Areas of expertise
- Applied Informatics
- Environment and Health
- Monitoring and Environmental Informatics
- Water Science and Engineering
Dr Francis Hassard is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health Microbiology at Cranfield Water Science Institute. He provides technical leadership in drinking water microbiology.
Dr Hassard is Visiting Lecturer at the University of South Africa.
Former visiting researcher at De Montfort University.
Francis has a distinct research agenda into the following topics:
Biofiltration for sustainable potable water production
Flow cytometry and analysis
of water pathogens
Emerging pathogens and public health surveillance
Micropollutants treatment: including PFAS, microplastics, pesticides and taste / odour compounds
Wastewater biofilm reactors
His postdoctoral research focused on the study of biogeochemical determinants of water quality and nutrient dynamics taking whole catchment approaches. Francis' PhD research focused on biofilm reactors for wastewater treatment and the study of hazardous micro-pollutants. His first degree was in Marine Biology at the University of Southampton, where he also achieved a distinction in a Masters on the same topic. Before joining Cranfield, Francis worked at Bangor University as a Research Associate and Atkins Global as a technical specialist in water quality and environmental modelling.
I am currently recruiting for doctoral research students in the general area of water microbiology.
Self funded PhD students should contact directly for discussion of opportunities.
PhD candidates (3-4 years)
MSc by Research (12 months research project)
Visiting research students/placements/internships (no less than three months, ideally 6 months or more)
Francis' research seeks to develop areas including:
Enumeration of emerging pathogens.
Wastewater-based epidemiology / surveillance
Biological treatment of micropollutants
Next generation biofiltration systems for water treatment
Francis is Academic Lead and Point of Contact for the National Research Facility in Water and Wastewater Treatment.
He leads a working group on Water Biofilms as part of the UKRI BBSRC EBNet.
Member of Midlands Innovation Flow Cytometry Committee
Regular Peer-Reviewer for:
Science of the Total Environment
SCOPUS - https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=56181497500
WoS - https://www.webofscience.com/wos/author/record/GSE-1754-2022
ORCID - https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4803-6523
Google Scholar - https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=CpGNVvgAAAAJ&hl=en
- Guardian Skip the dip? Swimming in the sea increases risk of illness, analysis suggests - https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/feb/27/skip-the-dip-swimming-in-the-sea-increases-risk-of-illness-analysis-suggests
- New Scientist Sewage surveillance spots new covid-19 variants as effectively as PCRs - https://www.newscientist.com/article/2329168-sewage-surveillance-spots-new-covid-19-variants-as-effectively-as-pcrs/
- Reuters World News Sewage testing could protect schools, hospitals from COVID-19 outbreakshttps://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-sewage-buildings-idUSKBN27T1DF
- BBC Horizon - Honest Supermarket https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0006p3j
- Channel 5 - Secrets of Your Supermarket Food 25th November 2022
- BBC Look East - Finding Covid outbreaks in our sh** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb6Vy3fEh_M
- BBC World Service / BBC Radio 4 - Inside Health, Secrets of sewage science 04/10/2022 https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001cpcf
- BBC Radio 4 - Troubled Water https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001k0dq
Completed projects for Regulators, UK Research Councils and Industry:
Natural Environmental Research Council, Severn Trent Water, UK Water Industry Research, Thames Water, Defra Drinking Water Inspectorate, Royal Academy of Engineering, South-east Water, Northumbrian Water, Affinity Water, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK Health Security Agency.
Articles In Journals
- Exton B, Hassard F, Medina-Vaya A & Grabowski RC (2023) Polybacterial shift in benthic river biofilms attributed to organic pollution – prospect of a new biosentinel?, Hydrology Research, 54 (3) 348-359. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.21395136, 10.17862/cranfield.rd.21395109
- Hassard F, Singh S, Coulon F & Yang Z (2023) Can wastewater monitoring protect public health in schools? [Comment], The Lancet Regional Health. Americas, 20 (April) Article No. 100475.
