Hans van Bruggen Dr.

Senior Lecturer in Microbiology


Dr Hans van Bruggen is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology in the Department of Water Science and Engineering.

Hans van Bruggen joined IHE in 1991 and has been for many years coordinator of the Master Programme in Environmental Science. Other activities are the supervision of Master of Science students, Ph.D. fellows, the organisation of refresher courses for IHE alumni and involvement in various projects. He has been working in e.g. Uganda, Kenya, China P.R., Poland, and Tanzania (he worked for more then four years at the University of Dar es Salaam).

His lecturing activities are in the field of "the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment" , microbiology and "environmental quality" He is responsible for research and training in the field of the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment.

He is responsible for both a three weeks short course on constructed wetlands and a 3 months online course on the same topic. His main research activities take place in the core Aquatic Ecosystems.

Main disciplines

His main interests are in the field of microbiology, wastewater treatment, biofilm in wetlands, and environmental issues in general.

Some outputs

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Open Courseware: constructed wetlands



  1. M. Zapater-Pereyra, E. Kyomukama, V. Namakula, J.J.A. van Bruggen & P.N.L.Lens. (2016) The Effect of Aeration and Recirculation on a Sand Based Hybrid Constructed Wetland Treating Low Strength Domestic Wastewater. Environmental Technology: in press.
  2. Hassana Ibrahim Mustapha, J.J.A. van Bruggen, P.N. Lens (2015) “Vertical subsurface flow constructed wetlands for polishing secondary Kaduna refinery wastewater in Nigeria”. Ecological Engineering 84: 588-595.
  3. Zapater-Pereyra M., Ilyas H., Lavrnic S., Bruggen van J.J.A., Lens P.N.L. (2015) "Evaluation of the performance and the space needed by three different hybrid constructed wetlands in a stack arrangement". Ecological Engineering 82: 290-300.
  4. M. Zapater-Pereyra, E. Malloci, J.J.A. van Bruggen and P.N.L. Lens (2014) Use of marine and engineered materials for the removal of phosphorus from secondary effluent. Ecological Engineering 73: 635-642.
  5. G.M.P.R. Weerakoon, K.B.S.N. Jinadasa, G.B.B. Herath,M.I.M. Mowjood, J.J.A. van Bruggen (2013) Impact of the hydraulic loading rate on pollutants removal in tropical horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands. Ecological Engineering 61:154-160.
  6. M. Zapater-Pereyra, F. van Dien, J. J. A. van Bruggen and P. N. L. Lens (2013) Material selection for a constructed wetroof receiving pre-treated high strength domestic wastewater. Water Science and Technology 68: 2264-2270.
  7. Njenga Mburu, Sylvie M. Tebitendwa, Diederik P.L. Rousseau, J.J.A van Bruggen, Piet N.L.Lens (2013) Performance evaluation of horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands for the treatment of domestic wastewater in the tropics. Journal of  Environmental Engineering 139:358-367.
  8. Njenga Mburu, Sylvie M. Tebitendwa , Johan J.A. van Bruggen, Diederik P.L. Rousseau, Piet N.L. Lens (2013) Performance comparison and economics analysis of waste stabilization ponds and horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands  treating domestic wastewater: A case study of the Juja sewage treatment works. Journal of Environmental Management 128:220-225.
  9. N. Mburu, D. P.L. Rousseau, J. J.A. van Bruggen, G. Thumbi, E. Llorens, J. Garcia and P.N.L.Lens (2013) Reactive transport simulation in a tropical horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands treating domestic wastewater.  Science of the Total Environment. 449:309-319.
  10. Njenga Mburu, David Sanchez-Ramos, Diederik P.L. Rousseau, Johan J.A. van Bruggen, George Thumbi, Otto R. Stein, Paul B. Hook and Piet N.L. Lens (2012). Simulation of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur conversion in batch-operated experimental wetland mesocosms. Ecological Engineering 42:304– 315
  11. Brijesh K. Yadav, B.K., Siebel, M.A. and van Bruggen, J.J.A. (2011) Rhizofiltration of a Heavy Metal (Lead) Containing Wastewater Using the Wetland Plant Carex pendula. Clean – Soil, Air, Water  39 (5), 467–474.
  12. Abira, M. A., van Bruggen, J.J.A. and Denny, P. (2005) Potential of a tropical subsurface constructed wetland to remove phenol from pre-treated pulp and papermill wastewater. Water Science and Technology Vol. 51 No.9 pp 173-176.

