Moustapha Harb

Assistant Professor

Office: Bassil 305
Extension: 3914

Office Hours:
M W T R: 11:00-12:00

Research interests

  • Membrane-based wastewater treatment
  • Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs)
  • Treated wastewater reuse
  • Applied environmental microbiology

Academic degrees

Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), 2017
M.S., Environmental Engineering, University of Houston, 2010
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Houston, 2007


  • Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors (AEESP)
  • International Water Association (IWA)
  • Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE)

Selected publications

  1. M. Harb, A. Zarei-Baygi, P. Wang, C.B. Sawaya, D.L. McCurry, L.B. Stadler, and A.L. Smith (2021), Antibiotic transformation in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor linked to membrane biofilm microbial activity. Environmental Research, Vol. 200, Art. 111456
  2. C.B. Sawaya and M. Harb (2021), Considering the prospect of utilizing anaerobic membrane biofouling layers advantageously for the removal of emerging contaminants. Frontiers in Chemical Engineering, Vol. 3, Art. 642280
  3. A. Zarei-Baygi, P. Wang, M. Harb, L.B. Stadler, and A.L. Smith (2020), Membrane fouling inversely impacts intracellular and extracellular antibiotic resistance gene abundances in the effluent of an anaerobic membrane bioreactor. Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 54, Issue 13, Pages 12742-12751
  4. M. Harb, N. Ermer, C.B. Sawaya, and A.L. Smith (2020), Increased applied voltage in the presence of GAC enhances microbial activity and methane production during anaerobic digestion of food waste. Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, Vol. 6, Issue 3, Pages 737-746
  5. M. Harb, P. Wang, A. Zarei-Baygi, M.H. Plumlee, and A.L. Smith (2019) Background Antibiotic Resistance and Microbial Communities Dominate Effects of Advanced Purified Water Recharge to an Urban Aquifer. Environmental Science & Technology Letters, Vol. 6, Issue 10, Pages 578-584
  6. M. Harb, E. Lou, A.L. Smith, and L.B. Stadler (2019) Perspectives on the fate of micropollutants in mainstream anaerobic wastewater treatment. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, Vol. 57, Pages 94-100
  7. A. Zarei-Baygi, M. Harb, P. Wang, L.B. Stadler, and A.L. Smith (2019) Evaluating Antibiotic Resistance Gene Correlations with Antibiotic Exposure Conditions in Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactors. Environmental Science &Technology, Vol. 53, Issue 7, Pages 3599-3609
  8. S. Chen, M. Harb, and A.L. Smith (2018) Revisiting greenhouse gas mitigation from conventional activated sludge and anaerobic-based wastewater treatment systems. Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, Vol. 4, Issue 11, Pages 1739-1758
  9. M. Harb and P.Y. Hong (2017) Molecular-based detection of potentially pathogenic bacteria in membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems treating municipal wastewater: a case study. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Vol. 24, Issue 6, Pages 5370-5380
  10. M. Harb and P.Y. Hong (2017) Anaerobic membrane bioreactor effluent reuse: a review of microbial safety concerns. Fermentation, Vol. 3, Issue 3, Pages 39-67
  11. M. Harb, C.H. Wei, N. Wang, G. Amy, and P.Y. Hong (2016) Organic micropollutants in aerobic and anaerobic membrane bioreactors: Changes in microbial communities and gene expression. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 218, Pages 882-891
  12. Y. Xiong, M. Harb and P.Y. Hong (2016) Characterization of biofoulants illustrates different membrane fouling mechanisms for aerobic and anaerobic membrane bioreactors. Separation and Purification Technology, Vol. 157, Pages 192-202
  13. M. Harb, Y. Xiong, J.S. Guest, G. Amy, and P.Y. Hong (2015) Differences in microbial communities and performance between suspended and attached growth anaerobic membrane bioreactors treating synthetic municipal wastewater. Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, Vol. 1, Issue 6, Pages 800-813
  14. N. Al-Jassim, M.I. Ansari, M. Harb, and P.Y. Hong (2015) Removal of bacterial contaminants and antibiotic resistance genes by conventional wastewater treatment processes in Saudi Arabia: Is the treated wastewater safe to reuse for agricultural irrigation? Water Research, Vol. 73, Pages 277–290

Professional Activities

Reviewer for: Bioresource Technology, Environmental Science and Technology, Environment International, Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, Frontiers in Environmental Science, Frontiers in Microbiology, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Journal of Membrane Science, Journal of Water Process Engineering, Separation and Purification Technology, Scientific Reports, and Water Science and Technology