- Singh S, Keating C, Ijaz UZ & Hassard F (2023) Molecular insights informing factors affecting low temperature anaerobic applications: diversity, collated core microbiomes and complexity stability relationships in LCFA-fed systems, Science of the Total Environment, 874 (May) Article No. 162420.
- Rocamora I, Wagland ST, Hassard F, Villa R, Peces M, Simpson EW, Fernández O & Bajón-Fernández Y (2023) Inhibitory mechanisms on dry anaerobic digestion: Ammonia, hydrogen and propionic acid relationship, Waste Management, 161 (April) 29-42.
- Mudau FH, Hassard F, Motsa MM & De Kock LA (2023) Multifunctional heterogeneous ion-exchange membranes for ion and microbe removal in low-salinity water, Polymers, 15 (4) Article No. 843.
- Castro-Gutierrez VM, Pickering L, Cambronero-Heinrichs JC, Holden B, Haley J, Jarvis P, Jefferson B, Helgason T, Moir JW & Hassard F (2022) Bioaugmentation of pilot-scale slow sand filters can achieve compliant levels for the micropollutant metaldehyde in a real water matrix, Water Research, 211 (March) Article No. 118071. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.18412244
- Castro-Gutierrez VM, Hassard F & Moir JW (2022) Probe-based qPCR assay enables the rapid and specific detection of bacterial degrading genes for the pesticide metaldehyde in soil, Journal of Microbiological Methods, 195 (April) Article No. 106447.
- Tian J, Yan C, Alcega SG, Hassard F, Tyrrel S, Coulon F & Nasir ZA (2022) Detection and characterization of bioaerosol emissions from wastewater treatment plants: challenges and opportunities, Frontiers in Microbiology, 13 Article No. 958514.
- Castro-Gutierrez V, Fuller E, Garcillán-Barcia MP, Helgason T, Hassard F & Moir J (2022) Dissemination of metaldehyde catabolic pathways is driven by mobile genetic elements in Proteobacteria, Microbial Genomics, 8 (10) Article No. 000881.
- Brenes-Guillén L, Vidaurre-Barahona D, Avilés-Vargas L, Castro-Gutierrez V, Gómez-Ramírez E, González-Sánchez K, Mora-López M, Umaña-Villalobos G, Uribe-Lorío L & Hassard F (2022) First insights into the prokaryotic community structure of Lake Cote, Costa Rica: influence on nutrient cycling, Frontiers in Microbiology, 13 Article No. 941897.
- Hassard F, Elemo T, Chipps M, Turner A, Jefferson B & Graham NJD (2022) Underwater remote skimming of slow sand filters for sustainable water production, Environmental Science and Technology, 2 (9) 1471-1474.
- Rocamora I, Wagland ST, Casado MR, Hassard F, Villa R, Peces M, Simpson EW, Fernández O & Bajón-Fernández Y (2022) Managing full-scale dry anaerobic digestion: semi-continuous and batch operation, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 10 (4) Article No. 108154.
- Mudau F, Motsa M, Hassard F & de Kock L-A (2022) Resin-loaded heterogeneous polyether sulfone ion exchange membranes for saline groundwater treatment, Membranes, 12 (8) Article No. 736.
- Singh S, Pitchers R & Hassard F (2022) Coliphages as viral indicators of sanitary significance for drinking water, Frontiers in Microbiology, Available online 26 July 2022.
- Hassard F, Smith TR, Boehm AB, Nolan S, O'Mara O, Di Cesare M & Graham D (2022) Wastewater surveillance for rapid identification of infectious diseases in prisons [Comment], The Lancet Microbe, 3 (8) e556-e557.
