Office: Clark Hall Room 201
Study of the natural environment raises biogeochemical questions related to naturally-occurring organic compounds: How do organic substances lead to soil formation? How is energy transferred from higher plants to microbes? What controls the bioavailability and movement of metals in surface and subsurface waters? To address these and other questions, we have developed an agent-based model (ABM) of organic chemistry in the environment, employing stochastic kinetic algorithms and quantitative structure reactivity (QSPR) relationships. The ABM is ideally suited to representing the heterogeneous mixtures of compounds found in the environment, while carefully formulated QSPRs permit quantitative predictions of chemical observables. Current work seeks to apply the mode to problems in metal complexation, drinking water disinfection, microbial ecology and sub-surface contaminant transport.
Related research projects include experimental studies of arsenic and organic compounds onto iron oxides, spectroscopic investigations of humic substances, and uncertainty analysis of the thermodynamic models used to predict uranium speciation in groundwater.