Barbara Beckingham

Associate Professor, College of Charleston

Address: Dept. of Geology, SSMB 248, 202 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843.953.0483


Postdoctoral researcher/Oberassistent, 2011–2013, University of Tübingen, Germany

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

B.A. Chemistry with High Honors, 2005, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Research Interests

Environmental organic chemistry; Human and ecological risk assessment; Sediment remediation; Microplastics; Passive sampling

The overarching aim of the research I conduct with students and colleagues is to understand how organic contaminants associate with various forms of carbonaceous matter and plastic in the environment and how these interactions impact the mobility of contaminants and translate to the health status of communities and aquatic systems.

Current and planned research projects

  • Bioavailability of chemicals of concern from microplastic
  • Fate of microplastics and associated chemicals through wastewater treatment plants
  • Transport of contaminants in tidal creeks and stormwater ponds
  • Soil-atmosphere exchange of semi-volatile organic contaminants
  • Exposure of college students and marine mammals to plastics and associated chemicals (phthalates)


  • Bao, Z., Haberer, C., Maier, U., Beckingham, B., Amos, R.T. and Grathwohl, P. 2016. Modeling short-term concentration fluctuations of semi-volatile pollutants in the soil – plant – atmosphere system. Sci. Tot. Environ., 569-570: 159-167.
  • Bao, Z., Haberer, C., Maier, U., Beckingham, B., Amos, R.T. and Grathwohl, P. 2015. Modeling long-term uptake and re-volatilization of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) across the soil-atmosphere interface. Sci. Tot. Environ., 538: 789-801.
  • Han, Z., Sani, B., Mrozik, W., Obst, M., Beckingham, B., Karapanagioti, H.K., and Werner, D. 2015. Magnetite impregnation effects on the sorbent properties of activated carbons and biochars. Water Research, 70: 394-403.
  • Gomez-Eyles, J.L., Yupanqui, C., Beckingham, B., Riedel, G., Gilmour, C. and Ghosh, U. 2013. Evaluation of biochars and activated carbons for in situ remediation of sediments impacted with organics, mercury and methylmercury. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47(23): 13721-13729.
  • Janssen, E.M.L. and Beckingham, B. 2013. Critical Review: Biological responses to activated carbon amendments in sediment remediation. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47(14): 7595-7607.
  • Beckingham, B., Ghosh, U., Buys, D. and VanDewalker, H. 2013. Observations of limited secondary effects to benthic invertebrates and macrophytes with activated carbon amendment to river sediments. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 32(7): 1504-1515.
  • Beckingham, B. and Ghosh, U. 2013. Polyoxymethylene passive samplers to monitor changes in bioavailability and flux after activated carbon amendment to sediment in the field. Chemosphere. 91(10): 1401-1407.
  • Rügner, H., Schwientek, M., Beckingham, B., Kuch, B. and Grathwohl, P. 2013. Turbidity as a proxy for total suspended solids (TSS) and particle facilitated pollutant transport in catchments. Environ. Earth Sciences. 69(2): 373-380.
  • Liu, Y., Beckingham, B., Rügner, H., Li, Z., Ma, L., Schwientek, M., Zhao, J. and Grathwohl, P. 2013. Comparison of sedimentary PAHs in the rivers of Ammer (Germany) and Liangtan (China): Differences between early- and newly-industrialized countries. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47(2): 701-709.
  • Schwientek, M., Rügner, H., Beckingham, B., Kuch, B. and Grathwohl, P.G. 2012. Integrated monitoring of particle associated transport of PAHs in contrasting catchments. Environ. Pollution 172: 155-162.