Leigh-Anne Krometis


Growth of human populations and accompanying increased urbanization often introduces new contaminants to the environment or creates new pathways of human exposure to existing risks while simultaneously creating an ever-increasing demand for high quality natural resources, particularly clean water. In order to promote development while preserving public health, it is necessary to identify potential threats and engineer solutions to minimize exposure and risk. The broad goals of our research group are to:

  1. Identify (detect, quantify) waterborne agents that pose a threat to public health
  2. Characterize environmental transport pathways that may result in human exposure to these contaminants
  3. Assess the relative risks of specific contaminants in order to prioritize interventions (remediation)

In keeping with these goals, specific research group projects include: detection of human and non-human markers of fecal contamination in private drinking water supplies; identification of correlations between demographic characteristics and drinking water contamination by E. coli and/or heavy metals in rural communities; development of a stochastic model to estimate human risk associated with indicator bacteria impaired watersheds; assessment of the proximity of state-identified water quality impairments in Central Appalachia to mining and agricultural landuses; and characterization of patterns of sediment and water contamination by pollutants of human health concern in Stroubles Creek. Laboratory analyses related to these efforts are conducted in the BSE Water Microbiology Laboratory in Seitz Hall.


  • February 2017: Krometis group member Austin Wozniak was invited to present his undergraduate research on "Water Scavenging in Appalachia" at this year's ACC Meeting of the Minds conference at Duke University the first weekend of April. Well done, Austin!
  • September 2016: Congratulations to Krometis group member (and alumna) Dr. Hehuan Liao, who just won the Early Career Scientist presentation award for her poster "The interplay between water quality and habitat on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in mixed-landuse streams" at the Elsevier Ecosummit in Montpellier, France.
  • August 2016: Welcome to new Krometis group member Cristina Marcillo, who begins her PhD journey in BSE this Fall.
  • June 2016: Congratulations to Krometis group members Jake Cantor and Hannah Billian, who both brilliantly defended M.S. theses this month!
  • Sept 2015: Dr. Krometis and collaborator Dr. Emily Sarver were co-recipients of the 2015 Appalachian Research Initiative for Environmental Science's Researcher of the Year Award.
  • August 2015: Welcome to new MS student, Lauren Wind.
  • August 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Nick Cook, who just successfully defended his dissertation!
  • June 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Kelsey Pieper, who just successfully defended her dissertation!
  • May 2015: Welcome to three new Krometis lab students: Jake Cantor, Kyle Jacobs, and Jordan Wetzig.
  • April 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Hehuan Liao, who just successfully defended her dissertation!
  • There are no further openings in the Krometis group for graduate students at this time.