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המחלקה להידרולוגיה ומיקרוביולוגיה של הסביבה

Prof. Zeev Ronen

Associate Professor

Room : Room 113
Phone : 972-8-6596895
Email :
Office Hours :  

Research Interests

Prof. Ronen’s main research interests can be divided into several categories:
1) Bioremediation of contaminated groundwater and soil;
2) Bio-treatment of industrial wastewater;
3) Biodegradation of organic pollutants;
4) Safe reuse of treated effluents.
In the framework of the first category, he investigates factors that influence the survival and activity of microorganisms in polluted soil and groundwater from arid zones. A novel approach to the utilization of a mixed culture of halophenol-degrading microorganisms has been applied to contaminated soil. Similarly, the use of adhesive microorganisms is suggested to improve biodegradation of pollutants in a fractured aquifer. Currently, Dr. Ronen is trying to improve our understanding of microbial activity in situ using stable isotopes as well as metabolic fingerprints. In the area of treatment of industrial wastewater, he is interested in the interaction between the inorganic constituents of wastewater, particularly nitrogen, and the microbial constituents, and the ability of microorganisms to degrade the target N-containing organic pollutants. His research is now concentrated on elucidating the mechanisms by which high levels of ammonia or nitrate influence the biodegradation of explosives. In the area of biodegradation of organic pollutants, he is investigating the biodegradation of brominated compounds. This research is focused on understanding the biochemistry, physiology and ecology of themicroorganismsinvolved, particularly anaerobic ones.
An additional aspect of water quality is the local reuse of treated wastewater. Dr. Ronen’s main interest in this subject is assessment of the potential for survival of pathogenic bacteria in wastewater. His main goal is to find efficient and cost-effective disinfection methods to protect human health.


Publications 2012-2015

Refereed articles in scientific journals

1. Sagi-Ben Moshe S., O. Dahan, N. Weisbrod, A. Bernstein, E. Adar and Z. Ronen,. 2012. Biodegradation of explosives mixture under different water content conditions.,Journal of Hazardous Material, 203– 204:333– 340.

2. Sher, Y., S. Baram, O. Dahan, Z. Ronen, and A. Nejidat. 2012. Ammonia transformations and abundance of ammonia oxidizers in a clay soil underlying a manure pond, FEMS Microbial Ecology 81:145-151.

3. Baram, S., S. Arnon, Z. Ronen, D. Kurtzmam and O. Dahan, 2012. Infiltration Mechanism Controls Nitrification and Denitrification Processes under Dairy Waste Lagoons. J. Environmental quality 41:1623-1632.

4. Sher Y. , E. Zaady, Z. Ronen and A. Nejidat.2012 Nitrification activity and levels of inorganic nitrogen in soils of a semi-arid ecosystem following a drought-induced shrub. European Journal of Soil Biology 53:86-93

5. Bernstein, A., Z. Ronen, E. Levin, L. Halicz and F. Gelman. 2013. Br isotope effects: Example from the microbial debromination of brominated phenols. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 405:2923–2929.

6. Bernstein, A., Z. Ronen, and F. Gelman 2013. Insight into the RDX degradation mechanism by Rhodococcusstrains using 13C and 15N kinetic isotope effects. Environmental Science and Technology 47:479-484.

7. Sweity A., Y. Oren, Z. Ronen and M. Herzberg 2013. The influence of antiscalants on biofouling of RO membranes in seawater desalination. Accepted Water Research.

8. Baram S., Z. Ronen, D. Kurtzman, C. Külls and O. Dahan 2013. Desiccation-crack-induced salinization in deep clay sediment., Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 17: 1533–1545.

9. Prakash D., P. Gabani, A. Chandel. K., Z. Ronen, O. V Singh. 2013. Bioremediation: a genuine technology to remediate radionuclides from the environment. MicrobBiotechnol, 26 (10), 1751-7915.

10. Bernstein, A., Ronen, Z., Elena Levin, Halicz, L., Gelman, F. (2013): Kinetic bromine isotope effects: Example from the microbial debromination of brominated phenols. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 405(9): 2923-2929

11. Gat D., Tsesarsky M., Shamir D., Ronen Z. (2014) Accelerated microbial-induced caco3 precipitation in a defined co-culture of ureolytic and non-ureolytic bacteria. Biogeosciences, 10: 17249–17273.

12. Fox S., Y. Oren, Z. Ronen and J. Gilron (2014). Ion exchange membrane bioreactor for treating groundwater contaminated with high perchlorate concentrations. J. Hazardous Material, 264: 552-559.

13. Baram S., D. Kurtzman, Z. Ronen, A. Peeters and O. Dahan (2014). Assessing the impact of dairy waste lagoons on groundwater quality using a spatial analysis of vadose zone and groundwater information in a coastal phreatic aquifer. Journal of Environmental management, 132: 135-144.

14. Sweity, A., Z. Ronen and M.Herzberg (2014). Induced organic fouling with antiscalants in seawater desalination. Desalination, 352 (0): 158-165.

15. Lutskiy, M.-Y., S. Avneri-Katz, N. Zhu, M. Itsko, Z. Ronen, C. Arnusch, and R. Kasher (2015). A microbiology-based assay for quantification of bacterial early stage biofilm formation on reverse-osmosis and nanofiltration membranes. Separation and Purification Technology, 141: 214–220.

16. Sweity, A., Rezene Zere, T., David, I., Bason, S., Oren, Y., Ronen, Z., Herzberg, M. (2015). Side Effects of antiscalants on biofouling of reverse osmosis Membranes in brackish water desalination. Journal of Membrane Science, 481: 172–187.

17. Gelman, F.; A.Kozell, Y. Yecheskel, N.Balaban, I. Dror, L. Halicz, Z. Ronen (2015). Application of dual carbon-bromine isotope analysis for investigating abiotic transformations of tribromoneopentyl alcohol (TBNPA). Environmental Science and Technology, 49: 4433–4440

18. Aruety, T., T. Brunner, Z. Ronen, A. Gross, K. Sowers, and D. Zilberg (in press 2015). Decreasing levels of the fish pathogen Streptococcus iniae following inoculation into the sludge digester of a zero-discharge recirculating aquaculture system. Aquaculture


.Sc. 1986 Agricultural Biochemistry and Food Technology. Faculty of Agriculture. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Ph.D. 1992 Microbial Ecology. Laboratory of Soil Biochemistry. Department of Agronomy. College of Agriculture, The Pennsylvania State University. University Park, PA, USA.

Advisor: Prof. J.-M. Bollag

Thesis title: Bioremediation of Subsurface Sediments and Groundwater Contaminated with Pyridine and Alkylpyridines.