Tonight's Science Cafe is titled, "Beyond Nutrients: Discovering Emerging Contaminants in Iowa Waters (and Some Solutions)"
Our presenter is Greg LeFevre, PhD, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa.
The LeFevre Lab is comprised of Environmental Engineering and Science researchers who study how non-point pollutants change in water, and what that can mean for ecosystems and human health. Non-point pollutants are those that don’t come out of a pipe, but rather run off streets & parking lots, lawns, and farm fields–often largely untreated. You can picture a rainbow oil sheen floating across a parking lot during a rainstorm, heading for a storm sewer that will go to a river. We need to understand how pollutants change form because they can beneficially degrade to benign end products or become more toxic and impact our drinking water sources.
Work in the laboratory and the field is geared toward understanding how bacteria, plants, and fungi change the chemical structure of pollutants, which can in term alter their fate in the environment. The goal is to use this new knowledge to help design better so-called “engineered natural treatment systems” where we harness the power of these aforementioned biological processes to capture and degrade water contaminants that are reliable, robust, and resilient. Ultimately, this will improve water quality in ecosystems and protect drinking water sources for people.
Contact: Front Desk Staff 641-472-6551