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.


William Ball

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

Executive Director, Chesapeake Research Consortium

bball@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Analyzing and understanding water quality observations in the Chesapeake Bay, as well as issues and challenges to Bay health and restoration.
  • Physical and chemical processes affecting water quality, in both natural environments and engineered processes of treatment.
  • Developing and applying appropriate and sustainable technologies for developing nations, with focus on water resources, drinking water, and sanitation.

Selected Publications:

Zhang, Q., Hirsch, R.L. and Ball, W.P. (2016). “Long-Term Changes in Sediment and Nutrient Delivery from Conowingo Dam to Chesapeake Bay: Effects of Reservoir Sedimentation.” Environmental Science and Technology, 50: 1877-1886.

Murphy, R.R., Kemp, W.M. and Ball, W.P. (2011). “Long-Term Trends in Chesapeake Bay Seasonal Hypoxia, Stratification, and Nutrient Loading.” Estuaries and Coasts, 34(6): 1293-1309.

Keywords: Environmental engineering, Chesapeake Bay, Water quality

Edward Bouwer

Abel Wolman Professor of Environmental Engineering, Dept of Environmental Health and Engineering
Whiting School of Engineering

bouwer@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Water quality engineering as they relate to environmental and sustainability issues
  • Biofuels and alternative energy

Selected Publications

Onesios-Barry, K.M., Berry, D., Proescher, J.B., Sivakumar, I.K., Bouwer, E.J. (2014). "Removal of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products during Water Recycling: Microbial Community Structure and Effects of Substrate Concentration." Applied Environmental Microbiology, 80(8), pp. 2440–2450.

E²SHI-Supported Projects

A novel integrated microfluidic system for detecting and isolating PPCP-degrading microorganisms

Keywords: Water and wastewater treatment, Alternative energy

Grace Brush

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

gbrush@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:

Response of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem to climatic and human disturbance using the fossil record of organisms and substances preserved in sediments. Biological and physical processes controlling species distributions. Atmospheric-biologic interactions in pollen dispersal.

Selected Publications

Pickett, S.T., Brush, G.S., Felson, A.J., McGrath, B., Grove, J.M., Nilon, C.H., Szlavecz, K., Swan, C.S., Warren, P.S. (2012). "Understanding and Working with Urban Biodiversity: The Baltimore Ecosystem Study." CityGreen, 4, pp. 68-77.

Keywords: Paleoecology, Aquatic ecosystem, Environmental sciences

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

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

Ciaran Harman

Assistant Professor and Russell Croft Faculty Scholar, Dept of Environmental Health and Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering
Dept of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

charman1@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Relationship between landscape structure, the water cycle, and the transport and residence time of water and dissolved contaminants through the landscape.
  • Link processes across scales, to understand how the physical processes at play in the bed of a stream, or in the shallow groundwater of a hillslope, or in a small watershed, scale up to produce the integrated effects  on water supply, floods and water quality at landscape scales.
  • Using field, experimental and theoretical techniques, including stable water isotope passive tracers, active tracers including chloride injections, experimental flume work (man-made channels for water), and numerical modeling at scales ranging from inches to large river basins.

Selected Publications

Gall, H.E., Park, J., Harman, C.J., Jawitz, J.W., Rao, P.S.C. (2013). “Landscape filtering of hydrologic and biogeochemical responses in managed catchments.” Landscape Ecology, 28(4), pp. 651-664.

Patil, S., Sivapalan, M., Hassan, M.A., Ye, S., Harman, C.J., Xu, X. (2012). “A network model for prediction and diagnosis of sediment dynamics at the watershed scale.” Journal of Geophysical Research, 17, pp. F00A04.

E²SHI-Supported Projects

Sustainable building designs inspired from nest building termites: Preliminary study of the aero-thermodynamics of termite mounds

Keywords: Hydrology

Ben Hobbs

Theodore W. & Kay W. Schad Professor of Environmental Management, Dept of Environmental Health and Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering

Director of the Johns Hopkins Environment, Energy, Sustainability & Health Institute

bhobbs@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Policy, planning, operations and environmental impact of energy systems.
  • Decision analysis and economics of ecosystem restoration.
Keywords: Energy markets and modeling, Air quality, Climate change, Environmental management, Environmental policy, Water

James P. Howard, II

Senior Professional Staff II / Lead Data Scientist and Service Manager
Applied Physics Laboratory

james.howard@jhuapl.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Flood insurance
  • Water policy
  • Data science
Keywords: Environmental economics, Environmental policy, water, Risk analysis/ assessment

Joseph Katz

William F. Ward Sr. Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering

katz@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Flow/turbulence/cavitation in turbomachines
  • Power generation and conversion
  • Oceanic & Atmospheric boundary layers
  • Fate of crude oil spills
  • Dynamics, behavior & distributions of plankton
Keywords: Energy (Fossil Fuel), Environmental Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Water

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Nearly all our present ecological problems arise from deep-seated social problems.
— Murray Bookchin