When UM-Dearborn student Nichole Bowman heard about the Flint water crisis, she thought about what she could do to help.
In addition to sending water bottles, the microbiology junior thought of something else: Finding the right bacteria to help clean the water.
Through a campus research project, Bowman has studied sediments from St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair, isolated bacterium from the sediments and cultivated it. The goal is to gather information about each bacterium’s effects on removing pollutants from the water.
“We hope to discover and grow bacteria that can be used to reduce metal toxicity in water,” said Bowman, who notes that bacteria are ideal candidates because they are natural and relatively inexpensive to grow. “Seeing what’s happening in Flint makes me have an even greater understanding on how important something like this is. It makes me more determined.”