Claudia K. Gunsch

Image of Claudia K. Gunsch

Theodore Kennedy Associate Professor

Dr. Gunsch’s research focuses characterizing and engineering environmental microbiomes.  Students and postdoctoral associates in her group apply fundamental concepts from the fields of microbiology, genomics and bioinformatics to environmental engineering applications. Current research projects focus on exploring ballast water microbiomes, exploring correlations between microbial adaptation and evolution stemming from their exposure to contaminants, characterizing the fate of genetically modified crop transgenes, developing genetic bioaugmentation technologies for improving the bioremediation efficacy of recalcitrant contaminants and developing innovative water treatment technologies for industrial and developing world applications. 

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Theodore Kennedy Associate Professor
  • Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Secondary Associate Professor in the Division of Environmental Science and Policy
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Contact Information:


  • Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, 2004
  • M.S. Clemson University, 2000
  • B.S. Purdue University, 1998

Courses Taught:

  • BME 565L: Environmental Molecular Biotechnology (GE, MC)
  • CEE 492: Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 494: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • CEE 566: Environmental Microbiology
  • CEE 661L: Environmental Molecular Biotechnology (GE, MC)
  • CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 890: Special Readings in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Representative Publications:

  • Ng, C; Goh, SG; Saeidi, N; Gerhard, WA; Gunsch, CK; Gin, KYH, Occurrence of Vibrio species, beta-lactam resistant Vibrio species, and indicator bacteria in ballast and port waters of a tropical harbor., Science of the Total Environment, vol 610-611 (2018), pp. 651-656 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.099] [abs].
  • Lefèvre, E; Bossa, N; Gardner, CM; Gehrke, GE; Cooper, EM; Stapleton, HM; Hsu-Kim, H; Gunsch, CK, Biochar and activated carbon act as promising amendments for promoting the microbial debromination of tetrabromobisphenol A., Water Research, vol 128 (2018), pp. 102-110 [10.1016/j.watres.2017.09.047] [abs].
  • Gwin, CA; Lefevre, E; Alito, CL; Gunsch, CK, Microbial community response to silver nanoparticles and Ag(+) in nitrifying activated sludge revealed by ion semiconductor sequencing., Science of the Total Environment (2017) [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.217] [abs].
  • Gardner, CM; Gunsch, CK, Adsorption capacity of multiple DNA sources to clay minerals and environmental soil matrices less than previously estimated., Chemosphere, vol 175 (2017), pp. 45-51 [10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.02.030] [abs].
  • Schwartz, GE; Redfern, LK; Ikuma, K; Gunsch, CK; Ruhl, LS; Vengosh, A; Hsu-Kim, H, Impacts of coal ash on methylmercury production and the methylating microbial community in anaerobic sediment slurries., Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts, vol 18 no. 11 (2016), pp. 1427-1439 [10.1039/c6em00458j] [abs].