Dr. Emily Kumpel (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering (EWRE) group in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Kumpel has over a decade of experience conducting research on topics including intermittent water supply, water quality in distribution systems, water access and equity, water quality monitoring, and the use of information and communication technologies in water delivery systems. Prior to joining the faculty at UMass, Dr. Kumpel was a Senior Research Scientist with the Aquaya Institute, where she was based in Nairobi, Kenya, for three years. She has conducted extensive field research in India, Kenya, Senegal, and Nigeria, and collaborated on research projects in more than a dozen other countries throughout Africa and Asia.
c.v. · Google Scholar · Research Gate
Joining the group. If you are interested in joining our research group to work on research related to drinking water and sanitation quality, access, and reliability in developing countries and in the US, please contact me (ekumpel (at) umass (dot) edu) with which elements of the research described on these pages interests you, as well as your experience and how you would fit into the group. Applications to the CEE department at UMass are due in early January every year.
Current Postdocs and PhD Students
Karina Chavarria (she/her) is a postdoctoral researcher at UMass Amherst in Dr. Kumpel’s research group. She completed her B.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UCLA in 2012 and worked for a short time as a civil engineer for the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation (On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems Division). In 2014, Karina received her M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley and after joined the Foundation Cantaro Azul in Chiapas, Mexico to work on the development of water quality testing protocols and surveys for the National Assessment of Drinking Water Access in Rural Communities in Mexico. In 2016, she started her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley (completed in 2021), investigating the effects of land use on water microbiomes and the effects of treatment, distribution, and intermittent water supply (IWS) on microbial communities in drinking water in Panama. During her Ph.D., Karina was a research fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, where she continued her research as a postdoctoral fellow. Her current research includes understanding how key features of IWS influence disinfection byproducts and microbial communities in distribution systems. Her broader research interests include impacts of climate change on water microbial ecosystems, microbial communities at the interface of drinking water infrastructure and environmental health, waterborne pathogens, and sustainable drinking water and sanitation.
Amanda Marques is currently pursuing her PhD in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She received her Bachelor of Science in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering from Federal Fluminense University, Brazil, with a Minor Degree in Sustainability Studies from Roger Williams University. Amanda received her Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Brazil. Her work there as a graduate research assistant was to investigate water demand and supply projections under climate change scenarios, aiming to come up with sustainable ways to manage multiple water uses within one of Brazil’s most challenging watershed. She started her PhD at UMass Amherst in the Spring of 2020. Her research focus on water quality in the Wachusett and Quabbin reservoirs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Amanda enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, cooking, and photography. Amanda is co-advised by Christian Guzman.
Current research: Reservoir water quality modeling; Surface-subsurface contaminant transport characterization using environmental tracers.
Ciara Little is currently pursuing their PhD in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. They received their Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in 2021. During this time their research focused on human-centered design and robotics, material testing, and sustainability. Their current research interests center around equity and access within water quality and infrastructure, along with sustainable development, water reuse, and intermittent water supply.
Gabriel Mesole is pursuing his PhD in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering. Gabriel is a Gates Millennium Scholar (Class of 2016), and he graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Technology. Gabriel is interested in pathogen detection, transmission, and antibiotic resistance in drinking water systems. In addition, he aims to work with low- and middle-income countries' water, sanitation, and hygiene issues to develop innovative solutions and achieve equitable, accessible, and reliable clean water. During his downtime, Gabriel enjoys playing/watching soccer, hiking, listening to podcasts, cooking, and photography.
Current Research: Analyzing Microbial Communities and Seasonal Total Coliform Blooms in the Quabbin Reservoir
Current MS Students
Carlos Veras (he/him) is a master's student in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He graduated with a BS in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering from Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil, with a Minor in Sustainability Studies from Roger Williams University. Carlos's undergraduate thesis investigated methodologies to estimate the environmental flow of rivers. His current research interests include watershed/reservoir modeling and water quality. He is interested in pursuing a PhD with research interests in machine learning applications for water resources engineering. In his free time, Carlos is usually enjoying the outdoors, cooking or watching soccer. Carlos is co-advised by John Tobiason.
Current research: Total Coliform in the Quabbin Reservoir, MA. Currently investigating the abnormal high concentrations of total coliform in the reservoir aiming to determine which watershed conditions lead to this so called “coliform blooms” and to establish causal relationship with available water quality parameters.
Tom Roberts is a master's student in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He graduated from UMass in 2021 with a BS in Civil Engineering and a BA in Economics. Tom's undergraduate thesis investigated the extent and distribution of PFAS contamination in Massachusetts water supplies, overlaying water quality data with sociodemographic data. For his master’s research, Tom is investigating disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation and speciation in intermittent systems. After graduation, he is interested in pursuing a PhD with research interests in drinking water quality, organic matter, chemical disinfection, DBPs, and sustainable development. Tom supports efforts to increase representation and inclusion in STEM, and in his free time, he can be found running, drinking coffee, or listening to public radio. Tom is co-advised by Dave Reckhow.
Current research: DBPs in intermittent water supply, photolysis of N-DBPs, impact of storm events on DBP formation and speciation
Liam Amery (he/him) is a master's student in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering. His undergraduate thesis was a statistical analysis of the results of 5+ years of lead and copper testing in water in Massachusetts schools and the factors associated with elevated lead levels. Now he is a research assistant working on the MADEP Expanded Assistance Program for Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Childcare Facilities. After graduation he wants to continue doing work related to drinking water, either as a consultant or continuing as a researcher; his main inspiration is improving the quality of and access to clean water for everyone. Outside of academics Liam loves hiking, running, and watching or playing soccer. Liam is co-advised by John Tobiason.
Current Research: Lead contamination in Massachusetts school/childcare drinking water
Current Undergraduate Researchers