Lisa Alvarez-Cohen

Fred and Claire Sauer Professor of Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Research Areas: Environmental microbiology and ecology, biotransformation and fate of environmental and wastewater contaminants, and innovative molecular and isotopic techniques for studying microbial ecology of communities involved in wastewater treatment and bioremediation communities.

Sample Projects: Oxygenase-Catalyzed Biodegradation of Emerging Water Contaminants: 1,4-Dioxane and N-Nitrosodimethylamine; Quantifying Gene Expression to Predict and Optimize Reductive Dechlorination by Dehalococcoides spp.; Application of Microarrays to Identify Biomarkers of Reductive Dehalogenating-Microbial Communities; Using Molecular and Isotopic Tools to Characterize the Biodegradation of Chlorinated Ethenes and Ethanes; and Characterizing the fate and biotransformation of fluorochemicals in aqueous film forming forms (AFFF).

Ashok Gadgil


ENV Program, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Areas: Drinking Water Treatment; Technology Innovation; Technology Maturation for Impact

Sample projects: Arsenic remediation of groundwater used for drinking; Advanced technologies for Capacitive Deionization; Low cost effective remediation of excess fluoride from groundwater used for drinking


Kara Nelson


Environmental Engineering

Research Areas: Detection, removal, and inactivation of pathogens in water and sludge; Water reuse; Natural treatment systems; Drinking water and sanitation in developing countries.

Sample Projects: Disinfection of Water by Sunlight; Evaluation of 24x7 versus Intermittent Water Supply in Hubli-Dharwad, India; Tertiary Treatment for Water Reuse; Wastewater Irrigation of Food Crops; and Stormwater Treatment by Bioinfiltration.

Isha Ray

Co-Director of Berkeley Water Center, Associate Professor

Energy and Resources Group

Research Areas: Water and devel­op­ment; tech­nol­ogy and devel­op­ment; com­mon prop­erty resources; and social sci­ence research meth­ods

Sample Projects: Access to water and san­i­ta­tion for the rural and urban poor, the role of tech­nol­ogy in improv­ing liveli­hoods, and pub­lic per­cep­tions of energy and cli­mate change poli­cies. 

David Sedlak

Co-Director of Berkeley Water Center, Malozemoff Professor in Mineral Engineering, Director of Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering (IESE)

Environmental Engineering

Research Areas: Environmental chemistry, water recycling, contaminant fate in receiving waters, natural treatment systems, reinvention of urban water systems

Sample Projects: The Fate of Trace Organic Compounds in Treatment Wetlands, In Situ Chemical Oxidation of Persistent Organic Contaminants

Affiliated Faculty
Maximilian Auffhammer
Director, International & Area Studies; Associate Professor

Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics

Research Areas:  Forecasting Greenhouse Gas Emissions, impacts of air pollution on agriculture, Microeconomic Theory, Economics of Climate Change, and econometrics

Sample Projects: Co-Editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Dennis D. Baldocchi


Environmental Science, Policy and Management

Research Areas: Biometeorology, biosphere-atmosphere trace gas fluxes

Sample Projects: Coordinated use of experimental measurements and theoretical models to understand the physical, biological, and chemical processes that control trace gas fluxes between the biosphere and atmosphere and to quantify their temporal and spatial variations. The spatial scales of this work ranges from the dimension of a leaf through the depth of plant canopies and the planetary boundary layer and the horizontal extent of landscapes.

Stephanie Carlson

Associate Professor

Environmental Science, Policy and Management

Research Areas: Freshwater fish ecology, evolutionary ecology, conservation of freshwaters

Sample Projects: Evolution (and loss) of biodiversity among salmon populations, Ecology of intermittent streams, Ecology and conservation planning of urban streams, Bio-physical coupling in coastal estuaries, Ecological impacts of large-scale water management.


Jack Colford

Professor of Epidemology

School of Public Health

Research Areas: Waterborne infectious diseases (domestic, developing country, and recreational water settings), Clinical trial design (individual and community-level)

Sample Projects: Cluster-randomised controlled trials of individual and combined water, sanitation, hygiene and nutritional interventions in rural Bangladesh and Kenya: the WASH Benefits study, Health risks associated with ocean exposure and fecal indicator bacteria following rainstorms: a longitudinal cohort study of surfers in San Diego, California, Spillover Effects of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Interventions on Child Health

Holly Doremus

James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation; Associate Dean, Faculty Development and Research; Co-Director, Center for Law, Energy & the Environment

Berkeley Law

Research Areas: Environmental law, natural resources law, and law and science

Sample Projects: Hydropower relicensing in California

Steven Glaser

Professor and Faculty Director of the CITRIS Intelligent Water Infrastructures and Adaptive Cities Initiative

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Areas: Laboratory earthquakes and nanoseismology, wireless sensors networks, snow water hydrology, internet of water, geophysics and wave propagation, geothermal energy, rock mechanics

Sample Projects: Operates the largest wireless network in the world, monitoring forest hydrology of snow melt and water balance in the Sierra Nevada. The wireless sensor networks research covers a wide range of applications - from the first use of the Berkeley Mote to monitor the seismic safety of wood-frame houses to measuring the seismic response of the Masada mountain in Israel to measuring environmental hazards at Chinese historical sites such as Dunhuang.

