We apply science and engineering principles to understand the behavior and fate of pollutants in natural environments, improve waste treatment processes, and develop sustainable industrial processes and products that reduce pollutants in the ecosystem. Our research investigates both local and global environmental impacts of gaseous and aqueous pollutants, and opportunities to reduce such contaminants through better use of renewable bioresources and sustainable bioprocesses. Some examples of our research activities include:

  • Studying the sources and fate of atmospheric particulates, and impacts on health and climate.
  • Tracking the fate and removal of contaminants in drinking water and wastewater.
  • Establishing novel and robust microbial communities to remediate contaminated groundwater.
  • Treating industrial effluents through anaerobic digestion for energy and biochemical recovery, or freeze crystallization for water recovery.
  • Developing efficient physico-chemical, enzymatic and microbial processes for the production of bio-based chemicals and materials from renewable bio-resources.
  • Designing new materials such as membranes, adsorbents, and catalysts for water treatment and desalination.
  • Recovering critical and strategic materials from industrial waste streams and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
  • Applying technoeconomic and life-cycle analysis tools to guide the development of sustainable technologies and products.

Key Terms

  • Atmospheric chemistry
  • Aerosols and particulate matter
  • UV disinfection
  • Bioremediation
  • Biological wastewater treatment
  • Biomass valorization
  • Industrial biocatalysis
  • Green chemistry
  • Functional genomics
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Microbiome engineering
  • Sustainable bioproducts
  • Synthetic biology
  • Stable isotope analysis
  • Bioretention cells and wetlands
  • Industrial and municipal water and wastewater treatment
  • Waste management and valorization
  • Urban mining

Core Principal Investigators

Grant Allen

D. Grant Allen

Waste management and valorization; sustainable bioproducts; biological wastewater treatment

Gisele Azimi

Gisele Azimi

Waste management and valorization; urban mining

Jeff Brook

Jeffrey R. Brook

Environmental health; exposure assessment; chronic disease; open data platforms


Arthur Chan

Atmospheric chemistry; aerosols and particulate matter

Cathy Chin

Ya-Huei (Cathy) Chin

Biomass valorization; green chemistry

Niko DeMartini

Nikolai DeMartini

Waste valorization

Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth A. Edwards

Bioremediation; functional genomics; waste management and valorization

Greg Evans

Greg J. Evans

Air pollution; advanced measurement methods; environmental data analytics

Ramin Farnood

Ramin R. Farnood

Water recovery; biomass valorization; UV disinfection

Frank Gu

Frank Gu

Green chemistry; nanotechnology; industrial wastewater treatment

Charles Jia

Charles Q. Jia

Biomass-derived functional materials; waste management and valorization; water purification and desalination

Don Kirk

Donald W. Kirk

Electrolyte thermodynamics; chemical modelling; sensors

Mark Kortschot

Mark T. Kortschot

Biomaterials; bio composites; paper science

Yuri Lawryshyn

Yuri A. Lawryshyn

Industrial and municipal water and wastewater treatment

Chris Lawson

Christopher E. Lawson

Biological wastewater treatment; microbiome engineering; functional genomics; waste management and valorization

Krishna Mahadevan

Radhakrishnan Mahadevan

Synthetic biology; metabolic engineering; sustainable bioproducts; industrial biocatalysis; functional genomics; microbiome engineering

Master, Emma

Emma R. Master

Industrial biocatalysis; functional genomics; biomass valorization; sustainable bioproducts

Mohamad Moosavi

Seyed Mohamad Moosavi

Novel materials; technoeconomic and life-cycle assessment; carbon capture

Vlad Papangelakis

Vladimiros G. Papangelakis

Industrial water purification and recovery; forward osmosis; freeze concentration; bioleaching; hydrometallurgy; extraction and recovery of rare earth elements


Elodie Passeport

Bioremediation; stable isotope analysis; bioretention cells and wetlands

Brad Saville

Bradley A. Saville

Sustainable bioproducts; industrial biocatalysis

Honghi Tran

Honghi N. Tran

Sustainable bioproducts; waste management and valorization; water recovery

Jay Werber

Jay Werber

Water management and valorization; water recovery; sustainable bioproducts


Ning Yan

Biomass valorization; green chemistry; sustainable bioproducts