Our faculty conduct research in broader areas of chemistry, environmental science, life sciences, materials science, and photonics. These research activities are supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, US Army, US Department of Energy, as well as industry.  

Research Efforts by Area:


  • Anaerobic and aerobic biotreatment processes
  • Atmospheric and Aerosol Science
  • Coastal morphodynamics and ecosystem studies
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Environmental Policy
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Innovative technologies for in-situ and ex-situ remediation
  • Kinetic and thermodynamic analysis of combustion and pyrolysis processes
  • Sampling and analysis of organic and inorganic pollutants
  • Supercritical extraction for environmental sample preparation
  • Water and wastewater treatment and purification
  • Water resources and watershed management and planning


  • Biophotonics
  • Catalysis and Biocatalysis
  • Circadian Rhythm Biochemistry
  • Directed Evolution of Proteins
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Protein Engineering


  • Advanced functional materials and sensors
  • Analytical method development
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Chemical kinetics and thermodynamics of gas phase reactions
  • Chemical reactions in supercritical fluids
  • Computer-aided drug design
  • Electrochemistry and Electrochemical Energy Storage
  • Forensic chemistry
  • Kinetics of Elementary Gas Phase Reactions of Combustion Importance at Elevated Pressures
  • Laser kinetic spectroscopy
  • Light activated agents for biomedical diagnosis and therapy
  • Luminescent Probes
  • Mass Spectrometry and Environmental Mass Spectrometry
  • Nanoparticle production, characterization and modeling
  • Photochemistry and Photocatalysis
  • Plasma chemistry
  • Proteomics

Research Efforts by Faculty:

Kevin Belfield – biophotonics, photonic materials, and molecular engineering

Hao Chen – the mass spectrometry and electrochemistry research, with aim to develop new analytical, biomedical and forensic applications through novel instrumentation

Edgardo Farinas – protein engineering and enzyme design using directed evolution

Tamara Gund – modeling of the drug-biomolecule interactions

Nancy Jackson – coastal systems (transport, human impacts)

Alexei Khalizov – atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, air pollution, and climate change

Yong-Ick Kim – biochemical mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms (day/time cycle)

Lev Krasnoperov – gas phase chemical kinetics, transient spectroscopy, nanoparticles, reactions in plasma

Mengyan Li – environmental microbiology and biotechnology, water remediation

Som Mitra – nanotechnology for environmental and energy technologies, analytical chemistry, membrane separations and real time environmental monitoring

Zeyuan Qiu – natural resources and environmental economics

Yuanwei Zhang – organic chemistry, biomaterials for disease diagnosis and treatment