Ashish Bhatnagar

NAME Ashish Bhatnagar
TITLE Post Doctoral Research Associate
DEPARTMENT Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program
PHONE 706-542-1653
FAX 706-542-8806
ADDRESS Driftmier Engineering Center
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia 30602
EDUCATION Ph.D., Microbiology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India
M.Sc., Microbiology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India
B.Sc., Agriculture, Jawahar Lal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur (M.P.) India

RESEARCH INTERESTS Microalgal mass cultivation, wastewater remediation, algae based biofuels and biosorption

Ashish Bhatnagar


Dr. Ashish Bhatnagar has been working as Associate Professor at Department of Microbiology, Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India for the last fifteen years. He established the first ever Microbiology Centre of Rajasthan at Ajmer, and the Satellite Centre for Microalgal Biodiversity of Arid Zones. Dr. Ashish has been a contributor to the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (Microorganisms diversity) of India (2001-2003). He was also an invited author of an e-chapter for the National Science Digital Library of India, “Natural and Xenobiotic compounds in the environment - Transformation, bioaccumulation, biomagnification in air, water and soil”. (Please view at:

He has reported that Chlorella minutissima was a potent agent for wastewater remediation. It is a versatile fast growing minute green alga. It is a mixotroph that survives absence of light and oxygen, remains afloat in dark colored organic substrate containing sewage, sediments in clearer, organic molecule depleted water and shows wide pH tolerance.

He also fitted r- and K-selection model to the wastewater oxidation pond process and established that better productivity in semi natural (open) remediation ponds could be obtained by maximizing utilization of all spatial niches. And his laboratory at Ajmer demonstrated that though cyanobacteria avoid plant vicinity in general, xerophytes creating meager shade allow more diversity near them, suggesting that conservation of plants in deserts may also help conserve cyanobacterial diversity.
His was the first group to begin work on fluoride biosorption and they showed that calcium pretreatment allowed better fluoride biosorption.

At the Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering and Biorefining Program he is involved in the following projects:

  • Microalgae mediated biodiesel production using Dalton Utilities wastewater
  • Integrated poultry litter management with biofuel production
  • On-farm production of microalgae and biogas



Monica Bhatnagar, Ashish Bhatnagar, and Sapna Jha. 2001. Interactive biosorption by microalgal biomass as a tool for fluoride removal. Biotechnology Letters, 24 (13): 1079-1081. Kluwer Academic Pub, The Netherlands.

Ashish Bhatnagar. 1999. Development of r- and K-selection model in the waste stabilisation pond system. Journal of Environmental Biology, 20 (2):115-120.

Ashish Bhatnagar and Monica Bhatnagar.1998. Algae based wastewater remediation systems. In: Advances in Phycology. B.N. Verma, AN Kargupta & SK Goyal (eds).pp. 381-98. APC Publ. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.

Ashish Bhatnagar and Monica Bhatnagar. Strategies to employ algae and cyanobacteria for wastewater remediation. Innovative Approaches in Microbiology. D.K. Maheshwari & R.C. Dubey (eds). Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal singh, Dehra Dun. pp. 379-403. 2001.

Microbial Ecophysiology

Ashish Bhatnagar, Mahammad Basha Makandar, Mukesh Kumar Garg, & Monica Bhatnagar. 2008. Community structure and diversity of cyanobacteria and green algae in Thar desert of India. Journal of Arid Environments, 72:73-83.

Ashish Bhatnagar and Monica Bhatnagar. 2005. Microbial diversity in desert ecosystems. Current Science, 89 (1): 91-100.

BN Johri, BN Ganguly, SK Goel, JS Virdi, AK Tripathi, RK Jain, DN Kamra, and Ashish Bhatnagar. 2005. Microorganisms diversity: Strategy and action plan. Current Science, 89 (1): 151-154.

Monica Bhatnagar, Ashish Bhatnagar, & S.K. 2004. Goyal. pH dependent fluoride toxicity in algae and cyanobacteria. Indian Journal of Microbiology, 44 (2):125-128.

Monica Bhatnagar and Ashish Bhatnagar. 2004. Physiology of Anabaena khannae and Chlorococcum humicola under fluoride stress. Folia Microbiologica, 49 (3): 291-296.

Monica Bhatnagar and Ashish Bhatnagar.2000. Algal and Cyanobacterial responses to fluoride. Fluoride, 33(2):55-85. Elsevier Pub.