Organic Contaminants

Research group of Stephanie Spahr
Highway runoff retention pond

Stormwater retention pond to capture and treat highway runoff. Photo: Stephanie Spahr

Water scarcity and water quality impairments are major global 21st century challenges that are heightened by population growth, climate change, groundwater depletion, and continuous introduction of anthropogenic chemicals into the aquatic environment. Our research focuses on trace organic contaminants such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and industrial chemicals that enter the aquatic environment through insufficiently treated wastewater or untreated agricultural and urban runoff. Many trace organic contaminants raise particular concern as they can cause adverse effects on ecological and human health even at trace concentrations. 


Our main research areas are:

  1. Storm-driven contaminant dynamics with focus on mobilisation and toxicity of organic contaminant mixtures
  2. Transformation mechanisms of organic contaminants during water treatment with chemical oxidants and carbonaceous adsorbents
  3. Removal and transformation of contaminants in urban blue-green infrastructure for stormwater purification


Lana Graves

Doctoral Student
Research group
Organic Contaminants

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