Josh Monk

Research project: The Fate of Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment of the American Southwest (USA)


Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), and other synthetic organic compounds are mass-produced, and their use is now ubiquitous in modern society.  These chemicals are used daily and eventually enter the environment through anthropogenic sources.  This contamination has attracted significant attention, especially in rivers that receive sewage treatment effluent.  There is a knowledge gap regarding the severity of this contamination, and it is critical to establish baseline data to understand its environmental impact.  This is important for rivers currently experiencing the adverse effects of climate change, resulting in decreased water levels, ultimately increasing the concentration of contaminants.  This work aims to identify markers of anthropogenic pollutants in the American Southwest's aquatic environments and illuminate their fate.  Additionally, determine the temporal fluctuations during large populated special events and seasonal holidays.  This research will provide policymakers with baseline information regarding pollution status, potential sources, and environmental impacts.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: The Fate of Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment of the American Southwest (USA)
  • Research supervisor: Dr Peter Hooda
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Rosa Busquets


My name is Joshua Monk and I earned a BS in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. My previous research includes the following; identifying an environmental Pseudomonas sp. producing the antimicrobial 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, mapping antibiotic resistance genes in Las Vegas soil, annotating complete genome sequences of Paenibacillus larvae phages from the Western United States, along with detecting emerging contaminants in surface waters of Las Vegas.

Areas of research interest

  • Environmental Science