  13. Kansiime, F., M. Nalubega, J.J.A. van Bruggen and P. Denny (2003) The effect of wastewater discharge on biomass production and nutrient content of Cyperus papyrus and Miscanthidium violaceum in the Nakivubo wetland, Kampala, Uganda, Water Science & Technology 48(5): 233–240                                            

  14. Abira, M.A., H.W. Ngirigacha and J.J.A. van Bruggen (2003) Preliminary investigation of the potential of four tropical emergent macrophytes for treatment of pre-treated pulp and papermill wastewater in Kenya, Water Science & Technology,     48(5): 223–231

  15. Kansiime, F. and van Bruggen, JJA (2001) Distribution and retention of faecal coliforms in the Nakivubo wetland in Kampala, Uganda. Wat. Sci. Tech. 44, 199-206.

  16. Okurut, T.O., Denny, P., de Jong, J., van Bruggen, H. and Rijs, G.B. J (2000). Helofytenfilters in Oeganda. H20, 33:8-11
  17. Okurut T.O., G.B.J. Rijs and J.J.A. van Bruggen (1999). Design and performance of experimental constructed wetlands in Uganda, planted with Cyperus papyrus and Phragmites mauritianus. Wat. Sci. Tech. 40, 265-271.
  18. Nyakang’o J.B. and J.J.A. van Bruggen (1999). Combination of a well functioning constructed wetland with a pleasing landscape design in Nairobi, Kenya. Wat. Sci. Tech. 40, 249-256.
  19. Stumm, C.K. and J.J.A. van Bruggen (1997) Pelomyxa palustris, eine  merkwuerdige Amoebe. Mikrokosmos 86:333-340.
  20. Van Bruggen J.J.A., Geertman E.J.M., Zwart K.B., Stumm C.K., Vogels G.D. (1988) Isolation of a methanogenic endosymbiont of the sapropelic amoeba Pelomyxa palustris. Greeff. Journal of Protozoology 35: 20-23.
  21. Van Bruggen J.J.A., Zwart K.B., Hermans J.G.F., Van Hove E.M., Stumm C.K.,  Vogels G.D. (1986). Isolation and characterization of Methanoplanus endosymbiosus  sp. nov., an endiosymbiont of the marine sapropelic ciliate Metopus contortus. Arch. Microbiol. 144: 367-374.
  22. Van Bruggen J.J.A., Stumm C.K., Vogels G.D. (1985). A novel anaerobic amoeba  with endosymbiotic bacteria. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 51: 578-579.
  23. Van Bruggen J.J.A., Zwart K.B., Stumm C.K., Vogels GD (1985). Symbiosis of methanogenic bacteria and anaerobic ciliates. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 51: 452-453
  24. Van Bruggen J.J.A., Stumm C.K., Zwart K.B., Vogels G.D. (1985). Endosymbiotic methanogenic bacteria of the sapropelic amoeba Mastigella FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 31: 187-192.
  25. Van Bruggen J.J.A., Goosen N.K., Stumm C.K., (1984) Sarcina-like and coccoid cells of Methanococcus mazei. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 50: 80-81.
  26. Van Bruggen J.J.A., Zwart K.B., Van Assema R.M., Stumm C.K., Vogels, G.D. (1984). Methanobacterium formicicum, an endosymbiont of the anaerobic ciliate Metopus striatus McMurrich. Arch. Microbiol 139: 1-7.
  27. Van der Drift C., Gorris L., Van Bruggen J.J.A., Van Beelen P., Vogels G.D. (1983)  'Potential methanogenic monitoring of anaerobic reactors'. Symposium Anaerobic Waste Water Treatment, Noordwijkerhout, 22-25 November 1983, 39
  28. Van Bruggen J.J.A., Stumm C.K., Vogels G.D. (1983), Symbiosis of methanogenic  bacteria and sapropelic protozoa. Arch. Microbiol. 136: 89-95