Current Graduate Students

Melany Ruiz-Urigen

Melany Ruiz Urigüen is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental and Water Resources Program. Her research focuses in bioelectrochemistry applied for anaerobic ammonium oxidation, and in characterizing and optimizing this process under iron reducing conditions. Melany also works in analyzing microbial communities composition and changes in denitrification and iron reducing reactors. She received her MSE in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Princeton University and a B.Sc. in Biology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. Melany is interested in environmental and applied microbiology for maintaining optimal conditions of environmental resources.

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Arianna Sherman is a Ph.D. student whose current research investigates bacterial reduction of trace and heavy metals in wastewater, with a specific focus on selenium. Her current research in selenium seeks to use the Feammox process to treat ions in solution, with the eventual goal of applying this technique to technology used to treat selenium in industrial wastewater. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2015, receiving a B.S. in Chemistry with a specialization in Environmental Chemistry. Previous research projects include synthesis of organic compounds with mechanochromic fluorescent properties and water quality analysis in relation to restoration of seagrass beds on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. She is particularly interested in remediation of inorganic contaminants in wastewater and the environment as a whole.


Weitao Shuai graduated from Peking University, China in 2015 with a Bachelors of Engineering degree. Motivated by her interests in environmental studies, she participated in the research project Chemical Remediation of Rare Earth Elements Contaminated Soil and Tailings in Southern Jiangxi Province, China from 2014 to 2015. During the summer of 2014, Weitao worked as a research assistant intern in INRS (Institut national de la recherché scientifique), Quebec, Canada and conducted experiments on Solid-state Fermentation Based Fumaric Acid Production by Rhizopus Oryzae 1526 Using Apple Pomace as Substrate. These experiences equipped her with foundation in environmental chemistry and microbiology, and aroused her interests in understanding the fate and transformation of pollutants in natural systems.

Qingqing Wei is a graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University. She is a graduate of Miami University, with a B.S. in Engineering Management and an Environmental Engineering combined program specialty. She studied abroad through a Summer Study Abroad Program in Freiburg, Germany, attending some conferences focusing on sustainability and clean energy. She was a research staff at Princeton in 2015. Her previous research project worked on investigating the feasibility of combined biological treatment of NOx emission and organic wastewater from the coking process using a hollow fiber membrane bioreactor to attain the government regulation of air pollution control in China. For her MSE thesis, she will work on the ability of sulfur-amended A6 media to enhance the Feammox process for environmental studies.