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Rachel Adams - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Rachel Adams Rachel Adams

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering | Loyola Marymount University


Seaver College of Science and Engineering





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Phone: 310.338.5186
Email: Rachel.Adams@lmu.edu
Office: Life Science Building 314

Rachel Adams teaches environmental engineering, environmental and aquatic chemistry, environmental engineering & science laboratory, contaminant fate and transport. Her research focuses on the use of passive samplers and bivalves for studying ultra-trace levels of organic and metal pollutants in the aquatic environment including Southern California waters. She also works on water sustainability projects including an undergraduate-led water conservation project and a clean water project in El Salvador. Before joining LMU, she worked on air and water quality projects as an environmental engineering consultant and served as a Knauss Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Marine Pollution Control Branch. Rachel received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the Parson’s Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been awarded external research grants from Sea Grant and the Metropolitan Water District and most recently an Office of Naval Research Sabbatical Grant. She has served as the President for the Southern California Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. She has authored and presented many research papers including the 1st runner-up Technology Paper of the Year from the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Education (3)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering 2002

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MS, Civil and environmental Engineering 2000

University of Michigan: B.Sc., Chemical Engineering 1994

Areas of Expertise (5)

Water Quality and Sustainability

Aquatic Chemistry

Environmental Systems

Sediment Contamination

Passive Sampling Development

Industry Expertise (2)

Civil Engineering


Accomplishments (2)

President, Southern California Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (professional)

July 2016 - July 2017

Knauss Sea Grant Fellow (professional)


Knauss Sea Grant Fellow for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Articles (4)

Using performance reference compound-corrected polyethylene passive samplers and caged bivalves to measure hydrophobic contaminants of concern in urban coastal seawaters



Hydrophobic organic contaminants were measured with polyethylene passive samplers.•Seawater concentrations measured up to 1000pgL −1 (p,p′-DDE) & 300pgL −1 (DDNU).

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Passive sampling methods for contaminated sediments: Scientific rationale supporting use of freely dissolved concentrations

Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management


Passive sampling methods (PSMs) allow the quantification of the freely dissolved concentration (Cfree) of an organic contaminant even in complex matrices such as sediments. Cfree is directly related to a contaminant's chemical activity, which drives spontaneous processes including diffusive uptake into benthic organisms and exchange with the overlying water column.

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Investigating desorption of native pyrene from sediment on minute- to month-timescales by time-gated fluorescence Spectroscopy

Environmental Science and Technology


We investigated desorption of native pyrene from field-aged sediments using time-gated, laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) spectroscopy.

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Polyethylene devices: Passive samplers for measuring dissolved hydrophobic organic compounds in aquatic environments

Environmental Science and Technology


We demonstrate the use of polyethylene devices (PEDs) for assessing hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) in aquatic environments.

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