Kamelia Afshinnia, PhD
Kamelia Afshinnia was a postdoctoral fellow working under the supervision of Professor
Lead. She earned her Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the
Iran University of Science and Technology and her PhD in Environmental Health from
the University of South Carolina in 2018. Her research interests include understanding
the transformation, deposition and aggregation behavior of nanomaterials in the environment.
She is also interested in investigating how the interaction of nanomaterials with
natural environmental components impact on these processes.
Amna Al-Hashmi is a PhD student at CENR studying mentored by Dr. Jamie Lead. She earned a B.S. degree in Biology with a cognate in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina (USC) in December, 2005. She worked as an environmental advisor for a National Mining Company in Oman for several years and then continued her higher education at USC and received a Master’s degree in Earth and Environment Resources Management (MEERM) from the College of Arts and Sciences. Her earlier research in MEERM program focused on assessing the impact of mining activities on the water quality of a local open pit copper mine. She also worked as an environment and sustainability specialist in the waste management sector in Oman and was in charge of assessing the environmental impacts of the waste management projects and implementing the environment and sustainability strategies adopted by the sector. Recently, she joined the CENR and her research focuses on understanding the role of nano-remediation in mitigating nanoparticle toxicity to fish.
Shelby Butz, PhD
Shelby Butz became part of the CENR team in August 2015 as a Ph.D. candidate under
the supervision of Dr. Jamie Lead. She earned her Masters degree in Marine Science
from the University of South Carolina in 2015, and Bachelors degree in Marine Science
from Coastal Carolina University in 2013. Her current research couples the synthesis
of silver nanoparticles and the potential of associated risks that exposure may have
on the environment. She is investigating the toxicity of silver nanoparticles to organisms
within the primary producer and primary consumer communities, with the intent to determine
the transfer between trophic levels. Her other interests include fate and behavior
of nanomaterials, estuarine ecology, and toxicological consequences of pollutants
to estuarine organism.
Dipesh Das, PhD
Dipesh Das was working under the direct supervision of Dr. Navid Saleh at the University
of Texas, Austin TX, along with Dr. Jamie Lead. His research interests are the synthesis
of nanohybrids and the study of their potential applications in the field of environmental
science and engineering, especially in water and wastewater treatment. He is investigating
the applications of carbon nanotube and exfoliated graphene supported nanohybrids
in this sector. He is also interested in the fate and transport studies of these nanohybrids
and their impacts on the environment. Previously, he worked on wastewater sludge treatment
and their potential application and disposal systems.
Kamal Kadel, PhD
Dr. Kamal Kadel was a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Lead’s group at the CENR.
He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Florida International University, Miami, FL. During
his Ph.D., he gained the expertise in synthesis and characterization of various inorganic
nanomaterials, which find applications in various fields such as clean energy production
and environmental remediation. His current research in CENR focuses on the large scale
synthesis and characterization of polymer coated iron oxide nanomaterials and their
application to the environmental remediation.
Ruth Merrifield, PhD
Dr. Ruth Merrifield was a Research Assistant Professor within the CENR. She earned
her PhD in nanoscale physics at the University of Birmingham (UK) followed by a postdoctoral
position in nanoecotoxocology at the same university, combining her interest in the
environment with her love of physics. Her research interests are based around the
effect of environmental and toxicological media on the state of nanoparticles (particularly
oxidation states, surface interactions and dissolution rates) and how this affects
the transport, uptake and toxicity of nanoparticles. Current projects include; The
synthesis of core-shell structured metal nanoparticles and their transformations;
Algal and daphnid uptake and toxicity of ceria nanoparticles; The effect on ceria
nanoparticle chemistry due to ecotoxicological and environmental conditions; The fate
and behavior silver nanoparticles in waste water treatment plants and surface waters.
Seyyedali Mirshahghassemi, PhD
Dr. Mirshahghassemi was a postdoctoral fellow working under the supervision of Professor
Lead. He earned his masters degree in Environmental Engineering at University of Tehran
(Iran) in 2013 and his PhD in Environmental Health from the University of South Carolina
in 2018. His research interests are in synthesis and characterization of novel nanoparticles
and the study of their potential applications for the environmental remediation techniques. He
is also interested in understanding the aggregation behavior of nanomaterials like
iron oxide NPs.
Soubantika Palchoudhury, PhD, MS
Dr. Soubantika Palchoudhury was a postdoctoral fellow at the CENR. Her research investigated
novel, surface-engineered nanostructures for environmental remediation techniques.
She is highly skilled in the synthesis and surface modification of anisotropic nanoparticles,
DNA-nanoparticle interaction, and characterization techniques such as transmission
electron microscopy. Prior to her research at USC, she was a postdoctoral researcher
at Yale University. She completed her Ph.D. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from
the University of Alabama on the synthesis and characterization of Pt decorated iron
oxide nanoparticles for biomedical applications. She has published over 10 articles
in nanoscience journals such as Nano Letters, Langmuir, and ChemComm. She has authored
a book chapter and has reviewed for APL, JAP, Nanotechnology, and Nanomater, Nanotechnol.
Sahar Pourhoseini, PhD
Sahar Pourhoseini is a PhD student at the CENR and started her research under the
supervision of Dr. Jamie Lead in May 2015. She earned her master’s degree in Cellular
and Molecular Biology at the Science and Research Branch, Azad University of Tehran.
Her current research interest is in the use of isotopically-labeled, three-layer core-shell
nanoparticles to investigate the relative importance of ionic and particulate uptake
into mammalian models.
Daniel Ross, PhD
Dr. Daniel Ross was a research assistant professor in the Department of Environmental
Health Sciences in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. His
research interests involved bioenergy, the use of microorganisms for the production
of biofuels, and the interaction of bacteria with solid surfaces (e.g. minerals in
the environment, electrodes in electrochemical systems, and nanoparticles/nanomaterials
in the environment). Dr. Ross examined the effects of nanomaterials on microbial
populations and their metabolisms to elucidate microbial mechanisms involved in the
fate and transport of nanomaterials in the environment.
Mithun Sikder, PhD
Mithun Sikdur was a PhD student at CENR and started his research under the supervision
of Drs. Mohammed Baalousha, Jamie Lead and Tom Chandler in January, 2015. He earned
his Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Nottingham,
UK in 2013. His current research interest centers on investigating the effect of metal
and metal oxide nanoparticle size dispersity on their properties, uptake and toxicity.
Caixia Yan, PhD
Caixia Yan was a Ph.D. candidate studying at East China Normal University (ECNU) in
Shanghai, China. She visited the University of South Carolina for one year. Her research was
primarily related to the occurrence, distribution and fate of emerging organic contaminants
(EOCs) in the aquatic environment, especially their sorption behavior to naturally
occurring carbonaceous geosorbents and nanoparticles (NPs). The aim of her work with
the CENR was to characterize aquatic colloids and NPs in different size fractions
in order to better understand the formation and transport of the NP-EOC complexes.
In addition, she aimed to help to unravel the underlying mechanisms of NP-controlled
EOCs behavior in estuarine aquatic system.
Amal Zaidan was a PhD student at the CENR, and started her research under the supervision of Jamie Lead in October 2014. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta, GA in 2014. Her current research interest is in the synthesis and characterization of polymer coated iron oxide nanomaterials, and their effectiveness in removing food oil derivatives from biological media. Specifically, she is researching their possible applications on weight gain in vivo.