François Perreault

Ph.D. Environmental Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada, 2012
M.S. Chemistry, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada, 2008
B.S. Biological Sciences, Université de Montréal, Canada, 2006


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François arrived in the research team of Pr. Menachem Elimelech in November 2012 on a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) post-doctoral fellowship. His current research focuses on the environmental applications of antimicrobial nanomaterials. Specifically, his interests are:

  1. Antimicrobial properties of graphene-based nanomaterials
  2. Biofouling control in membrane-based water treatment processes

François’ approach to solve the pressing environmental challenges in water quality and scarcity combines aspects of environmental microbiology, toxicology, and nanotechnology. In his research, he likes to work at the interface between these different disciplines in order to establish new avenues for innovation.

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of thin-film composite polyamide membrane functionalized with graphene oxide nanosheets. The graphene oxide layer inactivates bacterial cells upon contact, resulting in a compromised cell integrity and loss of viability.

François obtained his Bachelor degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Montreal and his Master degree in Chemistry at the University of Quebec in Montreal. His Master research focused on the ecotoxicology of metals in aquatic environment. He investigated the use of photosynthetic indicators in algal micro-bioassays as biomarkers of metal toxicity in aquatic environments. He then completed his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences working in the emerging field of nanotoxicology. His thesis focused on the toxicology of metallic nanoparticles. His research aimed to understand the role of particle solubility and surface chemistry in the toxicity induced by nanoparticles to aquatic organisms. His thesis work was recognized by numerous awards, including the 2011 Excellence Award in Environmental Sciences of the Chapitre Saint-Laurent and the 2012 Francine Beaudoin-Denizeau excellence award for research bridging the fields of toxicology and biochemistry.

His long-term objective is to help reduce the environmental impacts of human society. His love for nature is what drives him in doing research in environmental science and engineering; when he is not in the lab working to solve important environmental problems, you will likely find him enjoying the invigorating qualities of nature, fishing rod in hand.