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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

John Durant


John Durant


Phone 617-627-5489
Anderson Hall
200 College Avenue, Medford, MA
environmental engineering, fate and transport of pollutants in surface water and air

John Durant is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts School of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from MIT.

Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT, 1993
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT, 1991
B.S., Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, 1984
Professional Experience: 

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

  • 2001-present: Associate Professor
  • 1995-2001: Assistant Professor

Visiting Research Scientist, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, University of Utrecht


Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Environmental Health Sciences, MIT


Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT


Environmental Scientist, Camp Dresser & McKee


Fisheries Observer, National Marine Fisheries Service

Research Interests: 

John Durant's research interests include air pollution monitoring and modeling, effect-directed analysis of environmental samples, watershed-scale chemical fate and transport processes, and chemical exchange between surface waters and aquatic sediments.

Selected Honors and Awards: 
  • 2015: Elected Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers
  • 2010: Tufts Community Research Center Award
  • 2006: Mystic Mover and Shaker Award, Mystic Watershed Collaborative
  • 1999: Leadership in Teaching Award, Alewife/Mystic River Advocates
Selected Professional Activities: 
  • Licensed Professional Engineer, MA
  • 2012-present: Chair of Steering Committee, Water: Systems Science and Society program, Tufts School of Engineering
  • 2011-2013: Chair, Watershed Management Technical Committee, ASCE
  • 2006-present: Faculty Mentor, Tufts Chapter of Engineers Without Borders
  • 2005-present: Program Director, B.S. in Environmental Engineering program, Tufts School of Engineering
Selected Funded Research: 
  • Health Effects Resulting from Exposure to Near-Highway Air Pollutants, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI-NIH), 2010-2015, Co-Investigator, $300,000.

  • Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Indoor Air Filtration, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 2010-2013, Principal Investigator, $481,891.

  • Community Assessment of Freeway Exposures and Health (CAFEH), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS-NIH), 2008-2013, Co-Investigator, $350,000.

  • Engineering Interventions in the Primary Prevention of Schistosomiasis in Rural Ghana, Tisch College (at Tufts University), 2006-2008, Co-Principal Investigator, $60,000.

  • Evaluation of Up-flow Circulators to Control Eurasian Watermilfoil in a Suburban Lake, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2006-2008, Principal Investigator, $75,000.

  • Watershed and In-Lake Controls to Manage Phosphorus and Arsenic Levels in an Urban Lake, Town of Arlington, Massachusetts, 2004-2007, Principal Investigator, $75,000.

  • The Quito Integrated Environment and Policy Study, National Institute of Health, 2003-2005, Co-Principal Investigator (with others at Tufts) $320,000.

  • Improved Science and Decision Support for Managing Watershed Nutrient Loads, US Environmental Protection Agency, 2003-2005, Co-Principal Investigator (with others at Tufts and Massachusetts Institute of Technology) $750,000.

  • EMPACT Grant: Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling for Equitable Recreation on the Mystic River, US EPA, subcontract to the City of Somerville, 2001-2003, Co-Principal Investigator (with others at Tufts) $359,000.

Professional Memberships: 
American Society of Civil Engineers
International Society of Exposure Science
Recent Theses and Projects: 
  • Jess Perkins (MS Thesis Advisor) Mobile monitoring of air pollutants in the central artery tunnel, Boston, MA

  • Caitlin Collins (Senior Honors Thesis Advisor) Development of stochastic models for estimating airborne ultrafine particle concentrations near highways

  • Chad Milando (Senior Honors Thesis Advisor) Estimation of ultrafine particle emissions factors on a highway using the Quick Urban Industrial Complex (QUIC) model

  • Piers MacNaughton (Senior Honors Thesis Advisor) Monitoring vertical dispersion of ultrafine and fine particles in an urban air column

  • Jeff Trull (MS Thesis Advisor) Impact of seasonal changes in meteorology on size distribution of ultrafine particles near highways

