Peiying Hong, Ph.D.



Research Interests

​Professor Hong’s research interests include molecular microbiology and microbial aspects in water and wastewater ecosystems. The main motivation of her research is driven by the need to address water scarcity issues worldwide. Her research program aims to encourage the use of treated wastewater through a two way approach: (i) understanding the microbial safety concerns related to wastewater reuse, and (ii) developing anaerobic membrane bioreactor to improve quality of treated wastewater. 

Selected Publications

  • Water Disinfection Byproducts Increase Natural Transformation Rates of Environmental DNA in Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1
    D.Mantilla-Calderon, M. J. Plewa, G. Michoud, S. Fodelianakis, D. Daffonchio, P.-Y. Hong
    Environmental Science & Technology, Vol.53, pp.6520−6528 (2019)
  • Removal of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and Antibiotic Resistance Genes Affected by Varying Degrees of Fouling on Anaerobic Microfiltration Membranes
    H. Cheng, P.-Y. Hong
    Environmental Science & Technology, Vol 51, pp.12200-12209 (2017)   
  • Effect of pre-acclimation of granular activated carbon on microbial electrolysis cell startup and performance 
    N. LaBarge, Y.D. Yilmazel, P.-Y. Hong, B.E. Logan
    Bioelectrochemistry, Volume 113, pp. 20-25, (2017)
  • Hollow fiber membrane lumen modified by polyzwitterionic grafting 
    N.L. Le, M. Quilitzsch, H. Cheng, P.-Y. Hong, M. Ulbricht, S.P. Nunes, T.-S. Chung
    Journal of Membrane Science, Volume 522, pp. 111, (2017)
  • Isolation and Characterization of NDM-Positive Escherichia coli from Municipal Wastewater in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 
    D. Mantilla-Calderon, M.R. Jumat, T. Wang, P. Ganesan, N. Al-Jassim, P.-Y. Hong
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy,60(9) pp. 5223-31, (2016)
  • Organic micropollutants in aerobic and anaerobic membrane bioreactors: Changes in microbial communities and gene ex... 
    M. Harb, C.-H. Wei, N. Wang, G.L. Amy, P.-Y. Hong
    Bioresource Technology, Volume 218, pp. 882-891, (2016)
  • Antibiofilm effect enhanced by modification of 1,2,3-triazole and palladium nanoparticles on polysulfone membranes 
    H. Cheng, Y. Xie, L.F. Villalobos, L. Song, K.-V. Peinemann, S.P. Nunes, P.-Y. Hong
    Scientific Reports, Volume 6, Article number 24289, (2016)
  • Dynamics of microbial communities in an integrated ultrafiltration–reverse osmosis desalination pilot plant located... 
    P.-Y. Hong, N. Moosa, J. Mink
    Desalination and Water Treatment, Volume 57, Issue 35, 16310-16323, (2016)
  • Design of anaerobic membrane bioreactors for the valorization of dilute organic carbon waste streams 
    B.D. Shoener, C. Zhong, A.D. Greiner, W.O. Khunjar, P.-Y. Hong, J.S. Guest
    Energy and Environmental Science, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp. 1102-1112, (2016)
  • Removal of bacterial contaminants and antibiotic resistance genes by conventional wastewater treatment processes in Saudi Arabia: Is the treated wastewater safe to reuse for agricultural irrigation?
    N. Al-Jassim, M.I. Ansari, M. Harb, P.-Y. Hong
    Water Research Vol. 73, pp. 277-290 (2015)


  • ​Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 2009
  • B.Eng., Chemical and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 2004

Professional Profile

  • 2023- Present: Full Professor, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2018-2023: Associate Professor, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2012- 2018: Assistant Professor, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2010-2012: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Illinois, USA
  • ​2009-2010: Research Fellow, National University of Singapore, Singapore​

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • ​Member, American Society of Microbiology (ASM)
  • Member, International Water Association
  • Member, Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors
  • Editorial Board Member, Nature Scientific Reports (Microbiology)


  • 2019 James J. Morgan Environmental Science & Technology Early Career Award

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC)
  • Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE)​

Research Interests Keywords

Emerging microbial contaminants water quality wastewater multibarrier treatment technologies water reuse anaerobic processes