Deborah Aruguete, Ph.D.

Deborah Aruguete, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Environmental Science
26 Hammermill
Mailing Address:
ERIE PA 16563

Previous Experience

  • Review Panelist, Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program, Golden, CO, 2014
  • Associate Program Director, National Science Foundation Division of Earth Sciences, Arlington, VA, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Associate Project Director, Virginia Tech Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, Blacksburg, VA, 2010, 2011
  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist, (NSF Postdoctoral Fellow 2006-2009), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Visiting Research Scientist, (NSF East Asian Pacific Sumer Institute program participant), Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea, 2006

Honors and Awards

  • US National Academics Young Observers for International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), 2013 - represented US at IUPAC General Assembly, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • National Science Foundation Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006.
  • Nation Science Foundation East Asian Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship, 2006.


Teaching Goals

My overall aim in my courses is enabling students to take the concepts they learn beyond problem sets in the classroom. I want them to be able to see how course material connects to multiple aspects of their lives and future careers. I want to enable them to apply concepts from my classes to problem solving in any applicable context. I see my position as one of helping to provide skills that can be useful for them for the rest of their lives. 

Teaching Specialties and Interests

  • Environmental: Environment (geo)chemistry and analysis, Biogeochemistry and Geomicrobiology, General geochemistry, and Nanomaterials in the Environment.
  • Chemistry: Materials Chemistry, General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and Introductory Organic Chemistry.
  • Special topics: Science communication, Sustainable Chemistry, Introduction to Nanosciences, and Nanotechnology.


  • Adviser and reviewer for NSF East Asian Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) South Korea program, 2011, 2012, 2013.
  • Virginia Tech International Friendship Program host, 2009 (teach international students about American culture, assist with daily life).
  • Co-chair for American Geophysical Union meeting, Environmental Nanomaterials, 2007.

Environmental (biogeo)chemistry of emerging metal pollutants (platinum group elements and other electronic waste-related metals) and colloidal nanomaterials

Geochemistry of model colloidal mineral nanomaterials, focusing on nanomaterial interactions with organics from household products

Materials science and chemistry of inorganic nanoparticles

Colloidal stability of hematite nanoparticles in the presence of a common quaternary ammonium compound at environmentally-relevant concentrations, Environmental Science: Nano - November 15, 2023
Collaborators: Andy Zhuang, Student Author; Cameron Canonaco, Student Author; Trevor Sheckler, Student Author; Corryn Schmidt, Student Author

Palladium growth inhibition and uptake of the ubiquitous macrofungus Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom), Chemosphere - October 13, 2023
Collaborators: Alaina Wyckoff, Student Author; Savanna David, Student Author; Shannon Steves, Student Author; Riley Crissman, Student Author; Lydia McCaleb, Student Author

The effect of palladium coordination complex speciation and concentration upon the ubiquitous bacterial species Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety - January 10, 2023
Collaborators: Adam Wallace, Co-Author; Kelly Miller, Co-Author; Terry Blakney, Co-Author; Daniel Muccio, Student Author; Carson Williamson, Student Author; Rachel Pell, Student Author

Palladium release from catalytic converter materials induced by road de-icer components chloride and ferrocyanide, Chemosphere - 2019
Collaborators: Adam Wallace, Co-Author; Terry Blakney, Co-Author; Rose Kerr, Student Author; Galen Gerber, Student Author; Jacob Ferko, Student Author

Enhanced release of palladium and platinum from catalytic converter materials exposed to ammonia and chloride bearing solutions , Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts - November 13, 2018
Collaborators: Mitsuhiro Murayama, Co-Author; Terry Blakney, Co-Author; Christopher Winkler, Co-Author

The role of twin boundary and surface energies in periodically-twinned <111> nanowires, Acta Materialia - 2014
Collaborators: C. Wu, Primary Author; W Reynolds, Co-Author; M Murayama, Co-Author