  • Jamie deLemos (PhD Thesis Advisor) Redistribution of Uranium and identification of high risk exposure areas within the Church Rock Mining District, Navajo Nation, New Mexico

  • Christine Ash (MS Thesis Advisor) Spatial and temporal variations in ultrafine particulate matter and other air pollutants throughout the morning near a major highway in a city

  • Naomi Slagowski (MS Thesis Advisor) Evaluation of in-lake water circulators for reducing Milfoil in Lake Cochituate

  • Charline Han (MS Thesis Advisor) Risk Factors for the Transmission of Urinary Schistosomiasis in a Rural Ghanaian Community Impacted by Gold Mining

  • Erica Scheckel (MS Thesis Advisor) Phosphorus and Arsenic remobilization from the sediments of an alum treated lake

  • Michele Cutrofello (MS Thesis Advisor) Fate and Transport of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in the Aberjona River.

  • Megan Brachtl (MS Thesis Advisor) Spatial and temporal variations and source emissions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Quito, Ecuador.

  • Marc Zubick (MS Thesis Advisor) Distinguishing Historical and Present-day Sources of PAH to Urban Lakes.

  • Valerie Monastra (MS Thesis Advisor) Environmental Legacy of Arsenical Herbicide Application to Lakes and Ponds in Massachusetts and its policy implications

  • Kim Oriel (MS Thesis Advisor) Predictive bacteria models for a sewage-impacted urban watershed

  • Matt Heberger (MS Thesis Committee Member) Modeling Nonpoint Source Bacteria Loading in Urban Rivers

  • Paul Lattanzi (MS Thesis Advisor) Persistence and Remobilization of Arsenic in Massachusetts Lakes Treated with Arsenical Herbicides

  • Christine Tabak (MS Thesis Committee Member) Predicting Sediment Loads in the Aberjona River, MA: A Comparison of Physical and Regression Models

  • Rebecca Overacre (MS Thesis Advisor) Road salt impacts on the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus in a stratified lake.

  • Jeff Wong, Julie Litzenberger, Shannon Cahill, and Becca Pease (Faculty Advisor CEE Senior Design Project). "Design for the Restoration of Spy Pond, Arlington, MA"; Presented at the Parsons Brinckerhoff Student Design Competition, ASCE/EWRI Water Resources Planning Conference, Roanoke, VA, May, 2002 (the students took first place based on their paper and presentation).

  • Kate Meierdiercks and Dahlia Naveh (Special Project Advisor). "Mapping the Bathymetry of Spy Pond (Arlington, MA)"

  • Kim Oriel, Sarah Widing, John Helwig, Cristina Correa, Christina Connor-Cerezzo, Kevin Stazowski, Kristina Ekholm, and Ian Jarvis (Faculty Advisor CEE Senior Design Project). "The Design of an Environmentally-Sustainable Community for Rural New Mexico" (this project won first-place at the 11th annual WERC competition in Las Cruces, NM).

  • Kalsoum Abbasi (MS Thesis Committee Member) Monitoring and Modeling of Phosphorus in Spy Pond, Arlington, MA.

  • Katherine LeBlanc (MS Thesis Co-Advisor) Stabilization of coal tar wastes in concrete.

  • Katherine Bednar (MS Thesis Advisor) An emissions inventory of combustion-generated particulate matter in air in Massachusetts for 1990 (graduated in February 2000).

  • Nat Woodruff (MS Thesis Advisor) Human cell mutagenicity of disinfection byproducts.

  • Tatianna Ivushkina (MS Thesis Advisor) Toxic elements in the sediments of the Alewife Brook and Mill Brook Watersheds.

  • Janna Dunbar (MS Thesis Advisor) Determining the contribution of mobile sources of PAH to urban air using a real-time PAH monitor

Teaching/Courses Taught: 
CEE-0030: Environmental Chemistry
CEE-0132: Environmental Engineering Processes
CEE-0172: Fate and Transport of Chemicals in the Environment
CEE-0194: Atmospheric Chemistry

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