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Ameet Pinto

Assistant Professor,  Civil and Environmental Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Marine and Environmental Sciences


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  • 417 SN
  • 617.373.5241

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Research Focus

Microbial ecology and physiology, drinking water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment, public health microbiology, molecular microbiology, 'omics analyses


Ameet is investigating microbial ecosystems at the interface of infrastructure and public / environmental health with particular focus on the urban water infrastructure – drinking water and wastewater systems. His goal is to characterize and manipulate microbial communities to (1) protect and improve public and environmental health and (2) improve functional reliability and economic feasibility of water infrastructure.

Ameet graduated in 2003 with his baccalaureate in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai. He received his Master of Sciences in Environmental Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2005 and graduated with this PhD from Virginia Tech in 2009. His doctoral work was in the area of wastewater engineering with particular focus on upset event detection and mitigation and the effect of perturbation on the microbial ecology of activated sludge systems. Ameet completed his post-doc at the University of Michigan and subsequently worked at the University of Glasgow as a Lecturer (2012-2015) and then Senior Lecturer (2015) before joining Northeastern University in January 2016.


  • 2009 PhD in Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech
  • 2005 MS in Environmental Engineering at University of Alaska Fairbanks

Honors & Awards

  • 2019 Paul L Busch Award for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research, The Water Research Foundation
  • 2019 CEE Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Virginia Tech
  • 2018 ISME/IWA Bio Cluster Award (Rising Star)
  • 2018 NSF Faculty Early CAREER Award
  • 2014 Bright IDEAS Award, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK
  • 2013 First Grant Scheme, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK
  • 2013 Start Grant, The Royal Society, UK
  • 2005-2006 Deans List of Outstanding Instructors, Virginia Tech, USA

Professional Affiliations

  • International Water Association
  • American Water Works Association
  • International Society of Microbial Ecology
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors

Research Overview

Microbial ecology and physiology, drinking water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment, public health microbiology, molecular microbiology, 'omics analyses

Selected Research Projects

  • Estimating the Comammox Contribution to Ammonia Oxidation in Nitrogen Removal Systems
    • – Principal Investigator, Water Environment & Reuse Foundation
  • CAREER: Developing a Spatial-Temporal Predictive Framework for the Drinking Water Microbiome
    • – Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation

Selected Publications

  • M.J. Kiristis, M. Emelko, A.J. Pinto, Applying Biotechnology for Drinking Water Biofiltration: Advancing Science and Practice, Current Opinions in Biotechnology, 57, 2019, 197-204
  • N.M. Hull, F. Ling, A.J. Pinto, M. Albertsen, et al., Drinking Water Microbiome Project: Is it Time?, Trends in Microbiology, 27(8), 2019, 670-677
  • I. Bradley, M. Sevillano-Rivera, A.J. Pinto, J.S. Guest, Impact of Solids Residence Time on Community Structure and Nutrient Dynamics of Mixed Phototrophic Wastewater Treatment Systems, Water Research, 150(1), 2019, 271-282
  • S. Potgieter, A.J. Pinto, M. Sigudu, H. du Preez, E. Ncube, S. Venter, Long-Term Spatial and Temporal Microbial Community Dynamics in a Large-Scale Drinking Water Distribution System with Multiple Disinfectant Regimes, Water Research, 139(1), 2018, 406-419
  • S.T. Calus, U.I. Ijaz, A.J. Pinto, NanoAmpli-Seq: A Workflow for Amplicon Sequencing from Mixed Microbial Communities on the Nanopore Sequencing Platform, Gigascience, 7(12), 2018


May 18, 2020

Effects of COVID-19 on Water Supply Usage

CEE Assistant Professor Ameet Pinto, MES/COS/CEE Associate Professor Aron Stubbins, and CEE Assistant Professor Kelsey Pieper were awarded a $200K NSF RAPID grant for “Extreme water use patterns and their impact on the microbial and chemical ecology of drinking water.”


Apr 07, 2020

Benjamin Gincley Awarded 2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Interdisciplinary Engineering PhD student Benjamin Gincley received a prestigious and highly competitive 2020 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP).


Sep 26, 2019

Ameet Pinto Receives 2019 Paul L. Busch Award from the Water Research Foundation

Receiving the 2019 Paul L. Bush Award from the Water Research Foundation, Ameet Pinto describes his innovative research.


May 08, 2019

Pinto Awarded NSF Grant for Biofilter Operation

CEE Assistant Professor Ameet Pinto was awarded a $340K NSF grant, in collaboration with Tanju Karanfil from Clemson University and Jess Brown from Carollo Engineers, for “Developing an Eco-Genomic Framework for Biofilter Operation”.

two female students in suits posing with blurred glass interior building in background


May 07, 2019

CEE PhD Students Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Two Northeastern Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD students, Cassandra Nickles and Katherine Vilardi, received 2019 Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This highly prestigious and selective program has historically awarded only 10% of applicants. According to the NSF, “Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations […]


Apr 09, 2019

FY20 TIER 1 Award Recipients

25 COE faculty and affiliates were recipients of FY20 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 18 different projects representing up to $900K dollars of investment in research.


Aug 30, 2018

Testing the Quality of the Charles River Water

CEE PhD student Max Rome and Assistant Professor Ameet Pinto are working with the Charles River Watershed Association to test the quality of the Charles River water in hopes of opening its first public swimming area. Source: News @ Northeastern In 1965, the water in the Charles River was so dirty that The Standells wrote […]


Jun 13, 2018

Pinto Receives ISME/IWA Bio Cluster Award

CEE Assistant Professor Ameet Pinto was selected as a recipient of the 2018 ISME/IWA Bio Cluster Award in the Rising Star Category. This prestigious prize rewards interdisciplinary research of outstanding merit at the interface of microbial ecology and water/wastewater treatment. The award will be presented at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2018 that will […]

Apr 24, 2018

Honoring Highest Achievements

Congratulations to the COE faculty and students that were honored at the 2018 Academic Honors Convocation.


Mar 15, 2018

Pinto Receives NSF CAREER Award

CEE Assistant Professor Ameet Pinto was awarded a $504K NSF CAREER award for “Developing a Spatial-Temporal Predictive Framework for the Drinking Water Microbiome”.

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