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Group Members

Research Group

[Interested in joining our research group? Enthusiastic and dedicated undergraduates are always encourages to get involved with research and can contact the PI directly. Prospective graduate students should inquire about possible new lab openings and also apply to graduate school through the CEE Department. Candidates should have a background in environmental or chemical engineering, environmental science, or related field. Strongest candidates should have some research experience, work experience, or a prior MS degree.]. 



Principal Investigator-Greg LeFevre

I am an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa. My research focus understanding the fate and biotransformation of emerging contaminants in non-point pollutants and how we can use engineered natural treatment systems to improve water quality. See the CEE webpage here.




Claire Muerdter-Ph.D. Candidate

MS University of Maryland

BS University of Washington

Google Scholar Page

2018 PhytoScholar, UI Graduate School Fellow

Claire studies plant uptake and transformation of emerging organic contaminants.



Hui Zhi-Ph.D. Candidate

MS Cornell University

BS China Pharmaceutical University

UI Graduate School Fellow

Hui is quantifying spatial and temporal dynamics of pharmaceuticals in a temperate region wastewater effluent dominate stream (funded by and in partnership with the USGS; in collaboration with Rebecca Klaper at UW-M).





Danielle Webb Ph.D. Candidate

BS University of St. Thomas, CBB NIH Training Fellow, Sloan Foundation Scholar, UI Graduate School Fellow

Danielle is working on neonicotinoid fate and transformation in engineered and natural conditions (funded by the National Science Foundation CBET Environmental Engineering award)



Erica Wiener-Ph.D. Candidate

BS University of Colorado-Boulder, NSF GRFP Fellow, SWD NRT Fellow

Erica’s research focuses on fungal transformation of emerging organic contaminants.



Monica McFadden-MS Candidate (co-advised with David Cwiertny)

BS University of Notre Dame, SWD NRT Fellow, NSF GRFP Honorable Mention

Monica studies the transformation of herbicide safeners used in agriculture.


Sarah Douglas-MS Student (co-advised with Corey Markfort)

BS University of  Maryland-Baltimore County, SWD NRT Fellow

Sarah is beginning a new project using drones to detect harmful algal blooms (collaboration with Corey Markfort and Mary Skopec, Director of the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory)

Alyssa Mianecki-MS Student

BS University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Analytical Chemist, State of Wisconsin



Undergraduates are encouraged to get involved in this exciting research. If you are and environmental engineering, environmental sciences / chemistry, or chemical engineering undergraduate please research out to learn about opportunities to conduct field and laboratory research. Undergraduates have become authors on scientific research publications and have gotten great letters of reference for internships and graduate school. You’ll be paired with a graduate student mentor, participate in lab group meetings and activities (both fun and research related!), become certified for laboratory safety training. Some undergraduate research positions can translate to paid research positions after the first onboarding semester.

Example Undergrad Researchers Megan Powers (left,) and Jack Quin (right) collecting water samples in the cold!

Megan Powers

Megan is getting her BS in Environmental Science with an emphasis in biosciences and  a minor in chemistry at UIowa. She is working on plant uptake of emerging contaminants for her research project, and has also done water sample collection and processing / extraction.


Jack Quin

Jack is getting his BS degree in environmental engineering at UIowa. He is quantifying pesticide loadings in wastewater and streams.






LeFevre Lab annual fall get-together September 2018:



Kathryn Klarich-MS Student (co-advised with David Cwiertny)

Graduated 2017, MS Environmental Engineering “Transformation and Fate of Neonicotinoid Insecticides During Drinking Water Treatment”.   BS University of Minnesota; NSF GRFP Fellow, now works as a computational chemist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Boston, MA).



Jason Ruffatti -Undergraduate CEE Student

Jason is now a Project Engineer at Baxter Woodman in Illinois.

Riley Christensen

Riley did his BS in environmental science (chemistry track) at UIowa, and his senior independent study in the LeFevre Lab, and is now at the Iowa DNR.

Last modified on January 29th, 2020
Posted on July 8th, 2016