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Barbara Beckingham

Assistant Professor

Address: SSMB 248
Phone: (843) 953-0483


University of Tübingen, Germany

Postdoctoral researcher / Oberassistent, 2011–2013

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2011

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

B.A. Chemistry with High Honors, 2005

Research Interests

Environmental organic chemistry; Human and ecological risk assessment; Sediment remediation; Microplastics; Passive sampling

The overarching aim of the research I conduct with students and colleagues is to understand how organic contaminants associate with various forms of carbonaceous matter and plastic in the environment and how these interactions impact the mobility of contaminants and translate to the health status of communities and aquatic systems.

Current project areas include:

  • Bioavailability of chemicals of concern from microplastic
  • Fate of microplastics and associated chemicals through wastewater treatment plants
  • Transport of contaminants in tidal creeks and stormwater ponds
  • Soil-atmosphere exchange of semi-volatile organic contaminants
  • Exposure of college students and marine mammals to plastics and associated chemicals (phthalates)

I’m also a faculty member in the Master of Science in Environmental Studies Program, Marine Biology Graduate Program, and the Women’s Health Research Team.

Courses Taught

GEOL 250 Introduction to Geochemistry

GEOL 291 Water Resources

GEOL 441/ EVSS 631 Pollution in the Environment

ENVT 200 Introduction to Environmental Studies

HONS 380 IST: Water in the Urban Environment

EVSS 640 Earth Systems Science

EVSS 646 Graduate Core Seminar


Bao, Z., Haberer, C., Maier, U., Beckingham, B., Amos, R.T. and Grathwohl, P. 2016. Modeling short-term concentration fluctuations of semi-volatile pollutants in the soil – plant – atmosphere system. Sci. Tot. Environ., 569-570: 159-167.

Bao, Z., Haberer, C., Maier, U., Beckingham, B., Amos, R.T. and Grathwohl, P. 2015. Modeling long-term uptake and re-volatilization of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) across the soil-atmosphere interface. Sci. Tot. Environ., 538: 789-801.

Han, Z., Sani, B., Mrozik, W., Obst, M., Beckingham, B., Karapanagioti, H.K., and Werner, D. 2015. Magnetite impregnation effects on the sorbent properties of activated carbons and biochars. Water Research, 70: 394-403.

Gomez-Eyles, J.L., Yupanqui, C., Beckingham, B., Riedel, G., Gilmour, C. and Ghosh, U. 2013. Evaluation of biochars and activated carbons for in situ remediation of sediments impacted with organics, mercury and methylmercury. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47(23): 13721-13729.

Janssen, E.M.L. and Beckingham, B. 2013. Critical Review: Biological responses to activated carbon amendments in sediment remediation. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47(14): 7595-7607.

Beckingham, B., Ghosh, U., Buys, D. and VanDewalker, H. 2013. Observations of limited secondary effects to benthic invertebrates and macrophytes with activated carbon amendment to river sediments. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 32(7): 1504-1515.

Beckingham, B. and Ghosh, U. 2013. Polyoxymethylene passive samplers to monitor changes in bioavailability and flux after activated carbon amendment to sediment in the field. Chemosphere. 91(10): 1401-1407.

Rügner, H., Schwientek, M., Beckingham, B., Kuch, B. and Grathwohl, P. 2013. Turbidity as a proxy for total suspended solids (TSS) and particle facilitated pollutant transport in catchments. Environ. Earth Sciences. 69(2): 373-380.

Liu, Y., Beckingham, B., Rügner, H., Li, Z., Ma, L., Schwientek, M., Zhao, J. and Grathwohl, P. 2013. Comparison of sedimentary PAHs in the rivers of Ammer (Germany) and Liangtan (China): Differences between early- and newly-industrialized countries. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47(2): 701-709.

Schwientek, M., Rügner, H., Beckingham, B., Kuch, B. and Grathwohl, P.G. 2012. Integrated monitoring of particle associated transport of PAHs in contrasting catchments. Environ. Pollution 172: 155-162.

Oen, A.M.P., Beckingham, B., Ghosh, U., Krusa, M.E., Luthy, R.G., Hartnik, T., Henriksen, T. and Cornelissen, G. 2012. Sorption of organic compounds to fresh and field aged activated carbons in soils and sediments.  Environ. Sci. Technol. 46(2): 810-817.

Harrison, M., Stanwyck, E., Beckingham, B., Starry, O., Hanlon, B. and Newcomer, J. 2012. Smart growth and the pipe: Waste water treatment and growth management in the Baltimore region. Land Use Policy. 29(3):  483-492.

Beckingham, B. and Ghosh, U. 2011. Field scale reduction in PCB bioavailability with activated carbon amendment to river sediment. Environ. Sci. Technol. 45(24): 10567-10574. 

Beckingham, B. and Ghosh, U. 2010. Comparison of field and laboratory exposures of L. variegatus to polychlorinated biphenyl-impacted river sediments. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 29(12): 2851-2858.

Crump, B.C., Peranteau, C., Beckingham, B. and Cornwell, J.C. 2007. Respiratory Succession and Community Succession of Bacterioplankton in Seasonally Anoxic Estuarine Waters. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 73(21): 6802-6810.