that challenge?

Microorganisms are omnipresent and capable of impacting the entire biosphere. They, especially bacteria, are highly diverse in structure and function, and they can play a significant role in the cycling of nutrients, remediation of contamination, and public health. Unfortunately, many people often overlook the ecological interactions within the microbial communities that support the process. Understanding these interactions requires knowledge of organisms' distribution and abundance and their interactions in an environmental setting. Further, it requires analytical tools to examine microbial organisms in an effective and timely fashion. Fortunately, high throughput culture-independent molecular methods are allowing researchers to monitor these interactions quantitatively. My research interest involves the integration of state-of-the-art microbiological measurement technologies and ecological principles into the realm of environmental protection and sustainability.


Has expertise in:

    Research themes:

    • Antibiotic resistance in the environment
    • Antimicrobial resistance
    • Susceptibility assays
    • Biological indicators of environmental pollution
    • Microbiological community stability in engineered and natural systems
    • Eco-toxicology, bioremediation
    • Outdoor, microcosm/mesocosm experimental systems

    Routine research services

    • DNA/RNA analyses
    • PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
    • Genetic probe design (primer design)
    • Community analysis (sequencing, DGGE)
    • Biological assessments of soil, sediment and water
    • Molecular and microbiological techniques
    • Phytoplankton, algae
    • Bacteria
    • Micro-invertebrates
    • Water quality monitoring
    • Soil quality determinations
    • Wastewater analysis

    Advance Statistics

    • Descriptor / inferential 
    • Multi-parametric analyses
    • Non-parametric analyses
    • Community analyses

Prizes and awards

Researcher Development Programme Supervisor, 2017-18 - Nominated
Teaching Excellence Awards - Nominated
Teaching Excellence Awards - Shortlisted "Best in Faculty"
Teaching Excellence Awards - Shortlisted "Best in Faculty"
Teaching Excellence Awards (2014) -- Shortlisted "Best Overall Supportive Teacher"
“Best Environmental Science Paper of 2009”, Runner-up; Environmental Science and Technology 

More prizes and awards


Work Experience

Additional Qualifications:

  • 2015 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) 


Changes in resistome profile of potential probiotic Lactiplantibacillus pentosus in response to edible oil adaptation
Alonso García Esther, Benomar Nabil, Lavilla Lerma Leyre, de la Fuente Ordoñez Juan José, Knapp Charles W, Abriouel Hikmate
Food Microbiology Vol 109 (2023)
Repurposing blood glucose test strips for identification of the antimicrobial colistin
Lopez Carla, Raykova Magdalena R, Corrigan Damion K, Knapp Charles W, Ward Andrew C
Sensors and Actuators Reports Vol 4 (2022)
Bioavailability of potentially toxic elements influences antibiotic resistance gene and mobile genetic element abundances in urban and rural soils
Robins Katie, McCann Clare M, Zhou Xin-Yuan, Su Jian-Qiang, Cooke Martin, Knapp Charles W, Graham David W
Science of the Total Environment Vol 847 (2022)
Evaluating acute toxicity in enriched nitrifying cultures : lessons learned
Lopez Carla, Knapp Charles W
Journal of Microbiological Methods Vol 192 (2022)
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products' (PPCPs) impact on enriched nitrifying cultures
Lopez Carla, Nnorom Mac-Anthony, Tsang Yiu Fai, Knapp Charles W
Environmental Science and Pollution Research Vol 28, pp. 60968-60980 (2021)
High prevalence and factors associated with the distribution of the integron intI1 and intI2 genes in Scottish cattle herds
Fernández Rivas Cristina, Porphyre Thibaud, Chase-Topping Margo E, Knapp Charles W, Williamson Helen, Barraud Olivier, Tongue Sue C, Silva Nuno, Currie Carol, Elsby Derek T, Hoyle Deborah V
Frontiers in Veterinary Science Vol 8 (2021)

More publications


Management roles:


  • Water & Wastewater Treatment Design (CL447 + CL978)
  • Principles of Environmental Microbiology (CL430 + CL948)
  • Independent research projects (e.g., CL973, CL998, CL999)
  • Dissertations/theses (year 4, MSc, MRes)


