Marc A. Deshusses

Marc Deshusses

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Deshusses' research interests are related to the design, analysis and application of remediation, waste to energy and decentralized sanitation processes. A current focus is on novel reactors and processes for air, water and solid wastes treatment. Applications include treatment of odors and air toxics, biogas production, and novel sanitation and treatment technologies. Research interests include bioenergy and waste to energy processes, biofilms, biomolecular techniques for monitoring microorganisms in complex environments, indoor air quality, advanced oxidation processes, nanosensors, and mathematical modeling of environmental processes.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke Kunshan University
  • Research Professor of Global Health
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 1994

Research Interests

Dr. Deshusses' broad research interests are related to the design, analysis and application of processes for the bioremediation of contaminated air, water and soils. One area of on-going research is bioreactors for air pollution control. Results from this work have resulted among others in a better fundamental understanding of how volatile organics and odors are biodegraded in waste air biofilters and biotrickling filters. It has also been used recently to convert odor control chemical scrubbers to high efficiency biotrickling filters at wastewater treatment plants. Another area of ongoing research is the development of biotreatment processes to treat groundwater contaminated with gasoline additives MTBE and TBA and rocket propellant perchlorate. Results from this work are being applied in the field. Other ongoing research include the development of gas-phase sensors based on functionalized nanomaterials, the use of biomolecular techniques for monitoring microorganisms in complex mixed cultures, fundamental study of biofouling mechanisms, biofilms, combined chemical and biological treatment of wastes, indoor air quality, and mathematical modeling of environmental bioprocesses.


Water, Resources and Treatment
Microbial Engineering, biological remediation

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • AAAS Fellow. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 2006

Courses Taught

  • CEE 293: Research Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 462L: Biological Principles in Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 490: Special Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 493: Research Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 562: Biological Processes in Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 780: Internship

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Farling, S; Rogers, T; Knee, JS; Tilley, EA; Brown, J; Deshusses, MA, Bioaerosol emissions associated with pit latrine emptying operations., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 648 (2019), pp. 1082-1086 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.147] [abs].
  • Thostenson, JO; Mourouvin, R; Hawkins, BT; Ngaboyamahina, E; Sellgren, KL; Parker, CB; Deshusses, MA; Stoner, BR; Glass, JT, Improved blackwater disinfection using potentiodynamic methods with oxidized boron-doped diamond electrodes., Water Research, vol 140 (2018), pp. 191-199 [10.1016/j.watres.2018.04.022] [abs].
  • Forbis-Stokes, AA; Rocha-Melogno, L; Deshusses, MA, Nitrifying trickling filters and denitrifying bioreactors for nitrogen management of high-strength anaerobic digestion effluent., Chemosphere, vol 204 (2018), pp. 119-129 [10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.03.137] [abs].
  • Ndu, U; Christensen, GA; Rivera, NA; Gionfriddo, CM; Deshusses, MA; Elias, DA; Hsu-Kim, H, Quantification of Mercury Bioavailability for Methylation Using Diffusive Gradient in Thin-Film Samplers., Environmental Science & Technology, vol 52 no. 15 (2018), pp. 8521-8529 [10.1021/acs.est.8b00647] [abs].
  • Reese, AT; Cho, EH; Klitzman, B; Nichols, SP; Wisniewski, NA; Villa, MM; Durand, HK; Jiang, S; Midani, FS; Nimmagadda, SN; O'Connell, TM; Wright, JP; Deshusses, MA; David, LA, Antibiotic-induced changes in the microbiota disrupt redox dynamics in the gut., Elife, vol 7 (2018) [10.7554/elife.35987] [abs].

Additional Information

Professional Society Service:

  • Member American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Air and Waste Management Association, Water Environment Federation, American Society for Engineering Education
  • Member [by invitation], External Advisory Committee, NASA Purdue Advanced Life Support Center NSCORT [03-06, Chair of that committee for 2003-2004]
  • Co-Editor: Chemical Engineering Journal (Environmental Chemical Engineering Section)
  • Editorial boards: Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology [99 - 02; 03 - present]; Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology [03 – present]
  • Reviewer of a over 200 papers for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering Science, Environmental Science and Technology, J. of Environmental Engineering, Environmental Catalysis, J. of the Air & Waste Management Association, Environmental Progress, J. of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, TIBTECH, etc.