Slav Hermanowicz

Professor and 2012 Minner Faculty Fellow

Environmental Engineering

Research Areas: Biological water and wastewater treatment processes; biofilms and their development; analysis of full-scale treatment reactors; nutrient control; sustainable development

Sample Projects: Membrane reactors, biofilm structure and modeling, biological processes in water and wastewater treatment, analysis of full-scale treatment processes, and metrics of sustainable development with particular applications for engineering decision-making and water reuse.

Arpad Horvath
Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate Engineering and Project Management
Research Areas: Life-cycle environmental and economic assessment of products, processes, and services, particularly answering important questions about civil infrastructure systems and the built environment: transportation systems, water and wastewater systems, biofuels, pavements, buildings, and construction materials.
Sample Projects: Environmental implications of various products, processes and services, in particular, transportation systems, water and wastewater systems, biofuels, pavements, buildings, and construction materials.
Susan S. Hubbard

Associate Laboratory Director, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Berkeley Lab; Adjunct Professor UC Berkeley

Department of Environmental Science, Policy and   Management (ESPM)

Research Areas: Development and use of advanced characterization approaches to provide new insights about terrestrial hydrological and biogeochemical functioning relevant to contaminant remediation, carbon cycling, water resources, and subsurface energy challenges.

Sample Projects: Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area - Developing a predictive understanding of how mountainous watersheds retain and release water and the implications for downgradient water discharge and biogeochemical cycles, particularly in response to floods, droughts and other episodic through decadal perturbations. The project is focused in a headwaters catchment in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Partners: Colorado School of Mines, Desert Research Institute, Fort Lewis College, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of Arizona, Navarro, Subsurface Insights, UC Berkeley; Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) -Artic (Improved prediction of ecosystem feedback to climate in vulnerable Arctic systems through iterative and multi-scale observations, experiments and simulations). Partners: ORNL (lead), LANL, BNL, University of Fairbanks AK; Subsurface Technology and Engineering Research (SubTER) - Adaptive control of subsurface fractures, reactions and flow to jointly enable utilization of the subsurface and protection of the environment.  Partners: 13 National Laboratories; and Hyporheic zone processes to quantify key controls over water infiltration and quality associated with riverbank filtration systems.


Baoxia Mi

 Assistant Professor

Environmental Engineering and Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate (ECIC)

Research Areas: Advanced water treatment technology, membrane process, water and wastewater reuse, desalination, environmental nanotechnology, interfacial and transport phenomena

Sample Projects: Graphene-based membranes for water purification, Hybrid membrane systems for enhanced water and energy sustainability, Fundamental understanding of fouling and transport mechanisms in membrane processes

Alison E. Post

Associate Professor

Political Science and Global Metropolitan Studies

Research areas:  Institutions for urban water delivery; politics of water management and distribution, especially in the Global South; private sector participation in water delivery; water intermittency; human right to water.


Sample Projects:  Foreign and Domestic Investment in Argentina: The Politics of Privatized Infrastructure; How Investor Portfolios Shape Regulatory Outcomes: Privatized Infrastructure After Crises; Information and Intermittent Water: An Impact Evaluation in Bangalore, India; Does Codifying the Human Right to Water Change Public Opinion?  

William T. Stringfellow

Professor & Director Ecological Engineering Research Program

Earth & Environmental Sciences Area; Energy Geosciences Division; Geochemistry Department; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Research Areas: Industrial waste treatment and water quality, with an emphasis on engineered biological systems. Expertise includes treatment and management of industrial wastewater, including agricultural drainage water. Research experience includes combined physical-biological treatment, treatment wetlands, bioremediation, environmental impact assessment, watershed-scale water quality management, and eutrophication.   

Sample Projects: Impact of oil field chemicals on the safe use of produced water for irrigated agriculture; Pre-treatment of non-traditional waters prior to desalinization ;Large-scale groundwater recharge as an alternative to surface storage; Biological degradation of quaternary ammonium compounds and other biocides.


Sally Thompson

Assistant Professor

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Areas: Ecohydrology, Surface Hydrology, Nonlinear Dynamics

Sample Projects: Eel River Critical Zone Observatory, Effects of reversing fire suppression on Sierra Nevada hydrology - Illilouette Creek Basin (can link to a nice radio show on this project at, Unmanned Aerial Systems for Water Observations, Reconstructing 50 years of human-induced hydrologic change in the Arkavathy Basin, Karnataka, India, and Exploring land use impacts on hydrology in the Cerrado-Amazon transition zone, Brazil

David Zilberman

Professor and Robinson Chair

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Research Areas: Water Economics – water conservation, water market, water quality; Technological Change, Adoption of new technology and innovation; The Bioeconomy – biotechnology and biofuels; Agricultural, environmental and nutritional policy, risk management; and Environmental sustainability - Climate change, environmental risk

Sample Projects: Adoption of Drip Irrigation in California: A historical/econometric study on the evolution of the adoption of drip irrigation in California with Rebecca Taylor, Douglas Parker and Ariel Dinar;  The relationship between water dams and conservation: Understanding to what extend dams and conservation are substitutes or complements (will better conservation technologies reduce or increase the need for dams?), with applications to climate change. With Yang Xie; How California is responding to the drought: A new Giannini Foundation project with Yang Xie and Douglas Parker; The Economic Impact of CIMIS (California Irrigation Management Information System): Supported by DWR and NASA with Douglas Parker; and The Regulation of Animal Waste: Assessing the challenge of regulating Nitrogen and Phosphorus simultaneously with Antti Iho and Douglas Parker.