The distance learning Programme WATER MICROBIOLOGY AND QUALITY CONTROL is offered by the Department of Medicine of the University of Patras, Greece, with the collaboration of the academic instructors:

Dr Apostolos Vantarakis
Environmental Microbiology Unit
Department of Public Health
Medical School
University of Patras, Greece

Apostolos Vantarakis is Professor in the Public Health Laboratory at the Department of Medicine of the University of Patras, Greece. He has worked in the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece, in the public sector, and in research institutes.

Dr Vantarakis holds a BSc in Biology (1990) from the University of Patras, Greece, an MSc in Genetic Toxicology (1991) from the University of Swansea, Wales, U.K., and a PhD in Hygiene-Environmental Microbiology (1998) from the University of Patras. He has published 38 peer reviewed articles, as well as a chapter in a scientific book. He has participated (with scientific papers) in 45 international and 40 Greek conferences. He has participated as an expert of Ministry of Agriculture in workshops organised by the EU in 2002-2006 on the virological quality of shellfish. He is a representative of the Greek Standardisation Body (ΕLOT) in Technical Committee CEN/TAG4/WG6 for standardisation of molecular methods detection of viruses in food. He has extensive experience in competitive research projects, Greek and European.

His research has focused on the impact of environment microbiological quality (water, air, soil) as well as food microbiological quality to public health and outbreaks. Current research areas include development of molecular methods for the detection and identification of waterborne and foodborne microbes (viruses, bacteria and parasites) as well as risk assessment of the water and food quality as it concerns the human health. In the last decade, he has participated in more than 15 research projects, while he was a group partner in three European research projects.

He has supervised two PhD theses that have been brought to completion, and is currently supervising three master’s theses and two PhD theses.

He teaches Environmental Microbiology as well as Public Health and Epidemiology. His research interests include water microbiology with an emphasis on viruses, risk assessment and public health.

Dr Maria A. Efstratiou
f. Associate Professor
Department of Marine Sciences
University of the Aegean, Greece

Maria Efstratiou holds a degree in Biology from the University of Patras, Greece, a Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Microbiology from Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, U.K., an MSc in Management Sciences from UMIST, University of Manchester, U.K., and a PhD in Marine Microbiology from the University of Patras, Greece. She has worked in industry ( CIBA-GEIGY a pharmaceutical company and KNORR S.A. a food company) and in research institutions (Athens School of Public Health and the Pasteur Institute of Athens) as well as in the public sector (Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries) in Greece.

She is an Ass. Professor in the Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Aegean, in Greece. She teaches Aquatic Microbiology and Food Microbiology to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her research interests include water microbiology with emphasis on pathogens, coastal water management and relevant legislation.

She is an Editor to the Journal of Water and Health, published by the International Water Association in collaboration with the WHO. She offers her services as an expert evaluator for the selection of scientific programmes to be funded by the EU. She acts as a reviewer for numerous international scientific journals.


Dr Athena Mavridou
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Microbiology,
Scientific Associate of the University of Patras

Athena Mavridou holds a batchelor’s degree in Biology, a MSc degree in Ecology, Université Paris XI, France and a doctorate in Water Microbiology from the Faculty of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (1987).

She has been working as a research and teaching fellow in the National School of Public Health (1980-1998) and as Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Medical Laboratories, Faculty of Health and Welfare, Technological Educational Institution, Athens, Greece (1998-today).

She is a member of the coordinating committee of the postgraduate course entitled “Public Health and Environmental Hygiene”, and a regular lecturer, teaching water microbiology, in three more postgraduate courses . She has published over 40 research papers, (which obtained about 200 citations), two books (and a 3rd one is in print), a chapter in the WHO Guidelines on recreational water quality, numerous Technical Reports assigned and published by UNEP/WHO and about 200 presentations and posters in national and international Conferences. She coordinated about 40 research projects, funded by the European Committee or national resources.

As a WHO scientific expert she organized seminars, training courses and proficiency testing schemes, including practical laboratory exercises, in Malta, Kuwait, Iran, Algeria, Montenegro and Greece. She introduced and coordinated the National Proficiency Scheme for the water microbiology laboratories (1996-2006).

She was member of the Technical Committee for the accreditation of water microbiology laboratories of the National Accreditation Body (ESYD) (1998-2008) and of numerous other advisory and scientific committees. She is currently President of the Water Microbiology Committee of the National Standardization Body (ELOT). Her academic career was awarded by the Athens Academy.

Associated editor of the scientific journal Water, Science and Technology and referee of the scientic journals Instituto Superiore di Sanita Editions (Italy), Parlar Scientific Publications, Virology, African Journal of Microbiology, Anaerobe. She is member of the Health Related Water Microbiology Group (HRWM) of the International Water Association (IWA) and organized the 15th HRWM Conference in Naxos, Greece (2009).


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