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Vijay Vulava

Associate Professor

Address: SSMB 250
Phone: 843.953.1922
Personal Website:


Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India
B.S., Civil Engineering

University of Maryland, College Park, USA
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
Ph.D., Environmental Sciences

Research Interests

Environmental Geochemistry and Pollution in Near Surface Environments
I have varied interests in the broad discipline of environmental sciences, including (i) environmental chemistry and physics as applied to behavior of contaminants in the near surface environments, (ii) characterization and remediation of polluted environmental systems, (iii) multi-disciplinary aspects of environmental geochemistry, and (iv) environmental and natural resources management.  Because contaminants are very complex and can be physical, chemical, or bacteriological and can be present in water and soils, I use a broad array of analytical tools as varied as chromatography (ion, high pressure liquid, and gas chromatography), mass spectrometry (induction coupled plasma and gas chromatograph mass spectrometers), water isotopes, and basic bacteriological analyses (for enteric bacteria). Undergraduate and graduate students play a significant role in this research and they take a very hands-on role while exploring these research problems.  Most of these students have had the opportunity to present their research at international conferences and have coauthored researched publications with me. These students graduate with exceptional research skills, including advanced analytical geochemical instrumentation, field techniques, and broad science writing and presentation skills.  Most of my students go on to excellent graduate school programs or to great environmental jobs.  Several courses I teach (Environmental Geology, Geochemistry, Water Resources, Pollution in the Environment, and Study Abroad course to India) also have strong environmental emphasis.  Feel free to stop by and talk to me if you have any questions.

Courses Taught

GEOL 103 Environmental Geology
GEOL 250 Introduction to Geochemistry
GEOL 240/395
Water Resources and Pollution Northern India (Study Abroad course with Dr. Tim Callahan)
GEOL 291 Water Resources
GEOL 441/EVSS 541
Pollution in the Environment
ENVT 200 Introduction to Environmental Studies
EVSS 639 Wetlands and Watersheds
HONS 155 Honors Geology I


*Students coauthors

V.M. Vulava, D.S. Vaughn*, L.D. McKay, S.G. Driese, L.W. Cooper, F. Menn, N. Levine, and G.S. Sayler. 2017. Flood-induced transport of PAHs from streambed coal tar deposits. Science of the Total Environment. 575: 247-257, DOI:j.scitotenv.2016.09.222.

V.M. Vulava, W.C. Cory, V. Murphey*, C. Ulmer*. 2016. Sorption, photodegradation, and chemical transformation of naproxen and ibuprofen in soils and water. Science of the Total Environment. 565: 1063-1070, DOI:doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.132

M.P. Griffin*, T.J. Callahan, V.M. Vulava, and T.M. Williams. 2014. Influence of soil type and antecedent soil moisture conditions on storm-event flow pathways in lower coastal plain watersheds of the southeastern United States. Water Resources Research 50: 8265-8280, DOI:10.1002/2014WR015941.

Vulava, V., McKay, L., Broholm, M., McCarthy, J., Driese, S., Sayler, G. 2012. Influence of pore structure on dissolution and transport of coal tar compounds in highly fractured clay-rich residuum. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 203–204: 283– 289.

Callahan, T. J., Vulava, V., Passarello, M., Garrett, C. G. 2011. Estimating groundwater recharge in lowland forested watersheds. Hydrological Processes DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8356. 

C. Guinn Garrett, Vijay M. Vulava, Timothy J. Callahan, and Martin L. Jones. 2011. Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions in a Lowland Watershed: Source Contribution to Stream Flow. Hydrological Processes, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8257.

Tithof, P., Richards, S., Elgayyar, M., Menn, F.-M., Vulava, V., McKay, L., Sanseverino, J., Sayler, G., Tucker, D., Leslie, C., Lu, K., Ramos, K. (2010). Activation of group IVC phospholipase A2 by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons induces apoptosis of human coronary artery endothelial cells. Archives of Toxicology, DOI: 10.1007/s00204-010-0614-9, 1-12.

Driese, S., Ludvigson, G., Roberts, J., Fowle, D., Gonzalez, L., Smith, J., Vulava, V., McKay, L. (2010). Micromorphology and Stable-Isotope Geochemistry of Historical Pedogenic Siderite Formed in PAH-Contaminated Alluvial Clay Soils, Tennessee, U.S.A. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 80 (11), 943-954.

V.M. Vulava, L.D. McKay, S.G. Driese, F. Menn, and G.S. Sayler. 2007. Distribution and transport of coal tar-derived PAHs in fine-grained residuum. Chemosphere, 68:554-563. PDF.

M. Lenczewski, L. McKay, A. Pitner, S. Driese, and V. Vulava. 2006. Pure phase transport and dissolution of TCE in sedimentary rock saprolite. Ground Water, 44:406-414. PDF.

J.C. Seaman, V.M. Vulava, A.G. Sowder, B.P. Jackson, S.A. Aburime, and P.M. Bertsch. 2005. Metal extractability from contaminated SRS sediments: Comparison of column and batch results. Environ. Geosci., 12:235-242. PDF.

J.C. Seaman, J. Hutchinson, B.P. Jackson, and V.M. Vulava. 2003. In situ treatment of metals in contaminated soils with phytate. J. Environ. Qual., 32:153-161. PDF.

V.M. Vulava, R. Kretzschmar, K. Barmettler, A. Voegelin, D. Grolimund, and M. Borkovec. 2002. Cation competition in a natural subsurface material: Prediction of transport behavior. Water Resour. Res., 38. DOI:10.1029/2001WR000262. PDF.

V.M. Vulava, E.B. Perry, C.S. Romanek, and J.C. Seaman. 2002. Multiple dissolved gases as partitioning tracers for determination of hydrogeological parameters. Environ. Sci. Technol., 36: 254–262. PDF.

A. Voegelin, V.M. Vulava, and R. Kretzschmar. 2001. A reaction-based model describing competitive sorption and transport of Cd, Zn, and Ni in an acidic soil. Environ. Sci. Technol., 35: 1651–1657. PDF.

V.M. Vulava and J.C. Seaman. 2000. Mobilization of lead from highly weathered porous material by extracting agents. Environ. Sci. Technol., 34: 4828–4834. PDF.

A. Voegelin, V.M. Vulava, F. Kuhnen, and R. Kretzschmar. 2000. Multicomponent transport of major cations predicted from binary sorption experiments. J. Contam. Hydrol., 46:319–338. PDF.

V.M. Vulava, R. Kretzschmar, U. Rusch, D. Grolimund, J.C. Westall, and M. Borkovec. 2000. Cation competition in a natural subsurface material: Modeling of sorption equilibria. Environ. Sci. Technol., 34: 2149–2155. PDF.

V.M. Vulava, B.R. James, and A. Torrents. 1997. Copper solubility in Myersville B horizon soil in the presence of DTPA. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 61:44–52. PDF.