Message from SEBS Interim Executive Dean Laura Lawson:
Dear SEBS/NJAES community,
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Donna Fennell has been appointed to serve as Chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences.
Donna Fennell has an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville; and an MS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. She joined the department in 2002 after Postdoctoral and Research Associate appointments at Cornell and Rutgers.
Donna leads a research program that investigates challenging issues in environmental engineering and science. Her work focuses on microbial processes for pollutant detoxification at contaminated sites, microbial activity in the atmosphere, and biological processes for biogas production from wastes. Donna published several landmark papers on organohalide respiring bacteria with recent work focused on identifying novel microbes in the sediments of the highly polluted Passaic River that are involved in dechlorination of deadly dioxin. Her work has been funded by NSF, DoD-SERDP, NJDEP, the Hudson River Foundation and industry.
Donna teaches courses in the Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science programs and has a long-running Byrne Seminar that involves Rutgers freshmen in experimental work to detect activity of dechlorinating bacteria in campus soils. She serves as Associate Editor for Biodegradation and has previously served as the Associate Chair for the Department.
I also want to thank Dr. Tony Broccoli for his leadership as chair of the department for the last six years. In his time as chair, Tony successfully led recruitment of new faculty in environmental microbiology and atmospheric chemistry, collaborated with his counterpart in the School of Engineering to facilitate the development of the new joint program in environmental engineering, and worked with NBC Universal to bring their weather radar to our campus. He has also served and will continue to serve as the co-Director of the Rutgers Climate Institute. Thank you, Tony, for your contributions.
Welcome, congratulations, and thank you, Donna!