Rooney Kim Lazcano

Rooney Kim Lazcano Profile Picture
Ecological Sciences & Engineering

Mentor / Lab:
Dr. Michael L. Mashtare

Specific Research Area / Project:
Trace Organic Contaminants of Concerns in Wastewater and Biosolids: Bioavailability and Plant Uptake

Undergraduate Institution:
University of California, Davis

Research Profile:

The global population is expected to grow substantially in near future, especially in the urban areas. As urban populations grow, the use of water and energy resources, as well as wastewater generation increases. This increase in urbanization is unsustainable and puts an enormous amount of stress on our limited resources that can lead to food scarcity. Innovative, sustainable solutions to address issues that arise from urbanization include recovering resources from wastewater and biosolids. My research goal is to evaluate the potential risk of wastewater and biosolids application to urban gardens. Nutrients, water and energy found in urban wastewater and biosolids are valuable and reusable in urban agriculture, and have potential to provide local communities with a fresh and sustainable food source. However, application of wastewater and biosolids in urban and sub-urban gardens may lead to potential risks of uptake and accumulation of emerging contaminants in food crops, raising concerns about potential adverse effects on ecological and human health. Therefore, it is important to evaluate, if any, the risk to the urban ecosystem and human health so that reclaimed wastewater and biosolids may continue to serve beneficial purposes, rather than be regarded as waste.

About Me:

Rooney Kim Lazcano About Me Picture

As a graduate student in the interdisciplinary Ecological Sciences and Engineering program, I am particularly aware of the importance of cross-disciplinary collaborations to maximize the returns of my research and to make my work accessible and relevant to more people. My goal for the next three to five years is to improve the public’s understanding of wastewater and biosolids reuse, which may promote more positive attitudes toward to the idea of using “waste” to grow food. Also, I would like to continue to research resource recovery from waste and wastewater, and improve waste management so that the resources can be safer to use. For example, a recycling system could be employed in any area including resource-poor areas (e.g., food deserts) where nutritious food is less affordable or available. I believe my work has the potential to have a major impact on how individuals approach environmental stewardship by showing them that they have the power to have a huge positive impact on food security and by making them aware of the current state of agriculture.


  • Purdue Interdisciplinary Audience Choice, the OIGP Spring Reception - May 2018
  • Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship, Purdue University - 2018-2019
  • Cecelia Zissis Scholarship, Purdue University - Apr 2018
  • Graduate Student Pathmaker Award, College of Agriculture, Purdue University - Mar 2018
  • Women in Engineering Program Travel Award, Purdue University - Oct 2017
  • Joseph P. Chu Fellowship Award, Civil Engineering, Purdue University - Sep 2017
  • Bilsland Strategic Initiatives Fellowship, Purdue University - Jan 2017
  • People’s Choice Award, the 9th Annual ESE Symposium - Sep 2015
  • Ecological Science and Engineering Lynn Fellowship, Purdue University - Aug 2015
  • Best Poster Presentation Award, Third Place, the 9th Canadian Biosolids & Residuals Conference and NEBRA’s Annual Conference - Sep 2018


  • Jihyun R. Kim and Eunsung Kan (2016). Heterogeneous Photocatalytic Degradation of Sulfamethoxazole in Water Using a Biochar-Supported TiO2 Photocatalyst. Journal of Environmental Management, 180, 94-101. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.05.016
  • Jihyun R. Kim., Scott G. Huling., and Eunsung Kan (2015). Effects of Temperature on Adsorption and Oxidative Degradation of Bisphenol A in a Surface Modified Iron-Amended Granular Activated Carbon. Chemical Engineering Journal, 262, 1260-1267. DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2014.10.065
  • Jihyun R. Kim and Eunsung Kan (2015). Heterogeneous Photo-Fenton Oxidation of Methylene Blue using CdS-Carbon Nanotube/TiO2 under Visible Light in Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 21, 644-652. DOI: 10.1016/j.jiec.2014.03.032
  • Jihyun R. Kim., Brenden Santiano., Hyosang Kim., and Eunsung Kan (2013). Heterogeneous Oxidation of Methylene Blue with Surface-Modified Iron-Amended Activated Carbon. Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 4, 115 – 122. DOI:10.4236/ajac.2013.47A016
  • Dominic J. Glover., Lars Giger., Jihyun R. Kim., and Douglas S. Clark (2013). Engineering Protein Filaments with Enhanced Thermostability for Nanomaterials. Biotechnology Journal, 8.2, 228 – 236.


  • Rooney Kim Lazcano, Youn Jeong Choi, Michael L. Mashtare and Linda S. Lee (2018). Comparing Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Acids (PFAAs) Concentrations and Leachability Between Commercial Biosolids-based and Non-biosolids Waste-derived Fertilizers. Podium and Poster Presentation at the Canadian Biosolids and Residuals Conference, Halifax, NS, September 9-12.
  • Rooney Kim Lazcano, Linda S. Lee and Michael L. Mashtare (2018). Plant Uptake of Trace Organic Contamiants from Commercially Available Biosolids-based Fertilizer Amended Soil. Poster presentation at the Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Program’s Spring Reception. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. May 2.
  • Rooney Kim Lazcano, Peyman Yousefi, Youn Jeong Choi, Linda S. Lee and Michael L. Mashtare (2018). Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Acids in Composted Wastes: Commercial Biosolids-based and Nonbiosolids-based Fertilizers. Poster Presented at Emerging Contaminant Summit, Westminster, CO, March 6-7.
  • Aaron Zull, Jihyun R. Kim and Michael L. Mashtare Jr. (2015). Desorption Kinetics Determination using a Tenax Resin. Poster presented at the 9th Annual Ecological Sciences and Engineering Symposium at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, September 21.


  • Outreach Leadership Team Coordinator, Women in Engineering Program - May 2016 – present
  • Assistant Project Coordinator, Duke Energy Academy Program - Mar 2017 – July 2018
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Mentor/Symposium Judge - 2016 & 2017
  • 2016 ESE Annual Symposium Poster Session Committee Chair - Jan – Sep 2016
  • ESE Representative, Purdue Student Sustainability Council - Aug 2015 – Aug 2017

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