  • 2018 - Teaching Excellence Awards, nominated
  • 2016 - Teaching Excellence Awards, shortlisted Best in Faculty.
  • 2015 - Teaching Excellence Awards, shortlisted Best in Faculty.
  • 2015 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • 2014 - Teaching Excellence Awards, shortlisted Overall Best Supportive Teacher

International courses

  • Gdansk University of Technology (Poland), Inter-Applied Chemistry (2020)
  • Rajamangala University of Technology-Krungthep (Thailand), International School (2020)
  • Gdansk University of Technology (Poland, 2018)
  • Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Department of Civil Engineering (India, 2017)
  • Gdansk University of Technology (Poland, 2014-15)

Research interests

  1. Environmental Microbiology
  2. Eco-toxicology
  3. Soil & Water Quality
  4. Antibiotic resistance in the environment

Microorganisms are omnipresent and capable of impacting the entire biosphere. They, especially the bacteria, are highly diverse in terms of structure and function, and they can play a major role in cycling of nutrients, remediation of contamination, and public health. My research interest involves the integration of state-of-the-art microbiological measurement technologies and ecological principles into the realm of environmental protection and sustainability.

Some on-going projects: 

Team DAGGAR - Dangerous and Growing Globally, Antimicrobial Resistance. 

Work related to antimicrobial resistance evolved from pharmaceutical eco-toxicology with the development of microbial-community endpoints. This work resulted in international exposure and award-winning publications. International collaborations include researchers and government/policy agencies in Australia, UK, USA, Canada, Cuba, Denmark and The Netherlands. Research focus has been to quantitatively measure resistance genes and antibiotics in the environment; it extends previous qualitative observations to a predictive level aimed at solving practical problems.  The investigations of PEC (pollutants of emerging concern) continue, as it remains a contemporary international problem.

Team ARMOR – Antimicrobial Resistance May Offer Resilience? (stability and resilience of microbial communities and performance during pollution stress). 

Microbial community dynamics are examined in response to contaminant exposure in engineered bioreactors. The research endeavours to find processes that are ecologically resilient and economically robust to avoid major investment in a new (or upgraded) treatment process as new regulations emerge.

GR-AMS - Greco-Roman Antimicrobial Minerals.  Multi-disciplinary, collaborative project.

British Colonialism, Marine Sciences and Fisheries Governance. Interdisciplinary project with History Department and U. Mzuzu in Malawi. 


Professional activities

AMR in the environment (UK)
Invited Lectures: Wastewater & water treatment: water resource management
Gdańsk University of Technology
Visiting researcher
Honorary Senior Lecturer (U. Glasgow)
Invited Lecture: Wastewater & water treatment: implications on antimicrobial resistance
Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep
Visiting researcher

More professional activities


KTP 13260 - AHK Energy Services Ltd. Development of robust analytical methodology to support the creation of an index of risk of self-heating ability of biomass pellets
Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator) Knapp, Charles (Co-investigator) Li, Jun (Co-investigator) Liggat, John (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2025
British Colonialism, Marine Sciences, and Fisheries Governance: Lessons from Lake Malawi in the Mid- Twentieth Century
Wilson, David (Principal Investigator) Knapp, Charles (Co-investigator) Morse, Tracy (Co-investigator)
04-Jan-2022 - 03-Jan-2023
Scotland-India Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment Network (SIAMREN)
Ward, Andrew (Principal Investigator) Knapp, Charles (Co-investigator)
23-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2021
Identification of sensor targets for low cost soil fertility assessment
Ward, Andrew (Principal Investigator) Corrigan, Damion (Co-investigator) Knapp, Charles (Co-investigator)
09-Jan-2020 - 08-Jan-2021
Monitoring of PAHs and heavy metals in sediments industrial estuaries
Knapp, Charles (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2020
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Power Networks and Smart Grids | Hall, Rebecca
João, Elsa (Principal Investigator) Knapp, Charles (Co-investigator) Hall, Rebecca (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2022

More projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir

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