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Dr Ana Castro-Castellon

Dr Ana Castro-Castellon

Research Associate

Room S/3.17D, Queen's Buildings, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Research Associate on the METAL_SoLVER (Mine Effluent Treatment At Low-cost using Sustainable Vertical Flow Reactors) project in the Geoenvironmental Research Centre within the School of Engineering at Cardiff University.

My research is interdisciplinary with a focus on water quality and aquatic systems: from underground to surface waters, from urban streams to rivers, and from urban ponds to lakes and reservoirs.

Key areas are:

  • Pollutants and pollution pathways.
  • Water treatment: chemical and nature-based solutions.
  • Freshwater ecology & remediation: microalgae and macrophytes.
  • Environmental services.


My research is interdisciplinary with a focus on aquatic systems: monitoring, treatment, pollution, ecology and remediation. I have a strong professional background in the water industry: field and laboratory. I am a Reserch Associate to the METAL_SoLVER project, Geoenvironmental Research Centre, School of Engineering, Cardiff University (2022).

My interest in research started when I was studying protists in ostriches and the environmental impact of ostrich farms in Spain for an MSc in Microbiology and Parasitology at the Complutense University of Madrid (1999-2001). 

I moved to the UK and held various positions in the water industry. Whilst working as a Biologist for Wessex Water, overseeing eight surface reservoirs in Somerset, I conducted an M.Sc. by Research (PT) in Aquatic Ecology and Ecosystem Change at the University of Bristol investigating ecological dynamics of phytoplankton blooms, the eutrophication from the catchment to reservoirs and secondary metabolites from cyanobacteria (geosmin, methyl-isoborneol and cyanotoxins).  

My Ph.D. was developed in the area of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Dept. of Engineering Science, University of Oxford (2012-2017). I investigated the underlying physico-chemical and biological mechanisms of a floating treatment wetland to reduce algal loading onto a water treatment works. Before submitting my thesis (2016), I joined Thames Water as the Field/ Process Scientist in the West Thames Valley (2016-2019). Wessex Water sponsored my MSc and Thames Water my PhD.

I joined the International project RESPiRES: Resilient People, Resilient Ecosystems in Smart Cities (ES/S006443/1) as a Research Assistant, Bath Spa University (2019-2020). The research investigated social-ecological blue-space systems (urban waters: streams, rivers, ponds and lakes) to promote sustainable smart cities: in Mexico City, Mexico and Bristol, U.K. Although my main role was related to freshwater ecology, I took part in the social side of the project e.g. showcase of participatory videos and being a judge for the RESPiRES Ideathon (2022).  

Shortly after the RESPiRES project ended, I remained as a Visiting Research Fellow (2020-2021), then as an Associate Lecturer (casual hours) at Bath Spa University. Later in 2020, I joined Welsh Water as a Chemistry Team Leader, then I decided to join Industrial Phycology as the Senior Scientist where microalgae are used to remove phosphorus from waste water (2021-2022).

Honours and awards

  • Beaufort Research Grant, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford (2015).
  • Travel Glasgow Award (two occasions), Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford (2014 and 2015).

Professional memberships

  • Corporate Member of the Institute of Water
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC) - Water Science Forum Committee Member
  • Member of the British Ecological Society
  • Member of the International Water Association

Committees and reviewing

  • Journal reviewer, regularly:
    • Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier
    • Aquatic Botany, Elsevier
    • Journal of Water Process Engineering
    • Water, MDPI
  • Other journals (occasional reviewer): Environmental Chemistry Letters, Journal of Cleaner Production, Sustainability










Research projects: 

  • METAL_SoLVER: Mine Effluent Treatment At Low-cost using Sustainable Low-footprint VERtical flow reactors.
  • RESPiRES project: Resilient People, Resilient Ecosystems in Smart Cities.
  • Living-Filter project : A biofilter process for phytoplankton removal prior to potable water treatment: a field and laobratory study.
  • Algal Blooms in Somerset Reservoirs.
  • Environmental Impact of Ostrich Farms in Spain.