Shilva Shrestha is an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering working on developing innovative and sustainable biotechnologies for wastewater treatment and resource recovery of biofuels and platform chemicals from biomass to promote a circular carbon economy.
Shrestha and her research group integrate top-down and bottom-up approaches of microbiome engineering to convert organic waste streams and lignocellulosic biomass into high-value products. They take an interdisciplinary approach by combining bioprocess and chemical engineering, microbial ecology, and life-cycle assessment modeling to make such biotechnologies environmentally sustainable and cost competitive. Her lab also works closely with diverse stakeholders including municipalities, national laboratories, and industry partners to accelerate the adoption of these biotechnologies. Shrestha is also interested in studying microorganisms of industrial and environmental relevance using system biology and metabolic engineering approaches.
Shrestha holds a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from Kathmandu University, Nepal, a master’s degree in molecular biosciences and bioengineering from the University of Hawaii, and earned a PhD in environmental engineering from the University of Michigan in 2020. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Lawrence Berkeley National Lab from 2021 to 2023 before joining the faculty of the Whiting School of Engineering.