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Arturo A. Keller, Ph.D.                               Curriculum Vitae
email: keller @
Phone: 805-893-7548, Fax: 805-893-7612
Mail: 3420 Bren Hall, Bren School, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131, USA

Arturo A. Keller (PhD Stanford, 1996) is Professor of Biogeochemistry at the Bren School. He holds a joint appointment in Mechanical and Environmental Engineering at UCSB. His research and teaching interests focus on water quality management and the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment.

My research focus is on water resources management with an emphasis on water quality, developing novel technologies and management strategies for dealing with water pollution, as well as advancing our understanding of the fate of emerging contaminants in the environment, with a focus in the past decade on nanomaterials. I am currently Co-Director of a National Science Foundation center, the UC Center on the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology which involves more than 100 researchers, and Co-Director of a US Environmental Protection Agency center, the Chemical Life Cycle Collaborative, with around 20 full time researchers.

Current research topics involve the treatment of water and soils which have been contaminated with nanoparticles or hazardous wastes, larger scale pollution management at the watershed scale, and the nexus between energy and water. In addition to analyzing the scientific issues involved, Dr. Keller is interested in the development of management strategies to suit the characteristics of each site, minimizing risk at least cost. Dr. Keller has had several years of experience developing management strategies in the private sector, which he brings to his Bren School courses and projects. He has been recognized three times with the Bren School Distinguished Teaching Award.

Recently Dr. Keller was recognized with the Agilent Thought Leadership award, in recognition of his leadership in understanding the potential effects of nanotechnology on the environment, particularly in agricultural systems. This major gift included as gifts two major instruments, an SP-ICP-MS (Agilent 7900) for monitoring nanoparticles directly and a state of the art LC-MS-MS (Agilent 6400) for detecting the effect of nanoparticles via metabolomics. The gift also included funding to carry out the needed research.

Dr. Keller is known for his involvement in the phasing out of the gasoline additive MTBE as part of a UC-wide project; his research found MTBE to seriously affect water resources while providing only modest air quality benefits relative to other alternatives.

Dr. Keller also was the facilitator for the award-winning (2003 David Nahai Water Quality Awards) Nitrogen TMDL process for the Santa Clara River. Previous TMDLs in the region had been very contentious, but through a combination of science-supported decision-making and a willingness to try out many ideas proposed by the stakeholders, the Santa Clara River TMDL Steering Committee was able to reach a consensus, which was fully supported by the RWQCB. The steering committee received the 2003 H. David Nahai Water Quality Award for their work.

Dr. Keller and his research team provided the scientific underpining to the Ohio River Water Quality Trading Program, which received the 2015 U.S. Water Prize, led by EPRI. Dr. Keller's group develop the models for the program, as well as the science for the attenuation factors.

Dr. Keller is also well-known for his expertise in the fate and transport of pollutants, including nanoparticles, organic liquids (NAPLs), and persistent organic pollutants associated with clay particles; he has over 180 peer-reviewed publications in top journals. His research team also works on technologies to solve important water-quality problems, and recently was covered in the New York Times for a major improvement in the technology to skim oil spills in marine environments, which can significantly reduce the risk of the oil spill reaching coastal resources. Recently a novel nanomaterial was developed to deal with the contamination of persistent organic pollutants, a major legacy issue.