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Barbara Beckingham

Associate Professor


Hobart and William Smith Colleges
B.A. Chemistry, 2005

University of Maryland Baltimore County
Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2011

Research Interests

The overarching aim of the research I conduct with students and colleagues is to understand the fate and transport of pollution with a focus on organic contaminants and microplastics, and how exposure pathways may put human and environmental systems at risk. We also study approaches to monitor pollution, such as with passive samplers or community science, and how to control pollution, such as in wastewater, stormwater and sediments. 

Courses Taught

GEOL 253/EVSS 640 Earth Systems Science

GEOL 291 Water Resources 

GEOL 441 Pollution in the Environment

CHEM 422 Environmental Chemistry


Beckingham, B.*, Apintiloaiei, A.#, Moore, C.#, Brandes, J. 2023. Hot or not: Systematic review and laboratory evaluation of the hot needle test for microplastic identification. Micropl. & Nanopl. 3(8).

Beckingham, B.A.*, Wischusen, K.#, Walker, J.# 2022. Phthalate exposure among U.S. college-aged women: biomonitoring in an undergraduate student cohort (2016-2017) and trends from the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES, 2005-2016). PlosONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0263578 

Meierdierks, J.*#, Zarfl, C., Beckingham, B., Grathwohl, P. 2022. Comprehensive multi-compartment sampling for quantification of long-term accumulation of PAHs in soils. ACS Environmental Au. 2:536-548. 

Battaglia, F.M.*#, Beckingham, B.A., McFee, W.E. 2020. First report from North America of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract of stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 160:111677. 

Parker, B.W.*#, Beckingham, B.A., Ingram, B.C.#, Ballenger, J.C., Weinstein, J.E., Sancho, G. 2020. Microplastic and tire wear particle occurrence in fishes from an urban estuary: Influence of feeding characteristics on exposure risk. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 160:111539. 

Beckingham, B.*, Callahan, T., Vulava, V. 2019. Stormwater ponds in the southeastern U.S. coastal plain: hydrogeology, contaminant fate, and the need for a social-ecological framework. Frontiers in Environmental Science. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2019.00117 

Conley, K.#, Clum, A., Deepe, J., Lane, H.#, Beckingham, B.* 2019. Wastewater treatment plants as a source of microplastics to an urban estuary: removal efficiency and loading per capita for three wastewater treatment plants over one year. Water Research X. doi: 10.1016/j.wroa.2019.100030 

Hart, L.B.*, Beckingham, B.*, Wells, R.S., Flagg, M.A.#, Wischusen, K., Moors, A., Kucklick, J., Pisarski, E. and Wirth, E. 2018. Urinary phthalate metabolites in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, FL, USA. GeoHealth 2(10): 313-326. 

Beckingham, B.* and Ghosh, U. 2017. Differential bioavailability of polychlorinated biphenyls associated with environmental particles: Microplastic in comparison to wood, coal and biochar. Environ. Pollut., 220(Pt A): 150-158.

Beckingham, B.*, Shahin, M.#, Ellis, K.# and Callahan, T.J. 2017. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Suspended Materials in a Semi-urbanized Tidal Creek after an Historic Flood Event and Implications for Water Quality Monitoring. Journal of South Carolina Water Resources 4(1): 3-11. 

*corresponding, # student author