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Students and faculty on campus work on a variety of different projects and initiatives that support the mission and goals of CURES.

Research & Projects by School

  • School of Science

    Chemistry & Biochemistry

    Yelda Hangun-Balkin

    Dr. Balkir’s research interests lie broadly in renewable energy. Dr. Balkir is currently working utilization of the waste materials for environmentally benign processes such as biofuel synthesis. She is interested in converting organic materials, such as waste, into energy.  Her research group continues to research and develop innovative solutions to dealing with the byproducts, conserving/producing energy, and producing new products.



    Constantine Theodosiou

    Lance Evans

    Michael Judge

    My research has focused upon the physical and chemical environment that affects the distribution and abundance of intertidal marine invertebrates, particularly mollusks and crustaceans.  My studies include: (1) thermal load and desiccation on tropical snail behavior, growth and survival, (2) sediment and metal toxicology in estuarine crustaceans, (3) salinity tolerances of invasive non-native Asian shore crabs, and (4) sediment and water-borne cues on molting of crab megalopae.  The high shore tropical periwinkle is a robust snail: body temperatures can exceed 115OF and individuals can lose 20% of their water, reduce expression of stress proteins, exhibit low mortality rates, and live > 11 years.  Models organisms (amphipod and shrimp) have been used to test (1) the applicability of the Equilibrium Partitioning (EqP) method for developing quality criteria for arsenic in sediments and (2) evaluating complexation between nickel ions and chlorides in estuarine waters.  Recent evidence suggests that low salinity waters may represent a physiological barrier to further expansion of the Asian shore crab.  Larvae of native and non-native crabs use different chemical cues to recognize suitable adult habitat.

    Ghislaine Mayer

    Bivalve mollusks as filter- feeders play a critical role in the integrity of estuarine ecosystem. In the process of removing suspended particles, they can trap microbes, including human protozoan parasite oocysts of Cryptosporidium parvum and Toxoplasma gondii. Thus, bivalves could be used as biosentinels for monitoring water quality. We propose to determine the prevalence of human intestinal parasites in bivalves collected from New York City. A survey of human parasites in Mya arenaria, Crassostrea virginica, Geukensia demissa, and Mytulis edulis was thus initiated.


    Lubna Tumeh

    I’m currently collaborating with Light and Life Lab at Stevens Institute of Technology. We are using Multi-channels moderate bandwidth filter Instruments (NILUVs) to measure UV radiations, the Data are used to retrieve total Ozone column, UV index and cloud optical depth. The results can provide crucial information needed to assess the climate impact of ozone, clouds, aerosols, and water vapor.

  • School of Engineering

    Chemical Engineering

    Gennaro Maffia

    Dr. Maffia spent the first 20 years of his career working as a process engineer and manager in the petrochemicals, mostly with the large oil company Atlantic Richfield, Inc. A few key projects included the Alaskan Pipeline and alternative fuels. In 1992, he joined academia at Widener University coming on as chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering.

    He has broad research interests in environmental, energy and biotechnology areas. For example, a specific topic being researched at Manhattan College is the development of environmental and biomedical technologies based on collagen nanofibrils (USP 6,660,829, USP 8,329,091). While at Widener, Dr. Maffia founded the Collagen Research Group, which has involved more than 300 students, industrial and government researchers, and faculty colleagues. In 2010, he retired from Widener as an emeritus professor, and shortly after, joined his alma mater, Manhattan College as professor of chemical engineering.

    Publications and scholarly activities

    • Rheology of Dispersions of Collagen Fibrils Manufactured from Waste Corium for Environmental and Biochemical Applications, G.J. Maffia and Snehanjani Shivakumar, International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT) Vol. 3 Issue 11, November-2014 ISSN: 2278-0181 IJERTV3IS110645 – peer reviewed
    • Procedure for Making Collagen Nanofibrils from Waste Bovine Corium, Alex Bertuccio, Manhattan College, Gennaro Maffia, Manhattan College, USA, International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, March 10, 2013 – conference proceedings
    • Turbidity Reduction in Water Using Collagen Dispersions in a Modified Sand Filter, Alex Bertuccio, Manhattan College, Gennaro Maffia, Manhattan College, USA International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, March 10, 2013 – conference proceedings
    • ASPEN-HYSYS Simulations for the Small Scale Conversion of Waste Plastics into Gaseous and Liquid Fuels, Ahmed Mohamed El- Khaiary, Alexandria University, Faculty of Engineering, Alex Bertuccio, Manhattan College, Gennaro Maffia, Manhattan College, Egypt and USA International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, March 10, 2013 – conference proceedings

    Civil & Environmental Engineering

    Jessica Wilson

    Jessica M. Wilson is an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY.  Her research interests are in water quality engineering, including the environmental impacts of energy-related wastewater disposal and the formation of disinfection by-products in drinking water and chlorinated wastewater effluent.  She has also worked as an Environmental Chemist for Environmental Testing Laboratories.

