Department of Environmental Sciences

Faculty: Alison Spongberg

Alison Spongberg

Professor of Geology
Ph.D. Texas A&M University 1994

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Environmental geochemistry of sediments and water
  • Fate and transport of hazardous contaminants

419.530.4091 (office) | 419.530.2986 (lab) |

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Research SpongbergAnthropogenic influences on soils, sediments, water resources and biota have continued to be major topics of research around the world, and in our laboratory. The Geochemical and Environmental Soil Science (GESS) Lab strives to supplement current and develop new investigative approaches to geochemical and environmental questions. Our facilities and cross disciplinary approach allow for a mixture of laboratory and field experimentation on classic and emerging compounds and materials of interest. Students learn a variety of analytical techniques and have access to instrumentation not commonly found in other Environmental Science departments. Recent projects include:

  • Sorption and degradation of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in soils and biosolids
  • Uptake of organic contaminants in aquatic and terrestrial plant species
  • Occurrence and characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in marina sediments
  • Characterization of heavy metals on contaminated sites
  • Chemical evaluation of degradation of "green" materials


Recent Publications

  • Spongberg, A.L., Witter, J.D., Acuña, J., Vargas, J., Murillo, M., Umana, G., Gómez, E. and G. Perez, 2011.
    Reconnaissance of selected PPCP compounds in Costa Rican surface waters. Water Research. 45: 6709-6717.

  • Gonthier, D.J., Witter, J.D., Spongberg, A.L. and S.M. Philpott, 2011.
    Effect of nitrogen fertilization on caffeine production in coffee (Coffee arabica). Chemoecology, 21:123-130.

  • Wu, C., Spongberg A.L., J.D. Witter, 2011.
    The Uptake of Pharmaceutical and personal care products by agriculturally relevant plant species. Chimica Oggi/Chemistry Today, 29(2):54-56.

  • Wu, C., Spongberg, A.L., Witter, J.D., Fang, M., and K.P Czajkowski, 2010.
    Uptake of pharmaceutical and personal care products by soybean plants from soils applied with biosolids and irrigated with contaminated water. Submitted to Environmental Science and Technology 44: 6057-6161.

  • Wu, C., A.L. Spongberg, J.D. Witter, M. Fang, K.P Czajkowski and A. Ames, 2010.
    Dissipation and leaching potential of selected pharmaceutically active compounds in soils amended with biosolids. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 59: 343-351.

  • Kim, S., Iyer, G., Nadarajah, A., Frantz, J.M. and A.L. Spongberg, 2010.
    Polyacrylamide Hydrogel Properties for Horticultural Applications. International Journal of Polymer Analysis and Characterization, 15(5): 307 - 318.

  • Wu, C., A.L. Spongberg, J.D. Witter, M. Fang, K.P Czajkowski and A. Ames. 2010.
    Detection of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Agricultural Soils Receiving Biosolids Application. CLEAN- Soil, Air, Water 38: 230-237.

  • Holt, Leigh , A.E. Laursen, L.H. McCarthy, I. V. Badin and A.L. Spongberg, 2010.
    Effects of land application of municipal biosolids on nitrogen-fixing bacteria in agricultural soil. Biology and Fertility of Soils 46: 407-413.

  • Czajkowski, K.P, A. Ames, B. Alam, S. Milz, R. Vincent, W. McNulty, T. W. Ault, M. Bisesi, B. Fink, S. Khudar, T. Benko, J. Coss, D. Czajkowski, S. Sritharan, K. Nedunuri, S. Nikolov, J. Witter, and A. Spongberg, 2010.
    Application of GIS in Evaluating the Potential Impacts of Land Application of Biosolids on Human Health. Geospatial Technologies and Environment: Applications, Policies and Management edited volume of the Geotechnologies and Environment series. Ed. Nancy Pullen and Mark Patterson, pp 165-186.


Last Updated: 6/27/22