Research Areas Environmental chemistry exposome science water treatment environmental health

Carsten Prasse, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering, focuses on the occurrence and fate of organic contaminants in the urban water cycle and their impact on environmental and human health.

His recent research efforts have focused on the development of new screening methods to assess exposure to drinking water contaminants. Prasse also has experience detecting environmental contaminants and studying the so-called “transformation products” that are formed as chemicals are degraded during water treatment and in the environment. His work has demonstrated that these transformation products may be even more toxic than the parent chemicals. Prasse’s research also has evaluated wastewater treatment technologies and investigated water quality and exposure to poisonous chemicals.

Prasse employs state-of-the-art analytical chemistry techniques, such as high-resolution mass spectrometry. To determine which compounds are most threatening to human and environmental health, Prasse uses concepts and methods from toxicology and public health. His goal is to develop new methods to inform water treatment technology development, comprehensively assess water quality and characterize the drinking water exposome—the exposure to and impacts of chemicals present in drinking water.

Current projects include developing new technologies to remove contaminants from wastewater and drinking water, methods to assess the impact of chemical exposures to human health, and investigations of the presence of agrochemicals in manure from concentrated animal feeding operations.

Prasse is a member of the American Chemical Society, the German Water Chemistry Society, the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, and the Society of Toxicology. He is an ad hoc reviewer for the journals Environmental Science & Technology, Water Research, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, Science of the Total Environment, Chemosphere, Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and for the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Prasse received his BSc and MSc degrees in environmental sciences from the University of Bayreuth, Germany, in 2005 and 2008, respectively. He earned a Ph.D. in environmental chemistry from the University of Koblenz-Landau, also in Germany, in 2012. Prasse then did postdoctoral work in environmental chemistry at the German Federal Institute of Hydrology and in environmental engineering/environmental health at the University of California, Berkeley, before joining the faculty of the Whiting School of Engineering and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2018.