Project Description

Philip Gschwend

Ford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: environment organic chemistry


Parsons Laboratory
Room 48-216G
15 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA, 02139

Telephone: 617.253.1638
Assistant: Svetlana Liubava /


  • 1973 B.S., California Institute of Technology
  • 1979 Ph.D., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Research Interests

  • Environmental organic chemistry; phase exchanges and transformation processes; modeling fates of organic pollutants; roles of colloids and black carbons; passive sampling for site evaluation.
  • see textbook:  Environmental Organic Chemistry by RP Schwarzenbach, PM Gschwend, & DM Imboden, 2nd edition, Wiley-Interscience, 2003.

Selected Publications

  1. Borrelli, R; Tcaciuc, AP; Verginelli, I; Baciocchi, R; Guzzella, L; Cesti, P; Zaninetta, L; Gschwend. Performance of passive sampling with low-density polyethylene membranes for the estimation of freely dissolved DDx concentrations in lake environments. Chemosphere, 200, 227-236, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.02.077, Jun 2018
  2. Apell, JN; Shull, DH; Hoyt, AM; Gschwend, PM. Investigating the Effect of Bioirrigation on In Situ Porewater Concentrations and Fluxes of Polychlorinated Biphenyls Using Passive Samplers. Environmental Science & Technology, 52, 8, 4565-4573, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b05809, Apr 2018
  3. Jonker, MTO; van der Heijden, SA; Adelman, D; Apell, JN; Burgess, RM; Choi, Y; Fernandez, LA; Flavetta, GM; Ghosh, U; Gschwend, PM; Hale, SE; Jalalizadeh, M; Khairy, M; Lampi, MA; Lao, WJ; Lohmann, R; Lydy, MJ; Maruya, KA; Nutile, SA; Oen, AMP; Rakowska, MI; Reible, D; Rusina, TP; Smedes, F; Wu, YW. Advancing the Use of Passive Sampling in Risk Assessment and Management of Sediments Contaminated with Hydrophobic Organic Chemicals: Results of an International Ex Situ Passive Sampling Interlaboratory Comparison.  Environmental Science & Technology, 52, 6, 3574-3582, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b05752, Mar 2018
  4. Tcaciuc, AP; Borrelli, R; Zaninetta, LM; Gschwend, PM. Passive sampling of DDT, DDE and DDD in sediments: accounting for degradation processes with reaction-diffusion modeling. Environmental Science-Processes & Impacts, 20, 1, 220-231, DOI: 10.1039/c7em00501f, Jan 2018
  5. Starsich, FHL; Gschwend, P; Sergeyev, A; Grange, R; Pratsinis, SE. Deep Tissue Imaging with Highly Fluorescent Near-Infrared Nanocrystals after Systematic Host Screening. Chemistry of Materials, 29, 19, 8158-8166, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b02170, Oct 2017
  6. Apell, JN; Gschwend, PM. The atmosphere as a source/sink of polychlorinated biphenyls to/from the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site. Environmental Pollution, 227, 263-270, DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.04.070, Aug 2017
  7.  95-101, DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.08.023, Nov 2016
  8. Griffith, DR; Soule, MCK; Eglinton, TI; Kujawinski, EB; Gschwend, PM. Steroidal estrogen sources in a sewage-impacted coastal ocean. Environmental Science-Processes & Impacts, 18, 8, 981-991, DOI: 10.1039/c6em00127k, Aug 2016
  9. Apell, JN; Tcaciuc, AP; Gschwend, PM. Understanding the rates of nonpolar organic chemical accumulation into passive samplers deployed in the environment: Guidance for passive sampler deployments. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 12, 3, 486-492, DOI: 10.1002/ieam.1697, Jul 2016
  10. Lu, ZJ; MacFarlane, JK; Gschwend, PM. Adsorption of Organic Compounds to Diesel Soot: Frontal Analysis and Polyparameter Linear Free-Energy Relationship. Environmental Science & Technology, 50, 1, 285-293, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03605, Jan 2016
  11. Tcaciuc, AP; Apell, JN; Gschwend, PM. Modeling the transport of organic chemicals between polyethylene passive samplers and water in finite and infinite bath conditions. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 34, 12, 2739-2749, DOI: 10.1002/etc.3128, Dec 2015
  12. Plata, DL; Hemingway, JD; Gschwend, PM. Polyparameter linear free energy relationship for wood char-water sorption coefficients of organic sorbates. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 34, 7, 1464-1471, DOI: 10.1002/etc.2951, Jul 2015
  13. Fernandez, LA; Gschwend, PM. Predicting bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soft-shelled clams (mya arenaria) using field deployments of polyethylene passive samplers.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 34, 5, 993-1000, DOI: 10.1002/etc.2892, May 2015