Antimicrobial nanotechnology: Its potential for the effective management of microbial drug resistance and implications for research needs in microbial nanotoxicology, Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts - 2013
Collaborators: B Kim, Co-Author; Y Ma, Co-Author; M Hochella, Jr., Co-Author; Y Cheng, Co-Author; J Liu, Co-Author; A Pruden, Co-Author

Low-Temperature Green Synthesis of Multivalent Manganese Oxide Nanowires, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering - 2013
Collaborators: H Veeramani, Primary Author; N Monsegue, Co-Author; M Murayama, Co-Author; U Dippon, Co-Author; A Kappler, Co-Author; M Hochella, Jr., Co-Author

Nanopores in Hematite (a-Fe2O3) Nanocrystals Observed by Electron Tomography, American Mineralogist - 2013
Collaborators: T Echigo, Primary Author; N Monsegue, Co-Author; M Murayama, Co-Author; M Hochella, Jr., Co-Author

The National Science Foundation’s Investment in Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering, and Materials, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering - 2013
Collaborators: A White, Primary Author; M S, Co-Author; S Jones, Co-Author; L Madsen, Co-Author; R Wesson, Co-Author

Naturally Occurring Inorganic Nanoparticles: General Assessment and a Global Budget for One of Earth’s Last Unexplored Major Geochemical Co - 2012
Collaborators: M Hochella, Jr., Author; B Kim, Co-Author; A Madden, Co-Author

Influence of Size, Morphology, Surface Structure, and Aggregation State and Reductive Dissolution of Hematite Nanoparticles with Ascorbic Acid, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta - 2012
Collaborators: T Echigo, Primary Author; M Murayama, Co-Author; M Hochella, Jr., Co-Author

Self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles in evaporating solution, Journal of the American Chemical Society - 2011
Collaborators: J Ku, Author; A Alivisatos, Co-Author; P Geissler, Co-Author

Bacteria-nanoparticle interactions and their environmental implications, Environmental Chemistry - 2010
Collaborator: M Hochella, Jr., Co-Author

Interaction of CdSe/CdS core-shell quantum dots and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Environmental Chemistry - 2010
Collaborators: J Guest, Co-Author; W Yu, Co-Author; N Love, Co-Author; M Hochella, Jr., Co-Author

Size/shape-property relationships of non-carbonaceous inorganic nanoparticles: Towards an understanding of environmental implications - 2009
Collaborators: J Liu, Co-Author; M Hochella, Jr., Co-Author

Influence of size and aggregation state on the dissolution of an environmentally and industrially relevant nanomineral (PbS), Environmental Science and Technology - 2009
Collaborators: J Liu, Primary Author; M Murayma, Co-Author; M Hochella, Jr., Co-Author

The non-oxidative dissolution of galena nanocrystals: Insights into mineral dissolution rates as a function of grain size, shape, and aggregation state, Geochima et Cosmochimica Acta - 2008
Collaborators: J Liu, Primary Author; J Jinschek, Co-Author; M Hochella, Jr., Co-Author; Array Array

Orientation-specific investigations of CdSe nanorod surfaces by extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS), Journal of Physical Chemistry C - 2007
Collaborators: M Marcus, Co-Author; L Li, Co-Author; A Williamson, Co-Author; S Fakra, Co-Author; F Gygi, Co-Author; G Galli, Co-Author; A Alivisatos, Co-Author

Collective behavior in two-dimensional cobalt nanoparticle assemblies observed by magnetic forces microscopy, Nature Materials - 2004
Collaborators: V Puntes, Primary Author; P Gorostiza, Co-Author; N Bastus, Co-Author; A Alivisatos

Accumulation of several heavy metals and lanthanides in mushrooms (Agaricales) from the Chicago region, Science of the Total Environment - August 28, 1998
Collaborators: Joseph Aldstadt III; Gregory Mueller

Ph D, Chemistry (Materials Physical), The University of California, Berkeley

BS, Biological Chemistry, The University of Chicago