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Dr. Brandon Gilroyed

Anaerobic Digestion and Biofuel Research
Assistant Professor

Degrees:

B.Sc. Molecular Genetics- University of Alberta
B.Sc. Plant Biology- University of Alberta
Ph.D. Civil Engineering (Specialization Environmental Engineering)- University of Calgary

Postdoctoral Fellowship:

NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Station

Teaching:

I teach the following courses:

Opportunities for Graduate Students:

I am currently looking for 2 students interested in pursuing an MSc:

  1. Valorization of waste glycerol from biodiesel production using fungi (with Dr. Rob Nicol)
  2. Fate and Transport of Emerging Contaminants after Manure Application (with Dr. Kari Dunfield)

If you are interested in either of these 2 positions, or in future research opportunities, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Research Interests:

My research is interdisciplinary in nature, focusing on renewable energy production from agricultural byproducts and wastes using anaerobic digestion technology. Anaerobic digestion is a microbial process where organic substrates are converted principally to methane and carbon dioxide (biogas). Using a combination of engineering principles, analytical chemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology, my research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of microbial conversion of substrates into renewable energy. By understanding the process at a molecular level, avenues for optimization of the process can be discovered. Previously I have done research looking at the conversion of specified risk materials from the beef cattle industry into biogas using anaerobic digestion. As part of this work, I also investigated the fate of infectious prion proteins, the causative agent of “Mad Cow Disease”, in anaerobic digestion systems.

A derivative of my research on anaerobic digestion is the production of biohydrogen through fermentation. Hydrogen is an energy dense intermediate product in anaerobic digestion that can be collected as a final product under certain process conditions. There are thermodynamic constraints imposed on biohydrogen production, which results in poor conversion of substrate to product. Understanding how the microbial community responds to these constraints is an important step in discovering areas for future genetic manipulation that will enable better substrate conversion rates. I have previously done research investigating the biohydrogen production potential of cattle manure, specified risk materials, and potato processing waste.

I am also interested in composting as a way to manage nutrients in agricultural wastes and reduce pathogens. Composting can also be a low cost technology employed in emergency situations for the disposal of animal mortalities. In the event of a zoonotic outbreak requiring the disposal of large numbers of potentially infectious animals, composting is a disposal strategy that can safely and quickly be employed on site. I am interested in the chemical and microbial processes involved in composting a wide range of substrates. I have previously done research investigating the disposal of cattle mortalities in compost, as well as the fate of infectious prions and Bacillus spp. endospores during composting. I have also examined the biodegradation of recalcitrant substrates such as hydrocarbons, lignocellulose, and keratin in compost systems.

Funding

  • NSERC Discovery Grant
  • OMAF
  • Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency
  • Alberta Prion Research Institute

Publications:

  • Rasmussen, J., Gilroyed, B.H., Reuter, T., Badea, A., Eudes, F., Graf, R., Laroche, A., Kav, NNV., McAllister, TA. (submitted). Protein is an inefficient nitrogen source for wheat and alters root morphology. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. IF= 0.547.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Li, C., Reuter, T., Beauchemin K.A., Hao, X., McAllister, T.A. (submitted). Influence of distiller’s grains and condensed tannins in the diet of feedlot cattle on biohydrogen production from cattle manure. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. IF= 4.05.
  • Xu, S., Reuter, T., Gilroyed, B.H.,Tymensen, L., Hao, Y., Hao, X., Belosevic, M., Leonard, J.J. and McAllister, T.A. (2013). Microbial communities and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the biodegradation of specified risk material in compost. Waste Management (in Press). IF= 2.43.
  • Gilroyed, B.H, Reuter, T., Kastelic, J.P., and McAllister, T.A. 2012. Emergency euthanization of cattle challenged with Escherichia coli O157:H7- A case study for a response to an infectious disease outbreak. The Journal of Veterinary Science (in press).
  • Xu, S., Reuter, T., Gilroyed, B.H., Dudas, S., Graham, C., Neumann, N., Czub, S., Belosevic, M., Leonard, J.J. and McAllister, T.A. 2012. Biodegradation of Specified Risk Material and Fate of Scrapie Prions in Compost. Journal of Environmental Science and Health (in press).
  • Xu, S.,Reuter, T., Gilroyed, B.H.,Tymensen, L., Hao, Y., Hao, X., Belosevic, M., Leonard, J.J. and McAllister, T.A. 2012. Microbial communities and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the biodegradation of specified risk material in compost. Submitted to Waste Management (Submitted).
  • Conrad, C.C., Gilroyed, B. H., McAllister, T.A., and Reuter T. 2012. Synthesis of O-serogroup specific positive controls and real-time PCR standards for nine clinically relevant non-O157 STECs. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 91: 52-56.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Hao, X., Larney, F.J., McAllister, T.A. (2011). Greenhouse gas emissions from cattle feedlot manure composting and anerobic digestion as a potential mitigation strategy. In: “Understanding Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agricultural Management”. Editors: L. Guo, A. S. Gunasekara, L. L. McConnell. ACS Books Symposium Series.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Hao, X., McAllister, T.A. (2011). Fermentative biohydrogen production from organic agricultural wastes. In: “Biogas: Production, Consumption and Applications”. Editors: R. Litonjua, I. Cvetkovski. Nova Science Publishers.
  • Reuter, T., Xu, W., Alexander, T.W., Gilroyed, B.H., Inglis, G.D., Larney, F.J., Stanford, K., McAllister, T.A. (2010). Biocontained carcass composting for control of infectious disease outbreak in livestock. Journal of Visualized Experiments, Issue 39. Available online at: http://www.jove.com/index/Details.stp?class=1946. doi: 10.3791/1946.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Reuter, T., Chu, A., Hao, X., Xu, W. and McAllister, T.A. (2010). Anaerobic digestion of specified risk materials with cattle manure for biogas production. Bioresource Technology, 101: 5780-5785.
  • Xu, W., Xu, Y., Reuter, T., Gilroyed, B., Liji, J., Stanford, K., Larney, F.J. and McAllister, T.A. (2010). An improved design for biocontained composting of cattle mortalities. Compost Science and Utilization, 18: 32-41.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Li, C.L., Hao, X., Chu, A., McAllister, T. (2010). Biohydrogen production from specified risk materials co-digested with cattle manure. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 35: 1099-1105
  • Reuter, T., Gilroyed, B.H., Alexander, T.W., Mitchell, G., Balachandran, A., Czub, S. and McAllister, T.A. 2009. Prion protein detection via direct immuno-quantitative real-time PCR. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 78: 307-311.
  • Stanford, K., McAllister, T.A., Reuter, T., Xu, W., Gilroyed, B., Moyer, J., and Larney, F.J. (2009). Biocontained mortality compost using liquid manure. Compost Science and Utilization, 17: 158-165
  • Xu, W., Reuter, T., Xu, Y., Alexander, T.W., Gilroyed, B.H., Jin, L., Stanford, K., Larney, F.J. and McAllister, T.A. (2009). Use of quantitative and conventional PCR to assess biodegradation of bovine and plant DNA during cattle mortality composting. Environmental Science and Technology, 43: 6248-6255.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Chang, C., Chu, A., Hao, X. (2008). Effect of temperature on anaerobic fermentative hydrogen gas production from feedlot cattle manure using mixed microflora. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 33: 4301-4308.

