My name is Matthew Reid, and I’m an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The students in my research group focus on understanding and developing sustainable methods for protecting water quality in the environment. We work in an area called environmental biogeochemistry. This is the science of how microorganisms influence the chemical environment, and in turn how microbial communities are shaped by their chemical surroundings. As engineers, we apply knowledge and tools from biogeochemistry to address problems including nutrient pollution in agricultural runoff and uptake of toxic metals from water into food crops like rice. The goal of our work is to harness natural processes in the landscape to sustainably address these water-related challenges.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
My research explores the microbial mechanisms around Arsenic (As) speciation in aquatic environments and interaction between As and organic ligands which can form larger complexes and thus decrease As bioavailability. Its interaction with inorganic molecules is also investigated, which can competitively inhibit As uptake.
Undergraduate students: There are a variety of opportunities for undergraduates from either the College of Engineering or CALS to get involved in our research group. Assistant Professor Matt Reid typically assigns undergraduate research assistants an independent, semester-long project that has synergies with a graduate student project. This could mean the design or development of a new sensor or technique that could then be usefully applied in the graduate student’s project. Undergraduate research can be done for credit, and after the successful completion of one semester of work there are opportunities for funding through the Engineering Learning Initiatives.