Chirnside Research Lab

Welcome to the Chirnside Applied Environmental Engineering Soil & Water Quality Lab

Dr. Anastasia E. M. Chirnside has been involved in environmental quality research at the University of Delaware for over 36 years. Her research investigates the effect that urban and rural land use activities have on soil and water quality in order to develop Best Management Practices that protect the environment.  Specific research interests include wastewater treatment and animal manure management. The research program has been concerned with the movement of pesticides and nutrients in agronomic practices. Her research has assessed the effect of tillage systems, irrigation practices, soil amendments, and cropping systems on ground and surface water quality.

Specific research projects that we have been involved in include algal assays on wastewater degradation, the study of the fate and movement of pollutants in soil and water, land application of biosolids, fly ash as soil amendments for plant growth, manure management, evaluation of alternate on-site wastewater systems, disposal methods for deceased poultry, nitrogen movement inside chicken houses, evaluation of flooring barriers in chicken production to reduce nitrogen movement, and development of a side-dresser for manure application in agronomic crop fields.

Currently, our research work has been in the area of bioremediation of recalcitrant compounds in soil, water, wastewater and manures. We are also involved in bench scale research in the area of mycoremediation. Through this research, we have worked with bacterial cultures and the white rot fungi, Phanerochaete chrysosporium and Pleurotus ostreatus, to reduce the nutrient content of food processing wastewater and to remove pathogens from dairy manure.

Current Projects:

Colloid Mobilization and Biogeochemical Cycling of Organic Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorous in Wetlands. With Dr. Bruce Vasilas and Dr. Yan Jin.

Development of a Fungal Biocell Reactor for Treatment of a Food Processing Wastewater.

Evaluation of Soil Media and Outlet Controls for Advanced Bioretention Systems. With Dr. Carmine Balascio and Dr. William Lucas.

Evaluation of Waste Concrete Road Materials for Use in Oyster Aquaculture. With Dr. Dong Hee Kang and Dr. Mark Bundy. MATS UTC – Delaware Center for Transportation.

Past Projects:

Nicole Dobbs Cool Run Watershed

John Paul Harris Senior Thesis Mycoremediation

Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems

Stormwater runoff Bioretention Basins