Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. Students

Corey Carpenter

B.S., Environmental Engineering, Syracuse University, 2014
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2016
Thesis Title: Removal of micropollutants in biofilters: Hydrodynamic effects on biotransformation rates
Research Interests: I am interested in improving our environmental monitoring capabilities for organic micropollutants (e.g. pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals). Today, traditional monitoring practices screen relatively few samples for relatively few micropollutants, which can severely under-represent the true chemical contamination. My research focuses on developing comprehensive micropollutant characterization strategies (i.e. sampling schemes, analytical methods, and data processing methods) to better understand micropollutant sources, fate, and transport in surface waters.
Carpenter and Helbling Wat. Res. 2017
Carpenter and Helbling Env. Sci. Tech. 2018
Carpenter et al. Env. Sci. Tech. 2018
Gao et al. ESPI 2019

Marika Nell

B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2018 
Research Interests: I work to understand the fate and water quality impacts of chemicals associated with unconventional shale gas development. Thousands of chemicals have been disclosed as fracking additives or produced water constituents and others are unknown because they are proprietary information or wholly unanticipated. I work to detect these chemicals in flowback and produced waters, surface water, and groundwater using broad analytical methods and suspect and non-target screening techniques. These methods enable a more holistic characterization of fracking-related waters. This is important for developing better environmental monitoring, ensuring proper treatment for fracking produced waters, and assessing the risks presented by spills and improper disposal of these produced waters.
Oetjen et al. TrEAC 2017
Nell and Helbling ESPI 2018

Yuhan Ling

B.S., Environmental Science & Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2014
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2016
Thesis Title: Characterization of a novel ß-cyclodextrin polymer for the removal of organic micropollutants from aqueous solution
Research Interests: I am interested in studying and characterizing new methods and materials which are developed to target water quality problems. Particularly, I am interested in adsorption processes for the sequestration of trace organic contaminants. For now, I am investigating the adsorption of trace organics onto a novel polymer material by conducting experiments to determine the kinetics and thermodynamic parameters.
Alsbaiee et al. Nature 2016
Xiao et al. JACS 2017
Ling et al. Env. Sci. Tech. 2017
Klemes et al. Chem. Sci. 2018
Ji et al. JACS 2018
Ling et al. Wat. Res. 2019
Alzate-Sanchez et al. ACS App. Mat. and Int. 2019

Casey Ching

B.S., Environmental Engineering, Lehigh University, 2017
Research Interests: I am interested in improving our understanding of the fate and transport of trace organic contaminants in natural and engineered water systems. I am interested in understanding their transformations and their potential impacts on aquatic ecosystems and human health. My research will focus on developing adsorption-based remediation processes using cyclodextrin polymers to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), a class of trace organics, from impacted groundwater. 
Ji et al. JACS 2018

Paige Jacob

B.S., Environmental Science, Marist College, 2018
Research Interests:I am interested in understanding the effects of anthropogenic contaminants on water quality and how this impacts human and ecosystem health. Specifically, I am intrigued by the biotransformation of trace organic contaminants found in wastewater systems. My research will focus on characterizing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) found in wastewater systems and evaluating the fate and transport of PFASs in these systems.

Stephanie Rich

B.S., Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University, 2015
M.S., Water Science and Engineering, Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, 2018
Thesis Title: Kinetic Analysis of Pesticide Biodegradation in Activated Sludge
Research Interests: I am interested in improving environmental water quality by utilizing microbiological processes in wastewater treatment plants to reduce anthropogenic emissions. My research aims to advance the understanding of micropollutant biotransformations performed by wastewater microbial communities for the development of more cost-effective and energy-efficient wastewater treatment strategies. I am especially interested in the interactions of wastewater microorganisms with their environment at a metabolic level and how they are linked to operational parameters in wastewater treatment plants.