Research

We use analytical and geochemical tools to understand how some of Earth’s surface environments work and what the fate of chemicals is in such environments. We have excellent analytical capabilities within our program, including an ICP-MS, a GC-MS, a TOC-analyzer, an ion chromatograph, a water isotope analyzer, and an accelerated microwave digester. We also have access to an HPLC, an LC-MS, and other instrumentation through our research partners. Our student researchers, both graduate and undergraduate, have complete access to the instrumentation and usually help in maintaining the instrumentation.

I am always looking for passionate undergraduate and graduate students that are interested in participating in research. Contact me at any time to discuss various opportunities.


Some specific research interests:

  • delineation of groundwater and wetland recharge zones using geochemical tracers
  • geochemistry of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment
  • environmental physics and chemistry as applied to biogeochemical fate and transport of contaminants in shallow geological environment
  • characterization and remediation of polluted environmental systems
  • modeling of sorption and transport of inorganic and organic chemicals in subsurface environment
  • environmental and natural resources management
  • geochemical forensics applications in geoarchaeology and other disciplines
  • climate change

Research Publications:

  1. T.J. Callahan, V.M. Vulava, and T. Ghosh.  2017.  Exploring Water Resources in a Field Experiences Setting:   a Study Abroad Course in Northern India. J. Geoscience Educ. In review.
  2. J.M. Phillips*, T.J. Callahan, V.M. Vulava, A.J. Wunderley, G.I. Scott, and J. Deepe. 2017.  Source-Tracking  and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) model development for shellfish impairments in a tidal basin. Journal of the American Water Resources Association In revision for resubmission.
  3. W.C. Vesely*, V.M. Vulava, and W.C. Cory. 2017. Geochemical fate and transport of fluoxetine, sertraline,   and bupropion in natural soils. In preparation.
  4.  J. Deepe*, V.M. Vulava, A. Clum, E. Wirth. 2017. Tracking polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)  through wastewater treatment. J. Water Works Association. In preparation.
  5. L.B. Nickolas*, T.J. Callahan, V.M. Vulava, and A.E. Morrison*. 2016. Influence of soil type and antecedent soil moisture conditions on storm-event flow pathways in lower coastal plain watersheds of the southeastern United States. Hydrological Processes. in preparation.
  6. V.M. Vulava, D.S. Vaughn*, L.D. McKay, S.G. Driese, L.W. Cooper, F. Menn, N. Levine, and G.S. Sayler.   2017.  Flood-induced transport of PAHs from streambed coal tar deposits.  Science of the Total Environment. 575: 247-257, DOI:j.scitotenv.2016.09.222.
  7. V.M. Vulava, W.C. Cory, V. Murphey*, C. Ulmer*. 2016. Sorption, photodegradation, and chemical trans- formation of naproxen and ibuprofen in soils and water. Science of the Total Environment. 565: 1063-1070, DOI:doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.132.
  8. M.P. Griffin*, T.J. Callahan, V.M. Vulava, and T.M. Williams. 2014. Influence of soil type and antecedent soil moisture conditions on storm-event flow pathways in lower coastal plain watersheds of the southeastern United States. Water Resources Research 50, 8265–8280, DOI:10.1002/2014WR015941.
  9. Vulava, V., McKay, L., Broholm, M., McCarthy, J., Driese, S., Sayler, G. 2012. Influence of pore structure on dissolution and transport of coal tar compounds in highly fractured clay-rich residuum. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 203–204: 283– 289.
  10. Callahan, T. J., Vulava, V., Passarello, M., Garrett, C. G. 2011. Estimating groundwater recharge in lowland forested watersheds. Hydrological Processes DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8356.
  11. C. Guinn Garrett, Vijay M. Vulava, Timothy J. Callahan, and Martin L. Jones. 2011. Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions in a Lowland Watershed: Source Contribution to Stream Flow. Hydrological Processes, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8257.
  12. Tithof, P., Richards, S., Elgayyar, M., Menn, F.-M., Vulava, V., McKay, L., Sanseverino, J., Sayler, G., Tucker, D., Leslie, C., Lu, K., Ramos, K. (2010). Activation of group IVC phospholipase A2 by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons induces apoptosis of human coronary artery endothelial cells. Archives of Toxicology, DOI: 10.1007/s00204-010-0614-9, 1-12.
  13. Driese, S., Ludvigson, G., Roberts, J., Fowle, D., Gonzalez, L., Smith, J., Vulava, V., McKay, L. (2010). Micromorphology and Stable-Isotope Geochemistry of Historical Pedogenic Siderite Formed in PAH-Contaminated Alluvial Clay Soils, Tennessee, U.S.A. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 80 (11), 943-954.
  14. V.M. Vulava, L.D. McKay, S.G. Driese, F. Menn, and G.S. Sayler. 2007. Distribution and transport of coal tar-derived PAHs in fine-grained residuum. Chemosphere, 68:554-563. PDF.
  15. M. Lenczewski, L. McKay, A. Pitner, S. Driese, and V. Vulava. 2006. Pure phase transport and dissolution of TCE in sedimentary rock saprolite. Ground Water, 44:406-414. PDF.
  16. J.C. Seaman, V.M. Vulava, A.G. Sowder, B.P. Jackson, S.A. Aburime, and P.M. Bertsch. 2005. Metal extractability from contaminated SRS sediments: Comparison of column and batch results. Environ. Geosci., 12:235-242. PDF.
  17. J.C. Seaman, J. Hutchinson, B.P. Jackson, and V.M. Vulava. 2003. In situ treatment of metals in contaminated soils with phytate. J. Environ. Qual., 32:153-161. PDF.
  18. V.M. Vulava, R. Kretzschmar, K. Barmettler, A. Voegelin, D. Grolimund, and M. Borkovec. 2002. Cation competition in a natural subsurface material: Prediction of transport behavior. Water Resour. Res., 38. DOI:10.1029/2001WR000262. PDF.
  19. V.M. Vulava, E.B. Perry, C.S. Romanek, and J.C. Seaman. 2002. Multiple dissolved gases as partitioning tracers for determination of hydrogeological parameters. Environ. Sci. Technol., 36: 254–262. PDF.
  20. A. Voegelin, V.M. Vulava, and R. Kretzschmar. 2001. A reaction-based model describing competitive sorption and transport of Cd, Zn, and Ni in an acidic soil. Environ. Sci. Technol., 35: 1651–1657. PDF.
  21. V.M. Vulava and J.C. Seaman. 2000. Mobilization of lead from highly weathered porous material by extracting agents. Environ. Sci. Technol., 34: 4828–4834. PDF.
  22. A. Voegelin, V.M. Vulava, F. Kuhnen, and R. Kretzschmar. 2000. Multicomponent transport of major cations predicted from binary sorption experiments. J. Contam. Hydrol., 46:319–338. PDF.
  23. V.M. Vulava, R. Kretzschmar, U. Rusch, D. Grolimund, J.C. Westall, and M. Borkovec. 2000. Cation competition in a natural subsurface material: Modeling of sorption equilibria. Environ. Sci. Technol., 34: 2149–2155. PDF.
  24. V.M. Vulava, B.R. James, and A. Torrents. 1997. Copper solubility in Myersville B horizon soil in the presence of DTPA. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 61:44–52. PDF.

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