Lucca Mancilio

Lucca Mancilio – UMass Trainee 2023-2025

Research progress: I am a PhD student in Microbiology, conducting research in the Butler Research Group. My research investigates biofilm systems applied to coupled water remediation and resource recovery.   

Using naturally occurring Phosphate Accumulating Organisms, these biofilms can absorb phosphorus from waste streams, polluted lakes and stormwater, and selectively purify and concentrate it into a solution that can be recovered and recycled back into the economy.  

During these past two years I have gained experience in different types of sequencing and bioinformatic analysis (shotgun, Nanopore and Illumina), which unlock a range of applications from human microbiome health to microbial ecology in climate change and environmental biotechnology. I have also gained hands-on experience on reactor design, construction and operation from bench-scale to pilot and full-scale, thanks to the many projects I have assisted in the Water and Energy Technology (WET-Center) Facility, which represents a unique interdisciplinary expertise essential for deploying new technologies. I’ve learned techniques in staining different added-value-bioproducts for microscopy, FISH and FACS for high-throughput screening of new biocatalysts, and in all the new things I have learned, I maintain a consistent pipeline of knowledge by passing it down to undergraduate students I mentor and other graduate students I assist. By writing grant proposals and taking leadership roles in conference committees and young-professional organizations in my field, I have also honed my communication and organizational skills. 


Goodell, B; Chambers, J; Ward, D; Murphy, C; Black, E; Mancilio, LBK; Perez-Gonzalez, G; Shipway, R; First report of microbial symbionts in the digestive system of shipworm, wood boring mollusks, International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 2024