Dr. Walter Q. Betancourt is a Microbiologist with expertise in Environmental Virology and Parasitology. His initial studies in Biology and Microbiology took place in Venezuela, where he earned a B.S in Biology with a major in Microbiology from a coordinated course work between two institutions: University of Zulia and Universidad Central de Venezuela.
He earned his PhD in 2003 at the University of South Florida, College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he developed methods for recovery and detection of protozoan pathogens in recycled waters, aquifers, and marine waters. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Michigan State University and Texas A&M University in 2003-2004 followed by a third postdoctoral research position at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2004-2006.
Dr. Betancourt's research has been focused on water pollution microbiology with an emphasis on enteric pathogens and looking at alternative indicators of these pathogens in tropical marine and freshwater environments of North and South America. He holds a solid record of interdisciplinary research with scientists from Stony Brook University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Miami, University of Hawaii and the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research focused on the study of pathogens in tropical marine waters.
As a Faculty Member of the ENVS Department, Dr. Betancourt conducts research with Dr. Charles Gerba's group at the Water and Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center, a leading-edge venue focused on advanced water and wastewater treatment and monitoring, alternative energy and related technologies.