Project Description

Philip Gschwend

Ford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Director, Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering

Research Interests: environment organic chemistry


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

Telephone: 617.253.1638
Assistant: Vicki Murphy /


  • 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. Flores-Cervantes, D.X., D.L. Plata, J.K. MacFarlane, C.M. Reddy, and P.M. Gschwend.  Black carbon in marine particulate organic carbon: Inputs and cycling of highly recalcitrant organic carbon in the Gulf of Maine.Marine Chemistry, 113, 172-181, Jan. 2009.
  2. Flores-Cervantes D.X., C.M. Reddy, and P.M. Gschwend. Inferring black carbon concentrations in particulate organic matter by observing pyrene fluorescence losses. Sci. Technol., 43, 4864-4870, 2009.
  3. Plata D.L., A.J. Hart, C.M. Reddy, and P.M. Gschwend. Early evaluation of potential environmental impacts of carbon nanotube synthesis by chemical vapor deposition. Sci. Technol., 43, 8367-8373, 2009.
  4. Fernandez L.A.., C.F. Harvey, and P.M. Gschwend.  Using performance reference compounds in polyethylene passive samplers to deduce sediment pore water concentrations for numerous target chemicals. Sci. Technol., 43, 8888-8894, 2009.
  5. Ortega-Calvo, J.J., and P.M. Gschwend. Influence of low oxygen tensions and sorption to sediment black carbon on biodegradation of pyrene. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 76, 4430-4437, 2010.