Environmental Chemistry Laboratory LCE

LCE is interested in the fate of human viruses in natural and engineered systems. Viruses are excreted from their host via the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract and are thus found in air, water, sewage or on surfaces. On the one hand, this constitutes a health risk if infectious viruses are inhaled or ingested. On the other hand, the human virus population in the environment harbors valuable information on the health status of the surrounding population. In LCE we work toward understanding the fundamental processes that govern the fate of viruses outside their hosts, and to utilize this information to protect public health. Topics of interest include virus inactivation by chemical oxidants (e.g., chlorine, ozone) and natural stressors (e.g., sunlight, microbial grazers), virus persistence in aerosol particles, wastewater-based epidemiology, and evolution of viruses to higher persistence phenotypes.

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