- Castro-Gutierrez V, Hassard F, Vu M, Leitao R, Burczynska B, Wildeboer D, Stanton I, Rahimzadeh S, Baio G, Garelick H, Hofman J, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Kwiatkowska R, Majeed A, Priest S, Grimsley J, Lundy L, Singer AC & Di Cesare M (2022) Monitoring occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 in school populations: a wastewater-based approach, PLoS ONE, 17 (6) Article No. e0270168.
- Tlhagale M, Liphadzi S, Bhagwan J, Naidoo V, Jonas K, van Vuuren L, Medema G, Andrews L, Béen F, Ferreira ML, Saatci AM, Alpaslan Kocamemi B, Hassard F, Singer AC, Bunce JT, Grimsley JMS, Brown M & Jones DL (2022) Establishment of local wastewater-based surveillance programmes in response to the spread and infection of COVID-19 – case studies from South Africa, the Netherlands, Turkey and England, Journal of Water and Health, 20 (2) 287-299.
- Lundy L, Fatta-Kassinos D, Slobodnik J, Karaolia P, Cirka L, Kreuzinger N, Castiglioni S, Bijlsma L, Dulio V, Deviller G, Yin Lai F, Alygizakis N, Barneo M, Baz-Lomba JA, Béen F, Cíchová M, Conde-Pérez K, Covaci A & Viklander M (2021) Making Waves: collaboration in the time of SARS-CoV-2 - rapid development of an international co-operation and wastewater surveillance database to support public health decision-making, Water Research, 199 (July) Article No. 117167.
- Muleja AA, Mubiayi MP, Hassard F & Mamba BB (2021) Titania containing natural clay doped with carbon nanotubes for enhanced natural photocatalytic discoloration of wastewater, Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 23 (4) Article No. 97.
- Hassard F, Lundy L, Singer AC, Grimsley J & Di Cesare M (2021) Innovation in wastewater near-source tracking for rapid identification of COVID-19 in schools [Comment], The Lancet Microbe, 2 (1, January) e4-e5.
- Cheswick R, Moore G, Nocker A, Hassard F, Jefferson B & Jarvis P (2020) Chlorine disinfection of drinking water assessed by flow cytometry: new insights, Environmental Technology and Innovation, 19 (August) Article No. 101032.
- Rolph CA, Jefferson B, Brookes A, Hassard F & Villa R (2020) Achieving drinking water compliance levels for metaldehyde with an acclimated sand bioreactor, Water Research, 184 (October) Article No. 116084.
- Zeb MA, Murtaza G, Hussain MA, Kubra KT, Muvhiiwa R, De Kock LA & Hassard F (2020) A comprehensive adsorption study of 1-Hydroxy-2-Naphthoic acid using cost effective engineered materials, Environmental Technology and Innovation, 19 (August) Article No. 100881.
- Budge S, Barnett M, Hutchings P, Parker A, Tyrrel S, Hassard F, Garbutt C, Moges M, Woldemedhin F & Jemal M (2020) Risk factors and transmission pathways associated with infant Campylobacter spp. prevalence and malnutrition: A formative study in rural Ethiopia, PLoS ONE, 15 (5) Article No. e0232541. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.9907385
- Freeman D, Fernández YB, Wilson A, McKew BA, Whitby C, Clark DR, Jefferson B, Coulon F & Hassard F (2020) Nitrogen oxidation consortia dynamics influence the performance of full-scale rotating biological contactors, Environment International, 135 (February) Article No. 105354.
- Hassard F, Biddle J, Cartmell E, Coulon F & Stephenson T (2020) Biosolids recycling impact on biofilm extracellular enzyme activity and performance of hybrid rotating biological reactors, Science of the Total Environment, 706 (March) Article No. 135865.
- Rolph CA, Villa R, Jefferson B, Brookes A, Choya A, Iceton G & Hassard F (2019) From full-scale biofilters to bioreactors: Engineering biological metaldehyde removal, Science of the Total Environment, 685 (October) 410-418. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.8869580.v1
- Jarvis P, Autin O, Goslan EH & Hassard F (2019) Application of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-LED) to full-scale drinking-water disinfection, Water (Switzerland), 11 (9) Article No. 1894.
