Christopher P. Higgins

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Christopher Higgins


Coolbaugh Hall

Labs and Research Centers


  • PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2007
  • MS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2002
  • BA, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 1998

Research Interests

Dr. Higgins’ research focuses on the fate, transport, and bioaccumulation of emerging contaminants in aquatic and terrestrial systems. Current research projects are examining:

  • the potential for bioaccumulation of organic contaminants (including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and perfluorochemicals) into foodcrops from reclaimed water;
  • the bioaccumulation of organic contaminants from biosolids-amended soils;
  • the fate of perfluorochemicals in groundwater systems, particularly in the presence of co-contaminants;
  • the development of analytical methods for the detection and quantification of inorganic nanoparticles in environmental and biological media; and
  • the fate of organic contaminants in wastewater treatment plants.

Awards and Honors

Selected Publications

  • Sedlacko, E., Jahn, C., Heuberger, A., Sindt, N., Miller, H., Borch, T., Blaine, A., Cath, T., and C.P. Higgins.* In Press. Potential for beneficial reuse of oil-and-gas-derived produced water in agriculture: physiological and morphological responses in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum).Environmental Toxicology and ChemistryDOI: 10.1002/etc.4449
  • Guyader, M.E., Warren, L.D., Green, E., Butt, C., Ivosev, G., Kiesling, R.L, Schoenfuss, H.L. and C.P. Higgins.* 2019. Prioritizing Potential Endocrine Active High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS) Features in Minnesota Lakewater. Science of the Total EnvironmentDOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.448 670: 814-825.

  • Oetjen, K., Chan, K., Gulmark, K., Christensen, J.H., Blotevogel, J., Borch, T., Spear, J., and C.P. Higgins.* 2018.Temporal Characterization and Statistical Analysis of Flowback and Produced Waters and Their Potential for Reuse. Science of the Total Environment, 619: 654-664.DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.078
  • Ulrich, B.A., Vignola, M., Edgehouse, K., Werner, D., and C.P. Higgins.* 2017. Organic carbon amendments for enhanced biological attenuation of trace organic contaminants in biochar-amended stormwater biofilters. Environmental Science and Technology, 51 (16): 9184-9191 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01164
  • Hyland, K.C., Blaine, A.C., Dickenson, E.R.V., and C.P. Higgins.* 2015. Accumulation of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Food Crops, Part One: Edible Strawberries and Lettuce Grown in Reclaimed Water. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 34(10): 2213-2221.DOI:10.1002/etc.3066
  • Blaine, A.C., Rich, C.D., Sedlacko, E.M., Hyland, K.C., Stushnoff, C., Dickenson, E.R.V and C.P. Higgins*. 2014. Perfluoroalkyl acid uptake in lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) irrigated with reclaimed water. Environmental Science and Technology, 48 (24): 14361- 14368. DOI:10.1021/es504150h
  • McGuire. M.E., Schaefer, C., Richards, T., Backe, W., Field, J.A., Houtz, E., Sedlak, D.,Guelfo, J.L, Wunsch, A. and C.P. Higgins*. 2014. Evidence of Remediation-Induced Alteration of Subsurface Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substance (PFAS) Distribution at a Former Firefighter Training Area. Environmental Science and Technology, 48(12): 6644-6652.DOI:10.1021/es5006187
  • Appleman, T., Higgins*, C.P., Quiñones, O., Zeigler, J., Vanderford, B., Kolstad, C., and E.R.V. Dickenson*. 2014. Treatment of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Drinking Water.Water Research. 51:246-255. DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2013.10.067
  • Gray, E. P., Coleman, J.A., Bednar, T.A., Kennedy, A., Ranville, J.F. and C.P. Higgins*.2013. Extraction and Analysis of Silver and Gold Nanoparticles from Biological Tissues Using Single Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Environmental Science and Technology, 47(24): 14315-14323. DOI:10.1021/es403558c
  • Guelfo, J.L. and C.P. Higgins*. 2013. Subsurface transport potential of perfluoroalkyl acids at aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF)-impacted sites. Environmental Science and Technology, 47 (9):4164–4171. DOI:10.1021/es3048043