Barbara Beckingham

Associate 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 the fate and transport of pollution with a focus on organic contaminants and microplastics, and how exposure pathways may put human and environmental systems at risk. We also study approaches to monitor and control pollution.

Current project areas include:

  • Bioavailability of chemicals of concern from microplastic
  • Fate of microplastics and tire wear particles in stormwater and receiving waters
  • Organism exposure to microplastics and tire wear particles
  • Soil-atmosphere and sediment-water exchange of semi-volatile organic contaminants
  • Community science and remote sensing (with collaborators) to monitor water quality

I’m also a faculty member in the Undergraduate Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program, Master of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program, and the Marine Biology Graduate Program.

Courses Taught

GEOL 250 Introduction to Geochemistry

GEOL 253 / EVSS 640 Earth Systems Science

GEOL 291 Water Resources

GEOL 441/ EVSS 631 Pollution in the Environment

ENVT 200 Introduction to Environmental Studies



Full list and access to articles here.


Beckingham, B.*, Apintiloaiei, A.#, Moore, C.#, Brandes, J. 2023. Hot or not: Systematic review and laboratory evaluation of the hot needle test for microplastic identification. Micropl. & Nanopl. 3(8).

Beckingham, B.A.*, Wischusen, K.#, Walker, J.# 2022. Phthalate exposure among U.S. college-aged women: biomonitoring in an undergraduate student cohort (2016-2017) and trends from the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES, 2005-2016). PlosONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0263578

Meierdierks, J.*#, Zarfl, C., Beckingham, B., Grathwohl, P. 2022. Comprehensive multi-compartment sampling for quantification of long-term accumulation of PAHs in soils. ACS Environmental Au. 2:536-548.

Battaglia, F.M.*#, Beckingham, B.A., McFee, W.E. 2020. First report from North America of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract of stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 160:111677.

Parker, B.W.*#, Beckingham, B.A., Ingram, B.C.#, Ballenger, J.C., Weinstein, J.E., Sancho, G. 2020. Microplastic and tire wear particle occurrence in fishes from an urban estuary: Influence of feeding characteristics on exposure risk. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 160:111539.

Beckingham, B.*, Callahan, T., Vulava, V. 2019. Stormwater ponds in the southeastern U.S. coastal plain: hydrogeology, contaminant fate, and the need for a social-ecological framework. Frontiers in Environmental Science. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2019.00117

Conley, K.#, Clum, A., Deepe, J., Lane, H.#, Beckingham, B.* 2019. Wastewater treatment plants as a source of microplastics to an urban estuary: removal efficiency and loading per capita for three wastewater treatment plants over one year. Water Research X. doi: 10.1016/j.wroa.2019.100030

Hart, L.B.*, Beckingham, B.*, Wells, R.S., Flagg, M.A.#, Wischusen, K., Moors, A., Kucklick, J., Pisarski, E. and Wirth, E. 2018. Urinary phthalate metabolites in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, FL, USA. GeoHealth 2(10): 313-326.

Beckingham, B.* and Ghosh, U. 2017. Differential bioavailability of polychlorinated biphenyls associated with environmental particles: Microplastic in comparison to wood, coal and biochar. Environ. Pollut., 220(Pt A): 150-158.

Beckingham, B.*, Shahin, M.#, Ellis, K.# and Callahan, T.J. 2017. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Suspended Materials in a Semi-urbanized Tidal Creek after an Historic Flood Event and Implications for Water Quality Monitoring. Journal of South Carolina Water Resources 4(1): 3-11.

*corresponding author; #student co-author