Dharni Vasudevan

Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Inclusion

Dr. Vasudevan's research is concerned with the fate of synthetic and naturally occurring organic and inorganic compounds. Her work focuses on the mechanisms by which organic and inorganic compounds interact with mineral surfaces in soil and aquatic environments. Central research issues include the study of sorption, desorption and coordination chemistry; surface complexation theory; mineral precipitation, dissolution, and weathering; and surface-assisted chemical transformation processes. Dr. Vasudevan and her group use a combination of controlled laboratory experiments, molecular and surface complexation modeling, and statistical tools in their research. Completed and current projects have emphasized the study of iron oxide rich soils, and pure phase minerals (iron, aluminum and titanium oxides, silica, and kaolinite) and include:

  • Polar and ionic organic compound (pesticides/herbicides, pharmaceuticals) sorption-desorption in soils;,
  • Sorption of organic ligands with -OH, -COOH, -NH2, heterocyclic N groups at the metal-oxide water interface;
  • Influence of phosphate on organic compound retention in soils;
  • Fluoride sorption to soils and associated aluminum release.
  • Sorption of approved tracers and their potential use as surrogates for pesticide fate and transport;
  • Chemometric analysis of pesticide and pharmaceutical retention in soils

 Curriculum Vitae

Dharni Vasudevan


  • PhD, Environmental Chemistry, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, John Hopkins University, 1996
  • MSE, Environmental Engineering, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, John Hopkins University, 1992
  • BS, Environmental Engineering Science, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1990