Book Chapters

  • Gilroyed, B.H., Hao, X., Larney, F.J., McAllister, T.A. 2011. Greenhouse gas emissions from cattle feedlot manure composting and anerobic digestion as a potential mitigation strategy. In: “Understanding Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agricultural Management”. Editors: L. Guo, A. S. Gunasekara, L. L. McConnell. ACS Books Symposium Series.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Hao, X., McAllister, T.A. 2011. Fermentative biohydrogen production from organic agricultural wastes. In: “Biogas: Production, Consumption and Applications”. Editors: R. Litonjua, I. Cvetkovski. Nova Science Publishers.

Conference Abstracts and Posters

  • Rasmussen, J., Gilroyed, B.H., Reuter, T., Dudas, S., Graham, C., Neumann, N.F., Balachandran, A., Czub, S., Kav, N.N.V, McAllister, T.A. (2013). Are plants a potential transmission route for infectious prions? Prion 2013, Banff, Canada from May 26-29.
  • Xu, S., Reuter, T., Gilroyed, B.H., Dudas, S., Graham, C., Neumann, N.F., Balachandran, A., Czub, S., Belosevic, M., Leonard, J.J., McAllister, T.A. (2012). Potential biodegradation of prions in compost. PrP Canada & Protein Folding Disease Conference, Toronto, Canada from June 25-27.
  • Rasmussen, J., Gilroyed, B., Reuter, T., Badea, A., Eudes, F., Graf, R., Laroche, A., Kav, N., McAllister, T (2012). The uptake of functional proteins and infectious prions into major crop plants. PrP Canada & Protein Folding Disease Conference, Toronto, Canada from June 25-27.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Rasmussen, J., Reuter, T., Czub, S., Kav, N., Eudes, F., Graham, C., Balachandran, A., Neumann, N.F., McAllister, T.A. (2012). Investigation on the potential uptake of infectious prion protein by plants grown on prion-contaminated soil. Joint PrioNet/APRI Networking and Collaboration Meeting, Vancouver, Canada from January 16-17.
  • Braithwaite, S., Gilroyed, B.H., Reuter, T., Czub, S., Graham, C., Balachandran, A., McAllister, T.A., Belosevic, M., Neumann, N.F. (2011). Detection of prions in anaerobic digestion sludge by PMCA. Prion 2011, Montreal, Canada from May 16-19, Prion Volume 5 supplement, page 100.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Reuter, T., Braithwaite, S., Czub, S., Graham, C., Balachandran, A., Belosevic, M., Neumann, N., McAllister, T.A. (2011). Prion detection during anaerobic digestion of specified risk materials using protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) and immuno-quantitative real-time PCR (iQ-RT-PCR). Prion 2011, Montreal, Canada from May 16-19, Prion Volume 5 supplement, page 127.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Reuter, T., Chu, A., Hao, X., Xu, W., McAllister, T.A. (2010). Anaerobic digestion of specified risk materials with cattle manure for biogas production. Alberta Soil Science Workshop 2010. Lethbridge, Canada from Feb 17-18.
  • Reuter, T., Gilroyed, B.H., Alexander, T.W., Mitchell, G., Balachandran, A., Czub, S. and McAllister, T.A. 2009. Prion protein detection via direct immuno-quantitative real-time PCR. Prion 2009. Thessaloniki – Chalkidiki, Greece from September 23-25 P.2.43, page 84.
  • Gilroyed, B.H., Chang, C., Chu, A., Hao, X. (2008). Biohydrogen production via anaerobic fermentation utilizing agricultural wastes as substrate. Alberta Soil Science Workshop 2008. Lethbridge, Canada from Feb 19-21.
Page reviewed 12/01/2016