Halden Lab | People



Rolf Halden, Professor

Email: rolf.halden@asu.edu


M.S. Biology (1992), Technical University of Braunschweig.

M.S. Environmental Engineering (1994),University of Minnesota.

Ph.D. Civil Engineering (1997), University of Minnesota.

Rolf Halden, Ph.D., P.E., is Director of the Center for Environmental Security at the Biodesign Institute, Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University and Senior Sustainability Scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability. His research labs are housed in the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the ASU's Biodesign Institute. Rolf received a Master's in Biology (Diploma, 1992) from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, and a Master's (1994) and Ph.D. (1997) in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining academia, Rolf was project engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he directed the construction and operation of physical and biological groundwater treatment systems. He has served on the Maryland State Water Quality Advisory Committee, the Food and Drug Administration's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, and a National Research Council committee of the National Academies.


Public Health, Water Quality, Environmental Proteomics, Bioremediation, Biological Treatment Processes, Environmental Chemistry, Exposure Assessment, Sustainability, Pollution Prevention, Green Chemistry, Green Engineering


1998, Postdoctoral Training in Environmental Science, University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA
1997, Ph.D. in Civil (Environmental) Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
1994, M.S. in Civil (Environmental) Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
1992, M.S. (Diploma) in Biology, Technical University of Braunschweig

Dr. Halden's research explores the connection between anthropogenic activities, environmental quality and human health. His research relies heavily on the use of mass spectrometric tools (e.g., LC-MS/MS, MALDI-TOF) for applications in environmental proteomics, bioremediation and public health engineering. Ongoing projects focus on:



Marcia Spurlock
Business Operations Specialist, Sr.
Email:  Marcia.Spurlock@asu.edu

Zach Smith
Lab Coordinator
Email:  zpsmith@asu.edu


Postdoctoral Researchers

Arjun Venkatesan
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Email: avenka21@asu.edu

Arjun's research involves identification of emerging contaminants and the role of human society and the built environment in the redistribution of these potentially harmful substances in the environment and in biota. His research seeks to evaluate risks posed by anthropogenic chemicals and improve communication with the public to arrive at a more transparent and responsible management of chemicals in the U.S., thereby addressing ecological, human health, and societal issues.


Graduate Researchers

Jing Chen
Graduate Research Assistant
Email:  jchen188@asu.edu

Jing uses the LC-MS/MS as a tool for the detection of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in environmental and biological samples, in order to assess the environmental and human exposure levels.

Hansa Done
Doctoral Research Associate
Email: hansa.done@asu.edu

A student of the Biological Design PhD program, Hansa researches the usage of antibiotics in aquaculture, the farming of seafood. Her work looks at the chemical residues that retain in the seafood as well as the microbial risks that are exacerbated by the usage of antibiotics in the water environment. Her work utilizes mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) as well as molecular tools to understand the true consequences of antibiotics in the natural environment.

Erin Driver
Graduate Research Assistant
Email: Erin.Driver@asu.edu

Erin’s research focuses on chemical and biological transformations of chlorinated solvents in contaminated aquifers. Her research incorporates the use of continuous-flow columns in laboratory and field studies, with the goal of kinetically evaluating groundwater remediation strategies. The in situ research component involves the use of a novel self-contained device, the In Situ Microcosm Array (ISMA), which allows for continuous-flow microcosms to operate within a groundwater monitoring well, using groundwater and geological materials from the site.

Alizee Jenck,
Graduate Research Associate
Email: Alizee.Jenck@asu.edu

Alizee’s research deals with containment of near-surface hydrocarbon contamination in soil.  Her goal is to achieve complete in situ isolation of a contaminated area in support of novel remediation technologies that involve mobilization of contaminants.

Isaac Roll
Doctoral Research Associate
Email: Isaac.Roll@asu.edu

Isaac is interested in water resources, and he works on developing a novel method for detecting contaminants in groundwater aquifers.

Charles Rolsky
Graduate Student
Email:  Charles.Rolsky@asu.edu

Charles focuses on the non-invasive assessment of environmental stressors. His work includes monitoring fecal stress hormone levels of both animals and human beings. He has also begun work looking into the fate and emergence of microplastics within the realm of both aquatic and marine ecosystems.

Akash Sadaria
Graduate Student
Email:  Akash.Sadaria@asu.edu

Akash is studying the fate of neonicotinoids in a wastewater treatment facility and impacted wetland. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides with a common mode of action that affects central nervous system of insects, causing paralysis and death. Data suggests that neonicotinoid residues can accumulate in pollen and nectar of treated plants and may represent a potential exposure to pollinators.

Samuel Supowit
Graduate Research Associate
Email: Samuel.Supowit@asu.edu

Sam’s research focuses on the detection and quantitation of low level emerging contaminants using active sampling techniques. He uses novel sampling devices such as the IS2B active sorptive sampler, as well as conventional active sampling devices such as ISCOs to monitor the fate and transport of modern pesticides through wastewater treatment processes and engineered wetlands.



Alma Banuelos

Alma’s research focuses on the analysis of contaminants in biosolids collected in the US and around the world.

Guilherme Lages Barbosa

Guilherme is in his first semester of internship with CES, and is currently exploring projects to get involved with.

Nathalia Souza Domingos da Costa

Nathalia is a senior Environmental Engineering student working on solutions for soil remediation.

