Name: Ivo Krustok
Date of birth: 22.09.1987
Current location: Brussels, Belgium
Degree: PhD in environmental microbiology
Job: Counsellor for Environment at the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU
Where have you worked?
Throughout the years I have had many jobs ranging from sheet metal work to guiding kids at a zoology museum. After I finished my PhD at Mälardalen University in 2016, I started working as a project manager at the Ministry of Environment of Estonia. After a year of educating businesses on resource efficiency and organizing training for resource auditors, I was offered a position as the scientific advisor for the ministry.
I started at the position as we were preparing for the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2017. This gave me a chance to work with several EU processes first hand, advise on eco-innovation activities and coordinate an international conference on Nature-based Solutions, which was funded by Horizon 2020. This gave me a chance to work with almost every part of the three-day conference like talking to many large global environmental organizations and ministries of several EU countries, exchanging experiences with experts and many other things.
After almost two years as the scientific adviser, I moved to Brussels and am currently working as an environmental attaché at the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU.
In addition to my current work at the ministry, I have been writing articles for the Estonian tech news portal Geenius.ee since the end of 2015 (read some!). I also started a podcast on pop culture and life in general called “Popkulturistid” with actor/writer Jim Ashilevi in 2016 that was taken up as a radio show by the Estonian Public Broadcasting Service station Raadio 2 in 2017.
What about your scientific background?
Most of my scientific work has been related to wastewater microbiology. I did my master’s degree at Tartu University on microbial community dynamics and activity in an experimental gray water treatment system. Basically this meant looking at how bacteria and archaea live in the treatment system and how they help get rid of different pollutants.
After finishing my work at the University of Tartu in 2011, I applied for a PhD position at Mälardalen University in Sweden. I continued my work in wastewater treatment microbiology, this time concentrating on microalgae. My doctoral thesis was on the communities of microalgae and bacteria in photobioreactors treating municipal wastewater. It is actually an interesting read, if this kind of stuff floats your boat.
So, can you actually do any sciency stuff?
Sure! I worked in a lab for around 7 years and was the lab assistant at Mälardalen University for about 2,5 years while doing my doctorate. I can handle basic microbiological methods and keep myself and others safe. As most of my work was with DNA, I have experience with molecular analysis (including working with environmental samples) and bioinformatics (including metagenome analysis). I can also handle common statistical methods and software (yes, even R) and can do some basic programming and scripting.
I also built a lot of my own reactor systems out of motors, sensors, controllers, CAD drawings and aquariums as the ones you could buy were shockingly expensive.
And you’ve written actual scientific papers, right?
Yep! Peer-reviewed, accepted in journals and everything!
- Truu, M., Oopkaup, K., Krustok, I., Kõiv-Vainik, M., Nõlvak, H., Truu, J., 2018. Bacterial community activity and dynamics in the biofilm of an experimental hybrid wetland system treating greywater. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. Link
- Nõlvak, H., Truu, M., Oopkaup, K., Kanger, K., Krustok, I., Nehrenheim, E., Truu, J., 2018. Reduction of antibiotic resistome and integron-integrase genes in laboratory-scale photobioreactors treating municipal wastewater. Water Research. Link
- Zambrano, J., Krustok, I., Nehrenheim, E., Carlsson, B., 2016. A simple model for algae-bacteria interaction in photo-bioreactors. Algal research. Link
- Krustok, I., Odlare, M., Truu, J., Nehrenheim, E., 2016. Inhibition of nitrification in municipal wastewater-treating photobioreactors: Effect on algal growth and nutrient uptake. Bioresource Technology. Link
- Krustok, I., Diaz, J.G., Odlare, M., Nehrenheim, E., 2015. Algae biomass cultivation in nitrogen rich biogas digestate. Water Science & Technology. Link
- Krustok, I., Truu, J., Odlare, M., Truu, M., Ligi, T., Tiirik, K., Nehrenheim, E., 2015. Effect of lake water on algal biomass and microbial community structure in municipal wastewater-based lab-scale photobioreactors. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. Link
- Krustok, I., Odlare, M., Shabiimam, M. a., Truu, J., Truu, M., Ligi, T., Nehrenheim, E., 2015. Characterization of algal and microbial community growth in a wastewater treating batch photo-bioreactor inoculated with lake water. Algal Res. Link
- Krustok I., Nieto J.G.D., Odlare M., Nehrenheim E., 2014. Algae Biomass Cultivation in Ammonium Rich Reject Water – The Potential for Simultaneous Wastewater Treatment and Energy Recovery. Presented at the 5th International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste, Venice, Italy.
- Krustok I., Nehrenheim E., Odlare M., Shabiimam M.A., Truu J., Ligi T., Truu M., 2014. Characterization of algal and microbial community dynamics in a wastewater photo-bioreactor using indigenous algae from lake mälaren. Presented at the 4th international Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts, Santa Fe, USA.
- Nehrenheim, E., Odlare, M. Krustok, I., Olsson J., Ribé V., Shabiimam M.A., Diaz J.G., Nordlander E., 2013. ACWA – algae cultivation for simultaneous water treatment and biogas substrate production. Poster at the 14th International Waste management and Landfill Symposium.
- Ribé V., Nehrenheim E., Shabiimam M.A., Krustok I., Thorin E., 2013. AlTox: biomass production using potentially toxic landfill leachates as substrates for algae cultivation. Presented at the 14th International Waste management and Landfill Symposium.
- Shabiimam M.A., Krustok I., Nehrenheim E., Odlare M., 2013. Microalgae cultivation for potential nutrient and heavy metal reduction in landfill leachate. Presented at the 14th International Waste management and Landfill Symposium.
- Krustok I., Truu J., Truu M., Preem J-K., Nehrenheim E., Odlare M., Mander Ü. 2012. Bacterial Community Activity, Structure and Succession in Hybrid Constructed Wetland Treating Domestic Grey Water. Presented at the 1st Congress of Baltic Microbiologists, Riga, Latvia.
- Krustok I., Nehrenheim E., Odlare M. 2012. Cultivation Of Microalgae For Potential Heavy Metal Reduction In A Wastewater Treatment Plant. Poster at the International Conference on Applied Energy 2012, Suzhou, China.