Research Centers and Groups
The Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT) is elucidating the relationship between a vast array of nanomaterials— from natural, to manufactured, to those produced incidentally by human activities— and their potential environmental exposure, biological effects, and ecological consequences. Headquartered at Duke University, CEINT is a collaboration between Duke, Carnegie Mellon University, Howard University, Virginia Tech the University of Kentucky, and Stanford University. CEINT academic collaborations in the US also include on-going activities coordinated with faculty at Clemson, North Carolina State, Rice, UCLA and North Carolina Central universities, with researchers at NIST and EPA government labs, and with key international partners.
The major theme of this Superfund Hazardous Substances Basic Research Center is the elucidation of mechanisms of exposure and toxicity in humans and ecosystems to particular Superfund chemicals selected based upon their potential significance with respect to developmental effects.
John Albertson works in the field of land-atmosphere interaction, which is centered on the connection of surface hydrology and meteorology through terrestrial ecosystems. The discipline is organized toward development of a comprehensive theory to describe the exchange of mass (e.g. water and CO2), energy, and momentum between the land and atmosphere over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. The ultimate goal is to provide the theoretical framework and tools needed to quantify spatially integrated land surface fluxes over large regions of complex terrain from a parsimonious representation of the land surface state.
Ana Barros' group is studying the dynamics of water presence and water pathways in the terrestrial environment. The goal is to improve our understanding of the physics of the hydrological cycle at all spatial and temporal scales and to apply this new knowledge to investigate and develop technologies for environmental assessment, prediction and control.
Marc Deshusses' broad research interests are related to the design, analysis and application of processes for the bioremediation of contaminated air, water and soils. Current focus is bioreactors for air and groundwater pollution control, and the development of gas-phase sensors based on functionalized nanomaterials. Research interests include biomolecular techniques for monitoring microorganisms in complex mixed cultures, bioenergy, biofilms, indoor air quality, nanomaterials for environmental remediation and mathematical modeling of environmental bioprocesses.
The Duke Forest comprises 7,060 acres of land in Alamance, Durham and Orange counties. Its six divisions are fully accessible through a network of roads and fire trails. A variety of ecosystems, forest cover types, plant species, soils, topography and past land use conditions are represented within its boundaries. The Forest has been managed for research and teaching purposes since the early 1930s.
Lee Ferguson's Environmental Analytical Chemistry Laboratory is a group of interdisciplinary scientists, specializing in applied environmental analytical chemistry research. The lab focuses on the development and application of analytical tools to study the environmental fate and effects of anthropogenic contaminants in environmental systems.
The Forest-Atmosphere Carbon Transfer and Storage (FACTS-I) facility is located in the Blackwood Division of the Duke Forest. It consists of four free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) plots that provide elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration and four plots that provide ambient CO2 control.
Claudia Gunsch's research group is focused on environmental molecular biotechnology. Specific research projects include the impact of emerging contaminants on microbial community in aquatic environments; novel method for controlling gene expression in bacteria; exposure to fungal indoor air contaminants; and horizontal gene transfer in bacteria resulting in exposure to xenobiotic contaminants.
Heileen Hsu-Kim's research focuses on aquatic and soil chemistry, trace metals, nanogeoscience, mercury biogeochemistry, metal-sulfide colloids, voltammetric methods and electrochemistry.
Andrey Khlystov's research focuses on problems of air pollution in general and particulate matter (PM or aerosol) in particular. The main goals of our research are to develop new technologies to characterize physical and chemical properties of ambient aerosol, and to improve our understanding of the properties of airborne particles that are detrimental to the environment and human health.
The Ken Reckow lab focuses on finding solutions to better assess and manage water quality. The group's research spans lakes, river, and estuarine environment. Water quality modeling is a major focus, as well as risk assessment and decision analysis.
The Mark Wiesner research group performs fundamental research in environmental engineering in environmental nanotechnology, membrane science; water treatment, desalination and water reuse; particle transport and surface chemistry in natural and engineered environments; and technologies at the energy and environment interface.