    Publications and scholarly activities

    • Bergman, L., Wilson, J.M., Small, M. VanBriesen, J.M. “Application of classification trees for predicting disinfection by-product formation targets from source water characteristics.”  Environmental Engineering Science, 2016, 33, doi:10.1089/ees.2016.0044
    • Wang, Y., J.M. Wilson, J.M. VanBriesen. “The effect of sampling strategies on assessment of water quality criteria attainment.” Journal of Environmental Management, 2015, 154, 33-39. doi: 10.1016/j/jenvman.2015.01/019
    • Technical report,Wilson, J.M. “Environmental impacts of oil and gas brine applications for dust and ice control in New York.” Prepared for University Transportation Research Center, March 2016. 25 pp.
    • Technical report, Wilson, J.M. “Potable water rooftop water tanks in NYC: Operations, regulations, residence time estimation and sampling plan to assess water quality in rooftop tanks.” Prepared for New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, June 2015. 27 pp.

    Robert Sharp

    Originally from New Mexico, Robert Sharp is the Donald J. O’Connor Endowed Faculty Fellow of Environmental Engineering at Manhattan College, where he teaches and directs an externally funded research laboratory specializing in advanced water and wastewater treatment, biological regrowth and corrosion, water, and wastewater disinfection, and energy and resource recovery.In Dr. Sharp’s laboratory at Manhattan College, both graduate and undergraduate research assistants carry out fundamental and applied research in the areas of biological nutrient removal, anaerobic digestion, bioenergy production, resource recovery from wastewater, microbial ecology, pathogen disinfection and regrowth, plasmid stability, and bioremediation. His research results are detailed in more than 36 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and he has presented over 50 papers at national and international environmental conferences.


    • USEPA University Partnership “Contamination Warning System Demonstration Pilot Project”.  PIs: Robert Sharp and Richard Carbonaro.  Funding Period: 5/2010 – 6/2011.
    • New York City DEP. “New York City Applied Biological Nitrogen Removal Research Program: PO-88.” CH2M-Hill/Hazen and Sawyer/ Manhattan College. Budget: $7.5 million. Co-Research Director. Funding Period: 8/08 – 8/12.
    • New York City DEP. “Manganese Oxidizing Biofilm Characterization and Control Study.” PIs: Robert Sharp and Richard Carbonaro.  Funding period: 8/08 – 8/10.
    • New York City DEP. “Impact of Chloramine Disinfection on Biological Regrowth and Corrosion in New York City’s Drinking Water Distribution System.” PI: Robert Sharp.  Funding period: 8/06 – 8/09.
    • NYCDEP and CDM “Impact of Wastewater Characteristics on Disinfection Efficacy and Total Residual Chlorine.”  PI: Robert Sharp Funding Period: 2004-2006.
    • New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) “Pilot Testing of an Innovative Small Footprint- High-Efficiency BNR Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant for Production of Re-Use Quality Water.”  PI: Robert Sharp. Funding Period: 2004-2006.
    • NYCDEP. “Studies on the Source and Fate of Heavy Metals in Biosolids.”  PI: Robert Sharp. Co-PI: Kyriacos Pierides. Funding Period: 1/2005 -12/2005.
    • USEPA and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. “Inhibition of Biological Nitrogen Removal (BNR) at POTWs.” PIs: Robert Sharp, Manhattan College. Co-PI: Barth Smets, University of Connecticut.  PI: Robert Sharp.  Funding Period: 8/2003 – 5/2005.

    Richard Carbonaro

    Dr. Carbonaro’s affiliation with Manhattan College began as an undergraduate and he completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College. After completing his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in 2004, he became an assistant professor at Manhattan. Currently, he is a research associate professor of environmental engineering at Manhattan College and a Partner in the consulting firm Mutch Associates, LLC.

    His current research interests include environmental chemistry, contaminant fate and transport in natural waters, soils and sediments, metal speciation, and in situ groundwater remediation. At Manhattan College, he has managed several externally-funded research projects related to chromium redox transformations, water quality monitoring of urban pollutants, modeling of metals in lakes for toxicity assessments and partitioning of metals onto organic carbon.

    Kirk Barrett

    Dr. Kirk Barrett has served as an assistant professor in Manhattan College’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department since 2011.

    • Barrett KR, D Rodgers.  2015. Laboratory measurements of infiltration capacity by a double ringed infiltrometer and the Cornell Sprinkle Infiltrometer.   Water Practice & Technology.  International Water Association.  Vol 10 No 4 pp 761-766. doi: 10.2166/wpt.2015.093.
    • Attinti R, D Sarkar,  KR Barrett, R Datta. 2015. Adsorption of arsenic (V) from aqueous solutions by goethite/silica nanocomposite. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, Volume 12, Issue 12 , pp 3905-3914
    • Khairy, M, KR Barrett, R Lohmann. 2015. The changing sources of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans in sediments and the ecological risk for nekton in the lower Passaic River and Newark Bay, New Jersey, USA. Environ Toxicol Chem. doi:10.1002/etc.3223
    • Feng, H, J. C. Galster, J. Lopes, N. M. Bujalski, K. R. Barrett and K. K. Olsen. 2012. Radionuclides (7Be, 210Pb and137Cs) as Tracers for Soil and Sediment Erosion in New Jersey Stream Watersheds. In: Radionuclides: Sources, Properties and Hazards (Javier Guillen Gerada, ed.). Nova Science Publishers, Inc. pp. 23-34

    Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Director of the Institute in Water Pollution Control at Manhattan College. His teaching and research focuses on water quality modeling, sediment contamination, bioaccumulation of toxic chemicals, and metals. Current research projects include studies on the mobilization of metals from contaminated sediments, on the development of a chemical speciation-transport model for metals in lakes, on the oxidation of chromium during drinking water disinfection, and on contaminant fate and bioaccumulation modeling of PCBs, dioxin/furans, PAHs, pesticides and mercury in the Hudson River and New York Harbor.

    Dr. Farley has also served as a technical adviser and consultant on issues related to water quality, water quality modeling, sediment contamination and bioaccumulation of toxic contaminants. This has included scientific review panels for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, the National Research Council Committee on Remediation of PCB-Contaminated Sediments, the EPA Science Advisory Board panel reviewing the agency’s risk assessment framework for metals, and the UNEP International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management Metals Workgroup. Dr. Farley is currently serving as a technical consultant on several sediment contamination studies in New York-New Jersey Harbor, and has recently been appointed to the Ecotoxicity Technical Advisory Panel (ETAP), which serves as the cooperative research arm for the international nonferrous metal industries.

    Publications and scholarly activities

    • Burkhard, L.P., Arnot, J.A., Embry, M.R., Farley, K.J., Hoke, R.A., Kitano, M., Leslie, H.A., Lotufo, G.R., Parkerton, T.F., Sappington, K.G., Tomy, G.T., Woodburn, K.B., 2011. “Comparing Laboratory and Field Measured Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factors.” Integr. Environ. Assess. Manag. 2012, 8:32-41.
    • Burkhard, L.P., Arnot, J.A., Embry, M.R., Farley, K.J., Hoke, R.A., Kitano, M., Leslie, H.A., Lotufo, G.R., Parkerton, T.F., Sappington, K.G., Tomy, G.T., Woodburn, K.B., 2011. “Comparing Laboratory and Field Measured Bioaccumulation Endpoints.” Integr. Environ. Assess. Manag. 2012, 8:17-31.
    • Farley, K. J., Carbonaro, R. F., Rader, K. J., Fanelli, C. J., Costanzo, R., Di Toro, D. M. “TICKET-UWM: A Coupled Kinetic, Equilibrium and Transport Screening Model for Metals in Lakes.” Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011, 30:1278-1287.
    • Landeck Miller, R.E., Farley, K.J., Wands, J.R., Santore, R., Redman, A.D., Kim, N.B.  “Fate and Transport Modeling of Sediment Contaminants in the New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary.” Urban Habitats 2011, (in press)

    Hossain Azam

    Professional Interests: Water and Wastewater Treatment, Solid Waste Management and Groundwater Remediation, Resources Recovery, Energy and the Environment, Water-Energy-Food Nexus with Specific Focus on Chemical and Biological Principles.


    Sustainable water and wastewater treatment; Microbial ecology in engineered systems, Microbiology of anaerobic processes (wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation and solid waste management), Novel applications and characteristics of materials in water and wastewater systems, Treatment of emerging contaminants, Chemical/biological principles of environmental processes (e.g. phosphorus removal/recovery from wastewater, algae for wastewater treatment, membrane processes, photo catalysis, solar energy utilization), Water-Energy-Food Nexus, IR and Raman spectroscopy for environmental engineering applications

  • School of Education & Health

    Dr. Tekeyah Sears, Ed.D., MPH

    Tekeyah Sears, Ed.D., MPH, is the program director of the allied health/public health programs at Manhattan College. Dr. Sears designed the Public Health major that began in the Fall of 2020.
  • School of Business

    Dr. Jimena González-Ramírez

    Areas of expertise include environmental economics. Our overarching research objective is to study environmental attitudes and green behaviors among college students. 

    Recent presentations include:

    Eastern Economic Association (EEA) annual conference on February 25, 2019 in New York City.

    • Green Behaviors and Preferences among College Students (Sierra Arral (Student), Veronica Cheng (Student), and Jimena González-Ramírez)
    • Understanding Climate Change on Campus: Knowledge, News Credibility, and a Green Fee (Heyi Cheng (Student) and Jimena González-Ramírez)
  • School of Liberal Arts

    Department of Sociology

    Robin Lovell

    Dart Westphal

Van Cortlandt Park

VCP Master Plan 2034 - This plan consists of many features and working together can make it happen. Follow this link to find the details.


Renovated Greenhouse Walkthrough Animation

Manhattan College’s Biohouse Technologies presents a walkthrough of their vision of the renovated campus greenhouse. The space includes hydropoic grow beds, an energy lab, and sources of renewable energies.


Sustainable  Rooftop Design

Manhattan College mechanical engineering students present a redesign of Leo Hall’s greenhouse. The redesign includes a renewable energies lab, hydroponics, and an automation control system.