Mizzou Water Center receives more than $700,000 in EPA seed grant funding

Cross-disciplinary researchers to look at water quality, quantity issues through eight research and education projects.

Researchers at the University of Missouri have received seed grant funding from the Missouri Water Center through an Environmental Protection Agency appropriation to address various aspects of water quality and quantity, including flooding, in Missouri.

Faculty members are from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) and the College of Engineering (COE). The appropriation totaled $700,000 and will fund eight research and education projects.

“This provides funds to do proof-of-concept studies, which, if successful, will allow Water Center faculty to leverage even larger federal grants,” said interim Water Center co-director Pat Market, director of the School of Natural Resources in CAFNR.

The Missouri Water Center was founded in 2022 through the merger of two existing research centers at Mizzou: the Center for Watershed Management and Water Quality; and the Missouri Water Resources Research Center. The merger means a more focused and inclusive infrastructure and a new vision for conducting leading-edge water research in the state.

Projects funded include the following:

  • “Intermittent Streams: Unveiling the Missing Piece in the Carbon Cycle Puzzle,” Alba Argerich, assistant professor, School of Natural Resources (SNR); Jeff Wood, assistant professor, SNR; and Binbin Wang, assistant professor, COE; $140,180.
  • “Mitigation of Harmful Algal Blooms via High-frequency Water Monitoring, Modeling, and Biogeochemical Engineering Treatment,” Baolin Deng, professor and co-director of the Water Center, COE; Rebecca North, associate professor, SNR; Wang; and Xiangqun Zeng, professor, COE; $149,995.
  • “Development of a Water and Climate REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates),” Robin Rotman, assistant professor, SNR; and Pat Market, director, SNR, and interim co-director, Water Center; $23,527.
  • Harnessing Lipid & Protein Enriched Algae and their Photosynthesis Triggered Oxygen Bubbles for PFAS Removal,” Pan Ni, postdoctoral fellow, COE; and Deng; $21,160.
  • “Studying the Transport of Microplastics and Nanoplastics within Potable Water Plumbing Materials,” Maryam Salehi, assistant professor, COE; and Wang; $145,630.
  • “Development of Novel Adsorbents with Tunable Micro- and Mesopores and Surface Charge for Enhanced Removal of PFAS from Water,” Frank Xiao, associate professor, COE; and Deng; $149,941.
  • “Enrichment of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Bubble-Bursting Aerosols,” Wang and Xiao; $50,000.
  • “Development of a Workshop for Collaborative Proposal on Indigenous Foodways and Water Governance,” Rotman and Samantha Carter, graduate student, CAFNR; $19,563.