Gertjan Medema is Principal Microbiologist at KWR. He is also part-time professor of Water & Health at Delft University of Technology, and Distinguished Hannah Visiting Professor at Michigan State University. His research focusses on understanding the transmission of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance via water systems, and how this can be prevented through technical and non-technical management measures. His research forms the scientific basis for the design of safe water systems. This encompasses: (1) development of methods for detection/typing/source tracking of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites) and antimicrobial resistance in water and soil; (2) observational, experimental and modelling research into the occurrence, fate and transport of pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in water systems (wastewater, surface water, groundwater, drinking water, urban water systems, water reuse systems, aerosols); (3) typing and understanding of the removal of microorganisms by water treatment processes; (4) integrating this knowledge in global/national hydrological and treatment models, and into quantitative risk assessment/health impact assessment; (5) conducting epidemiological research on the health effects of water systems; (6) providing advice on the design of safe water systems and safe water policies and guidelines.
Gertjan is an internationally recognized expert and scientific coordinator of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Water Quality and Health. He advises WHO on the microbial safety of water, and the EU DG Environment on drinking water and water reuse guidelines. Gertjan is also a member of the IWA Strategic Council and of the Specialist Group on Health-Related Water Microbiology.