Meet the Experts

Find experts across Johns Hopkins involved in research and teaching related to environment, energy, sustainability and/or health. The following list is organized by the expert's last name. You can also search by area of expertise.

Learn more about the support E²SHI provides to Hopkins faculty, staff researcher or instructors.

Kai Loon Chen

Assistant Professor, Dept of Environmental Health and Engineering
Whiting School of Engineering

kailoon.chen@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Fate, transport, and effects of engineered nanomaterials in environmental and biological systems.
  • Nanotechnology for membrane filtration processes, water treatment, and environmental remediation.

Selected Publications

Ang, W.S., Tiraferri, A., Chen, K.L., Elimelech, M. (2011). “Fouling and cleaning of RO membranes fouled by mixtures of organic foulants simulating wastewater effluent.Journal of Membrane Science, 376(1), pp. 196-206.

Chen, K.L., Bothun, G.D. (2013). “Nanoparticles Meet Cell Membranes: Probing Nonspecific Interactions using Model Membranes.Environmental Science and Technology, 48(2), pp. 873-880.

Petersen, E.J., Zhang, L., Mattison, N.T., O’Carroll, D.M., Whelton, A.J., Uddin, N., . . . Chen, K.L. (2011). “Potential Release Pathways, Environmental Fate, And Ecological Risks of Carbon Nanotubes.Environmental Science and Technology, 45(23), pp. 9837-9856.

E²SHI-Supported Projects

Multiscale investigation of bacterial attachment for bioremediating contaminated groundwater.

Real-time, sensitive detection of Escherichia coli in drinking water.

Keywords: Water treatment, Nanomaterials

Whitney G. Colella

Principal Research Engineer Faculty Website

Research Areas:

Computer simulation, testing, and independent analysis of novel, low-carbon energy systems to improve their thermodynamics, economics, and environmental performance. Develops and applies analytic approaches to understand the design and performance space of networked stationary polygenerative fuel cell power plants and other distributed energy generation and storage devices, as well as advanced transportation systems. Advanced energy conversion system design, operation, and control. Thermodynamics, chemical engineer process plant design, economics, computer modeling, and independent testing of advanced energy systems.

Keywords: Energy, Transportation

Gregory Diette

Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
School of Medicine

gdiette@jhmi.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Identifying factors that cause or provoke asthma, especially in air pollutants and allergens that are especially problematic in inner city homes. 
  • Examining how dietary patterns, especially a Western style diet may increase susceptibility to inhalable pollutants and allergens.
Keywords: Air Pollution, Behavior Change, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Policy

Jocelyne DiRuggiero

Associate Research Professor, Department of Biology, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

jdiruggiero@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:

Metagenomic approaches to understand the ecology of microorganisms in extreme environments on Earth, particularly those with extremely high salt concentrations and hyper-arid conditions. Physiological responses of extremophiles to environmental stresses using model systems.

Selected Publications

Crits-Christoph, A., Robinson, C.K., Barnum, T., Fricke, W.F., Davila, A.F., Jedynak, B., . . . DiRuggiero, J. (2013). “Colonization patterns of soil microbial communities in the Atacama Desert.” Microbiome, 1(28), pp. 1-13.

Robinson, C.K., Wierzchos, J., Black, C., Crits-Christoph, A., Ma, B., Ravel, J., . . . DiRuggiero, J. (2014). “Microbial diversity and the presence of algae in halite endolithic communities are correlated to atmospheric moisture in the hyper-arid zone of the Atacama Desert.” Environmental Microbiology, 17(2), pp. 299-315.

Keywords: Environmental Sciences, Microbial ecology, Genomics

Marc Donohue

Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering

mdd@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Algal biofuels
  • Phase behavior of petroleum, coal-related compounds, asphaltenes, and natural gas
  • Separation processes including adsorption and supercritical extraction
Keywords: Engineering, Fossil Fuels, Renewable Energy

Jonah Erlebacher

Professor, Dept of Materials Science and Engineering
Whiting School of Engineering

Jonah.Erlebacher@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Materials applied to energy technologies – fuel cells, electrocatalysis, ultra-high strength and durable metals, and novel methods for carbon fiber production.
  • Developing new catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells.
Keywords: Energy, Nanoparticles

Howard Fairbrother

Professor, Dept of Chemistry 
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

howardf@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Characterization and environmentally relevant properties of engineered nanomaterials (e.g. carbon nanotubes)
  • Synthesis of nanocomposites
  • Photolysis effects

Selected Publications

Huang, H., Fairbrother, H., Teychene, B., Ajmani, G., Chalew, T.A., Gallagher, M.J., . . . Jacangelo, J. (2014). “Carbon nanotube composite membranes for small ‘designer’ water treatment systems.” Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 14(5), pp. 917-923.

Yang, J., Bitter, J.L., Smith, B.A., Fairbrother, D.H., Ball, W.P. (2013). “Transport of Oxidized Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes through Silica Based Porous Media: Influences of Aquatic Chemistry, Surface Chemistry, and Natural Organic Matter.” Environmental Science and Technology, 47, pp. 14034-14043.

E²SHI-Supported Projects

Probing biofilm-virus interactions.

Membrane-based water treatment using functionalized carbon nanotubes.

Keywords: Environmental chemistry, Nanotechnology, Water, Materials synthesis and characterization

Paul Ferraro

E²SHI Executive Committee member
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Carey Business School and Whiting School of Engineering (Dept of Environmental Health and Engineering)

pferraro@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Behavioral economics in a broad set of environmental issues, including energy, water and ecosystems
  • Designing and evaluating environmental programs in the private and public sectors

Selected Publications

Ferraro, P.J., Hanauer, M.M, Miteva, D.A., Nelson, J.L., Pattanayak, S.K., Nolte, C., Sims, K.R. (2015). "Estimating the Impacts of Conservation on Ecosystem Services and Poverty by Integrating Modeling and Evaluation." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(24), pp. 7420-7425. 

Ferraro, P.J. and Hanauer, M.M. (2015). "Through What Mechanisms do Protected Areas affect Environmental and Social Outcomes?" Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B, 370(1681), 267.

Keywords: Behavior analysis/change, Ecology, Energy, Policy, Water

Mary Fox

Assistant Professor, Dept of Health Policy and Management
Bloomberg School of Public Health

mfox@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Chemical risk assessment
  • Community environmental health

Selected Publications

Chari, R., Burke, T.A., White, R.H., Fox, M.A. (2012) "Integrating Susceptibility into Environmental Policy: An Analysis of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Lead.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9(4), pp. 1077-1096.

Keywords: Environmental policy, Health policy, Risk assessment

Carla Freeman

Associate Director of China Studies, School of Advanced International Studies

Executive Director, Foreign Policy Institute

cfreeman5@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Policy making, political economy of environmental policy
  • Sustainable development in China

Selected Publications

Freeman, C. (2011). "Quenching the Dragon's Thirst: The South-North Water Transfer Project - Old Plumbing for New China?"

E²SHI-Supported Projects

The visible hand meets the market: assessing China’s two-pronged carbon reduction strategy.

Keywords: China's environment and development, Environmental politics and security, Energy policy

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