Adam Gushgari

Adam’s research focuses on the detection of nitrosamines in soil sediments. He also works on the analysis and upkeep of the National Sewage Sludge Repository in our lab.

Jessica Liu

Jessica studies the effect of combined biodegradation and thermal treatment on weathered heavy hydrocarbon contaminated soils.

Edward Reyes

Edward's research focuses on the detection and quantitation of low level contaminants. His work relies on novel sampling techniques, including the use of the IS2 sampler.

Ivan Ruiz

Ivan is researching the effects of heat and thermophilic biodegradation on weathered heavy hydrocarbon contaminated soils.

Tamara Stojilkovic

Tamara's research focuses on the quantification of total petroleum hydrocarbons in heavy hydrocarbon contaminated soils using GC-FID.


Former Members

Maurissa Charles
Graduate Research Associate
Email: Maurissa.charles@asu.edu

With interests in groundwater remediation, Maurissa was involved with the ISMA (In situ microcosm array) development and its application as a diagnostic tool for groundwater cleanup.

Justin Kidd
Graduate Research Associate
Email:  jmkidd1@asu.edu

Justin’s research focuses on the remediation of weathered heavy hydrocarbon contaminants resulting from crude oil spills in vadose zone soils. He uses a novel thermal treatment technology that implements biodegradation, solubilization, oxidation, and polymerization of heavy hydrocarbons under a thermal treatment umbrella. This technology is being tested for in situ field-scale applications.

Dr. Benny Pycke
Research Faculty
Email: bpycke@asu.edu

Benny investigates the fate of bioactive organic chemicals and nanoparticles from personal care products in the natural- and built environment. He researches their effects on human health and microbial communities, and he develops remediation technologies to remove these recalcitrant chemicals from our waste streams. His research relies on both analytical instruments (e.g., LC/MS and LC/MS/MS) and molecular microbiology tools (e.g., T-RFLP, DGGE, qPCR, FISH, and flow cytometry).


Dr. Bhagyashree Manivannan
Postdoctoral Associate
Email: Bhagyashree.Manivannan@asu.edu

I am exploring the world of peptides and proteins using MALDI-TOF, liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry at the Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University. At our, Centre for Environmental Security Mass Spectrometry Facility, we intend to analyze environmental and biological samples for candidate biomarkers to address the global human and environmental health issues.


Dr. Manivannan Yegambaram
Postdoctoral Associate
Email: Manivannan@asu.edu

I am involved in quantitative and qualitative analysis of proteins, peptides and small molecules at the Mass Spectrometry Facility, Center for Environmental Security, (Biodesign Institute at the Arizona State University). In our laboratory, the experimental approaches for protein mass spectrometry include sample preparation, gel and off-gel electrophoresis and analysis of proteins/peptides associated with human and environmental biosecurity using MALDI-TOF MS and LC-MS.

Nicole Hansmeier.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Email: Nicole.Hansmeier@asu.edu


Alison Fox
Graduate Research Associate
Email: Alison.Fox@asu.edu


Bipin Chari
Masters Student
Email: bchari@asu.edu

Data analysis of pharmaceuticals and personal care products; determining the frequency and pattern of occurrence of specific compounds in Biosolids

Erica Hartmann
Doctoral Research Associate
Email: ehartma1@asu.edu

I am working on methods to quantify genes and proteins of relevance to the biological degradation of environmental pollutants. I am interested in examining correlations between these potential biomarkers and pollutant degradation rates. I am using Sphingomonas wittichii RW1 as a model organism.

Thomas Bruton
Doctoral Research Associate
Email: bruton@asu.edu


Kristin McClellan
Doctoral Research Associate
Email: Kristin.McClellan@asu.edu

Kristin worked on cleanup of groundwater pollution. She and her team have developed a new tool to find the best methods for the remediation of a specific aquifer. Her work focuses biological and chemical remediation of rocket propellants (Perchlorate) as well as chlorinated solvents (Trichloroethene) and solvent stabilizers (1,4-Dioxane) at various sites in Arizona.

Tomasz Kalinowski
Doctoral Research Associate
Email: tkalinow@asu.edu

Tomasz worked on groundwater remediation. He and his team developed the In Situ Microcosm Array, a site investigation tool used to identify the best remedy for a given site. He conducted field demonstrations of the tool across the southwest at sites contaminated with perchlorate, trichloroethene, and/or hexavalent chromium, particularly focusing on evaluating the feasibility of bioremediation. He also partnered with the Center for Science, Policy & Outcomes to identify the social and regulatory hurdles the tool might face prior to its adaption outside of an academic setting.


Former Undergraduate Associates

April Cobos

April uses quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to detect antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in aquacultured fish and seafood from 11 different countries.

Mary Heckenbach

Mary is conducting a meta-analysis of ionic liquid literature and toxicology for her Honors thesis project.

Aaron Ellingboe
Undergraduate Researcher
Email: aellingb@asu.edu

Aaron is an undergraduate senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He is optimizing the DNA extraction from different soil samples and is looking for select genes using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). His work is vital to the lab to test for the presence of key microbes in sediment and soil samples.

James Fernandez
Undergraduate Researcher
Email: jaferna5@asu.edu

Comparing and contrasting similarities and differences between the United States and German policy and regulations in regards to herbicide and pesticide use, with a concentration on Atrazine


Benjamin Duong
Undergraduate Research Intern
Email: benjamin.duong@asu.edu


Patrick Trang
Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI) Intern
Email: pdtrang@asu.edu