- Wood M, Simmonds L, MacAdam J, Hassard F, Jarvis P & Chalmers RM (2019) Role of filtration in managing the risk from Cryptosporidium in commercial swimming pools – a review, Journal of Water and Health, 17 (3) 357-370.
- Denman S, Doonan J, Ransom-Jones E, Broberg M, Plummer S, Kirk S, Scarlett K, Griffiths AR, Kaczmarek M, Forster J, Peace A, Golyshin PN, Hassard F, Brown N, Kenny JG & McDonald JE (2018) Microbiome and infectivity studies reveal complex polyspecies tree disease in Acute Oak Decline, The ISME Journal, 12 (2) 386-399.
- Farrell C, Hassard F, Jefferson B, Leziart T, Nocker A & Jarvis P (2018) Turbidity composition and the relationship with microbial attachment and UV inactivation efficacy, Science of the Total Environment, 624 (May) 638-647.
- Rolph CA, Jefferson B, Hassard F & Villa R (2018) Metaldehyde removal from drinking water by adsorption onto filtration media: mechanisms and optimisation, Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, 4 (10) 1543-1552. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.4702747
- Hassard F, Biddle J, Harnett R & Stephenson T (2018) Microbial extracellular enzyme activity affects performance in a full-scale modified activated sludge process, Science of the Total Environment, 625 (June) 1527-1534.
- Hassard F, Sharp JH, Taft H, LeVay L, Harris JP, McDonald JE, Tuson K, Wilson J, Jones DL & Malham SK (2017) Critical Review on the Public Health Impact of Norovirus Contamination in Shellfish and the Environment: A UK Perspective, Food and Environmental Virology, 9 (2).
- Farkas K, Hassard F, McDonald JE, Malham SK & Jones DL (2017) Evaluation of Molecular Methods for the Detection and Quantification of Pathogen-Derived Nucleic Acids in Sediment, Frontiers in Microbiology.
- Hassard F, Andrews A, Jones DL, Parsons L, Jones V, Cox BA, Daldorph P, Brett H, McDonald JE & Malham SK (2017) Physicochemical factors influence the abundance and culturability of human enteric pathogens and fecal indicator organisms in estuarine water and sediment, Frontiers in Microbiology, 8 Article No. 1996.
- Hassard F, Biddle J, Cartmell E & Stephenson T (2016) Mesh rotating reactors for biofilm pre-treatment of wastewaters – influence of media type on microbial activity, viability and performance, Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 103 (Part A, September) 69-75.
- Hassard F, Gwyther C, Farkas K, Andrews A, Jones V, Cox B, Brett H, Jones D, McDonald J & Malham S (2016) Abundance and distribution of enteric bacteria and viruses in coastal and estuarine sediments - A review, Frontiers in Microbiology, 7 Article No. 1692.
- Hassard F, Biddle J, Cartmell E, Jefferson B, Tyrrel S & Stephenson T (2015) Rotating biological contactors for wastewater treatment - A review, Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 94 285-306.
- Hassard F, Cartmell E, Biddle J & Stephenson T (2014) Performance of permeable media rotating reactors used for pretreatment of wastewaters, Water Science and Technology, 69 (9) 1926-1931.
- Petrie B, McAdam EJ, Hassard F, Stephenson T, Lester JN & Cartmell E (2014) Diagnostic investigation of steroid estrogen removal by activated sludge at varying solids retention time, Chemosphere, 113 101-108.
- Jago C, Howlett E, Hassard F, Jackson S, Malham S, Rajko-Nenow P, Robins P, (2017) Turbulence control of the flux of particulate matter, nutrients and pathogens in the river-estuary transition zone of a shallow macrotidal estuary. In: 19th European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017 (EGU2017), Vienna, 23-28 April 2017.