Tracking the viral parasites cruising our waterways

The model produced a global map of fecal viruses where countries can glance and see which hotspot areas need more targeted research.

Humans aren’t the only ones who like to cruise along the waterways, so do viruses. For the first time, a map of fecal viruses traveling our global waterways has been created using modeling methods to aid in assessing water quality worldwide.

“Many countries are at risk of serious public health hazards due to lack of basic sanitation.”

— Joan Rose

“Many countries are at risk of serious public health hazards due to lack of basic sanitation,” said Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Chair in water research at Michigan State University. “With this map, however, we can assess where viruses are being discharged from untreated sewage and address how disease is being spread. With that, we can design a treatment and vaccination program that can help prevent sewage-associated diseases.”


Ballast water, residual waters taken in by ships that travel the world, may be contributing to the global travel of microorganisms. 


Advances in bioinformatics can help provide the framework to keep produce safe for American consumers.

Halosource, Inc.

Household water treatment devices are used worldwide to decontaminate drinking water, and those devices are getting better.


By studying sediment cores, research can help determine the best ways to manage historic watersheds that are shaped by climate and human activities.

City of Toledo

When storms hit an area, the volume of water that enters a treatment plant can exceed capacity. What happens to the untreated water?

Rose Labs

The Rose Labs are home to Joan’s “water detectives”, and to groundbreaking water research.