Claudia K. Gunsch
Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Claudia Gunsch is the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, providing leadership in the area of faculty advancement, including providing support for faculty and academic units as they work to develop policies, programs, and practices in response to the recent campus climate survey. She plays a key role in developing strategies to strengthen Duke’s efforts to ensure an inclusive and respectful environment where faculty, students, and staff can thrive and excel.
Dr. Gunsch is the Theodore S. Kennedy Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and holds secondary appointments in the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She has been recognized for her research, teaching and service activities with a number of awards, including the 2009 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award, 2013 Langford Lectureship Award, 2016 Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising, and the 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize. In addition, she was named a Bass Fellow in 2016. Dr. Gunsch earned her B.S. from Purdue University, her M.S. from Clemson University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Gunsch’s research focuses characterizing and engineering environmental microbiomes. Students and postdoctoral associates in her group apply fundamental concepts from the fields of microbiology, genomics and bioinformatics to environmental engineering applications. Current research projects focus on exploring ballast water microbiomes, exploring correlations between microbial adaptation and evolution stemming from their exposure to contaminants, characterizing the fate of genetically modified crop transgenes, developing genetic bioaugmentation technologies for improving the bioremediation efficacy of recalcitrant contaminants and developing innovative water treatment technologies for industrial and developing world applications.
Appointments and Affiliations
- Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Associate Dean for Research and Infrastructure in the Pratt School of Engineering
- Associate Professor in the Division of Environmental Science and Policy
- Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
- Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
- Office Location: 127 Hudson Hall, Durham, NC 27708
- Office Phone: (919) 660-5208
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT)
- Duke Center for the Genomics of Microbial Systems
- Duke University Program in Ecology
- Duke University Superfund Research Center
- Gunsch Environmental Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory
- Integrative Bioinformatics for Investigating and Engineering Microbiomes (IBIEM)
- Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin, 2004
- M.S. Clemson University, 2000
- B.S. Purdue University, 1998
Research InterestsIdentifying genetic adaptation mechanisms resulting from anthropogenic contaminant exposure; developing biosensors capable of pathogen and contaminant detection in water and air; studying the impact of emerging contaminants on aquatic microbial ecology; and the development of novel techniques for controlling pathogen proliferation
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions
- Fellow. ASCE Environmental & Water Resources Institute. 2022
- Fellow. ELATES . 2018
- Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising. Pratt School of Engineering. 2016
- Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize. ASCE . 2016
- Langford Lectureship Award . Duke University . 2013
- Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2009
- NSF Graduate Fellowship. National Science Foundation. 1999
- BME 565L: Environmental Molecular Biotechnology (GE, MC)
- CEE 493: Research Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
- CEE 494: Research Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
- CEE 566: Environmental Microbiology
- CEE 661L: Environmental Molecular Biotechnology (GE, MC)
- CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
- CEE 691: Independent Study: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
- CEE 692: Independent Study: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
- EGR 79S: Thrive
- ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
- ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
In the News
- Comparing the Swab to the Sewer (Mar 4, 2021 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Gut Microbiome Snapshot Could Reveal Chemical Exposures in Children (Dec 3, 2020 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Duke Researchers Journey on a Rainbow River in Search of Pollution-Fighting Bacteria (Mar 6, 2019 | New Farmer's Almanac)
- Studying Superfunds: Duke Environmental Engineers Investigate How Super-Polluted Areas Affect Early Human Health (Jul 20, 2017 | Duke Engineering)
- Claudia Gunsch Receives the 2016 Huber Research Prize (May 20, 2016 | Duke Engineering)
- Duke Awards Distinguished Professorships, Inducts New Bass Society Members (May 5, 2016)
- Chemicals in human waste can harm crop land (Feb 25, 2014 | WUNC)
- New Test Screens Wastewater Biosolids For Environmental Contaminants (Feb 13, 2014)
- Welling, CM; Singleton, DR; Haase, SB; Browning, CH; Stoner, BR; Gunsch, CK; Grego, S, Predictive values of time-dense SARS-CoV-2 wastewater analysis in university campus buildings., The Science of the Total Environment, vol 835 (2022) [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155401] [abs].
- Gardner, CM; Gerhard, WA; Redfern, LK; Gunsch, CK, Evaluation of developing maize microbiomes and associations among nitrogen cyclers and key fungal taxa., Microbiology, vol 168 no. 3 (2022) [10.1099/mic.0.001155] [abs].
- Addis, SD; Formel, SK; Kim, YJ; Varner, PB; Raudabaugh, DB; Lefevre, E; Bernik, BM; Elango, V; Van Bael, SA; Pardue, JH; Gunsch, CK, Alterations of endophytic microbial community function in Spartina alterniflora as a result of crude oil exposure., Biodegradation, vol 33 no. 1 (2022), pp. 87-98 [10.1007/s10532-021-09968-5] [abs].
- Volkoff, SJ; Rodriguez, DL; Singleton, DR; McCumber, AW; Aitken, MD; Stewart, JR; Gunsch, CK, Identifying bioaugmentation candidates for bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in contaminated estuarine sediment of the Elizabeth River, VA, USA., Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol 106 no. 4 (2022), pp. 1715-1727 [10.1007/s00253-021-11754-5] [abs].
- Varner, PM; Gunsch, CK, Properties affecting transfer and expression of degradative plasmids for the purpose of bioremediation., Biodegradation, vol 32 no. 4 (2021), pp. 361-375 [10.1007/s10532-021-09950-1] [abs].