Experimental Research on Environmental Fate and Transport Processes in Support of University of Houston/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Partnerships


Stacey Louie1* (slouie@central.uh.edu), Steven Pennings2, Hong-Yi Li1


1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX; 2Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX


This Research Development and Partnership Pilot (RDPP) project focuses on establishing research connections between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Houston (UH; including PIs from Civil and Environmental Engineering and Biology and Biochemistry). The partnership broadly explores potential research directions related to coastal systems, including: (1) development of Earth system models; (2) application of remote sensing methods, and; (3) experimental research in coastal wetlands. This presentation will specifically focus on the experimental research components, including laboratory-based research to investigate the environmental fate and transport behavior of colloids and their interactions with natural organic matter. Research products from this project component include the development of new analytical methods for advanced characterization of colloids, emerging contaminants such as microplastics, and their co-contaminant transport behavior, as well as fundamental modeling of colloidal stability, deposition, and reactivity. In addition, the research capabilities available at a new experimental wetlands facility at the UH Coastal Center will be presented. This facility will enable controlled and replicated experimentation on biogeochemical processes under varied conditions (i.e., flooding or salinity intrusions) at a mesocosm scale. Opportunities for collaboration between UH, PNNL, and other DOE ESS laboratories to support broader research on sediment and contaminant fate in coastal systems will be discussed.