Nicole Fahrenfeld

Associate Professor

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Office:RWH 328D
Website: Fahrenfeld Research Group


Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2012
M.S., Environmental Engineering and Science, Clemson University, 2008
B.S., Environmental Engineering, John Hopkins University, 2006


  • Outstanding Paper, Water Environment Research, 2021
  • Best Paper Award, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, 2019
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2019
  • Outstanding young alumni, Virginia Tech Civil & Environmental Engineering 2018
  • Outstanding Teaching, Rutgers ASCE 2017
  • Favorite Faculty, Virginia Tech Office of Housing and Resident Life, 2012
  • AEESP Virginia Tech April 16th Memorial Travel Scholarship, 2011
  • Global Perspectives in Higher Education, 2010 Cohort
  • Clemson University Alumni Graduate Fellowship, 2006

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors
  • American Society of Microbiology
  • Water Environment Federation

Research Interests

Contaminant fate and transport, environmental microbiology, environmental organic chemistry, water quality.

Selected Publications

Recent Publications

  1. Fahrenfeld, N.L., Morales Medina, W.R., D’Elia, S., Deshpande, A.S., Ehasz, G.  2022.  Year-long monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater in combined and separate sanitary sewers.  Water Environment Research.  94(8): e10768.  doi: 10.1002/wer.10768  (featured on cover)
  2. Deshpande, A.S., Fahrenfeld, N.L.  2022.  Abundance, diversity, and host assignment of total, intracellular, and extracellular antibiotic resistance genes in riverbed sediments.  Water Research.  217:15.  118363.  doi:  10.1016/j.watres.2022.118363
  3. Morales Medina, W.R., D’Elia, S., Fahrenfeld, N.L.  2022.  Accumulation of SARS-CoV-2 in sewer biofilms. ACS ES&T Water.  doi:  10.1021/acsestwater.1c00345
  4. Sipps, K., Walsh, K., Arbuckle-Keil, G., Chant, R., Fahrenfeld, N.L., Garzio, L., Walsh, K., Saba, G.  2022.  Pervasive occurrence of microplastics in Raritan-Hudson estuary zooplankton. Science of the Total Environment.  817: 152812.  doi:  10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152812
  5. Fahrenfeld, N.L.,  Morales Medina, W.R., D’Elia, S.,  Modica, M., Ruiz, A., McLane, M. 2022. Comparison of residential dormitory COVID-19 monitoring via saliva testing and sewage monitoring.  Science of the Total Environment. 814:  151947.  doi:  10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151947
  6. Boni, W., Arbuckle-Keil, G.A., Fahrenfeld, N.L.  2022.  Intra-storm variation in microplastics from urban stormwater and bioretention basin.  Science of the Total Environment. 809: 151104.  doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151104 
  7. *Blanc, S., Robinson, D., Fahrenfeld, N.L.  2021.  Potential for nontuberculous mycobacteria proliferation in natural and engineered water systems due to climate change: a literature review.  City & Environment Interactions.  11: 100070. doi: 10.1016/j.cacint.2021.100070
  8. Morales Medina, W.R., Eramo, A., Fahrenfeld, N.L. 2021. Metabolically active prokaryotes and actively transcribed antibiotic resistance genes in sewers systems: Implications for public health and microbially induced corrosion. Microbial Ecology.  doi: 10.1007/s00248-021-01775-y