Skip to main content

Cornell University

Helbling Research Group

aquatic science and technology

Current Ph.D. Students

Nayantara Joseph

B.S., Environmental Engineering, Drexel University, 2019
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2023

Research Interests:  I am broadly interested in environmental contaminant management and remediation- specifically of anthropogenic contaminants in natural water systems. My research will focus on using machine learning tools to develop unique chemical signatures that can be used to identify the source and possible environmental transformations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) at various contamination sites. This will allow for rapid identification and differentiation of PFAS sources and possible resulting transformation compounds allowing for more informed remediation decisions for a specific site.

Email: ntj5 [AT] cornell [DOT] edu

Charbonnet et al. ES&T 2021
Joseph et al. ES&T 2023


Jieyuan Wang

B.S., Environmental Science, South China University of Technology, 2020
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2023

M.S. Thesis Title: Tunable β-cyclodextrin polymers, anion exchange resins, and activated carbon for the removal of perfluoroalkyl acids from simulated groundwater.

Research Interests: I am interested in understanding the fate, transport, and transformation of organic contaminants in the wastewater treatment process to improve water quality. I especially want to study the effectiveness and kinetics of different adsorbents for organic contaminants in wastewater treatment.

Email: jw2653 [AT] cornell [DOT] edu

Wang et al. ACS Central Science 2022
Lin et al. ACS App. Mat. & Interfaces 2024
Wang et al. Water Research 2024


Richard Marsh

B.S., Chemical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 2021
M.S., Environmental Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 2023

Research Interests:  I am interested in the characterization and remediation of contaminants of emerging concern, particularly per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), in water systems. My research will examine the fate and transport of fluorinated polymers used during industrial processing in an attempt to establish a link between certain industrial applications of fluorinated polymers with the detection of non-polymeric PFASs in industrial wastewater. This will create a better understanding of the sources of PFASs in industrial manufacturing wastewater and motivate the development of sustainable practices for the management and treatment of industrial wastewater.

Email: rm966 [AT] cornell [DOT] edu


Fanshu Geng

B.S., Environmental Engineering, Shandong University, 2022
M.S., Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2024

M.S. Thesis Title: Biotransformation of polyfluoroalkyl substances in bioreactors seeded with wastewater microbial communities: rates, products, and pathways.

Research Interests: I am interested in the biotransformation of organic contaminants in aquatic systems. My research will focus on the (bio)transformation of polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) under different redox conditions. I am interested in studying the formation, transformation, and removal of trace pollutants and the prediction of pollutant levels in water bodies through simulations and mathematical modeling.

Email: fg298 [AT] cornell [DOT] edu