Steven Chillrud, Ph.D. is a Lamont Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He describes himself as an environmental geochemist interested in public health research. Much of his research is focused on the role of particles in the transport, behavior, and fate of chemical contaminants. His expertise in exposure assessment includes the development and testing of air samplers and analytical methods for quantifying airborne contaminants.
Dr. Chillrud’s formal training was in geochemistry and focused on analytical chemistry and understanding transport and fate of particle-associated contaminants in the Hudson River Watershed through the use of dated sediment cores. During his post-doc at Columbia University, he began reconstructing the history of atmospheric deposition of a wide array of particle-bound contaminants into NYC throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Dr. Chillrud’s research spans air, water and soil pollution in both urban and rural settings. He serves as Director of the Exposure Assessment Core Facility of the Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan, which supports a wide array of air and water pollution projects, including supporting projects in low- and middle-income countries and overseeing the development and use of air sampling equipment.
Dr. Chillrud’s early work identified short commutes in the subway system as being the dominant exposure pathway for NYC adolescents to airborne iron, manganese, and chromium. Frustration with limitations of pumps and monitors led to efforts developing and testing miniaturized, personal air samplers for black carbon and multiple air pollutants.
Dr. Chillrud is also active in research on enhanced remediation methods of groundwater and research translation within Columbia’s Superfund Program on Health Effects and Geochemistry of Arsenic. He is an active member of Columbia’s CleanAir Toolbox, a collaboration of 20 research groups across the Columbia Climate School focused on solutions-oriented work to improve air quality in cities across the Global South, also referred to as low and middle income countries.
Dr. Chillrud teaches classes related to sustainability in SIPA’s Environmental Science and Policy Program and the the SPS Master’s Program in Science of Sustainability.