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David Ryan

David Ryan, Ph.D. Chair, Professor


Analytical & Environmental Chemistry

Research Interest

Fluorescence of Natural Organic Compounds and Their Metal Complexes; Oxidation Reduction Reactions of Vitamin E (Tocopherol); Metal Binding Proteins in Bivalves; Particle Stabilized Emulsions for CO2 Sequestration, Enhanced Oil Recovery and Remediation

Educational Background

Ph.D., University of New Hampshire

B.S., Lemoyne College


Ryan, Ph.D., is an analytical/environmental chemist whose research interests center around the development of instrumental techniques to determine the various forms and reactions of pollutants in the environment. He has been involved in projects aimed at the assessment of chemical processes and environmental monitoring for over twenty years. For nearly eight years, he conducted research at the Edgerton Research Laboratory of the New England Aquarium, and performed several studies of contaminants in Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay. These included analysis of trace elements, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other parameters in water, biota, and sediments. These projects were funded by the Massachusetts Bays Program, the South Essex Sewerage District (SESD), the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Ryan has been involved in the analysis of trace metal pollutants in Lake Chapala, Mexico with funding from the Government of Mexico and investigation of the impact of agrochemicals on the waters of Tortuguerro, Costa Rica, funded by the Caribbean Conservation Corps. Work in the area of soil remediation has focused on the use of electrokinetics for the removal of inorganic contaminants and soil flushing with surfactants for the removal of organic compounds. Two grants from the U.S. Geological Survey through the Water Resources Research Center at UMass Amherst have funded this work. Current research efforts are directed in four areas; the use of fluorescence and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the binding of potential pollutants to humic materials, the bioaccumulation and physiology of metals in aquatic organisms particularly shellfish, the oxidation/reduction reactions of alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) and the investigation of near critical emulsions of carbon dioxide and water stabilized by fine particles for carbon sequestration and enhanced oil recovery.  Present funding is from DOE, Duke Energy, Mass DEP and the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC).  

He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of New Hampshire (1983) and a B.S. in chemistry from LeMoyne College (1977). He was selected via national competitions for postdoctoral study in the Interdisciplinary Programs in Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (1983-1985) and as a Donner Research Fellow in the Environmental Sciences Program (presently EEOS) at the University of Massachusetts Boston (1988-1989). He is currently a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he has been on the faculty since 1989.