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David Szlag

Associate Professor
Environmental Science
207 Mathematics and Science Center
(248) 370-2321
Fax: (248) 370-2321
[email protected]

Most “environmental” problems and research are interconnected and inseparable from broader problems in the areas of social justice, human health, economics, and energy. The Szlag research group’s investigations lie at the interface of environmental health, water resources and hydrologic modeling, sediment transport, hydrodynamics, and problems related to emerging contaminants (ECs) and aquatic microbiology.

A current major research focus is applying quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to:

  1. Harmful algal bloom dynamics (HABs) and toxin production
  2. Beach monitoring and bacterial contamination
  3. Invasive species

This technology is very powerful and is revolutionizing ecology and environmental research and lowering the cost of that research. We are helping the Huron Clinton Metropolitan Park Authority (HCMA) develop a laboratory and methods for rapid testing of recreational water quality using qPCR. Secondary research themes tied to HABs include nutrient fluxes and the role of sediment transport in aquatic microbiology, and mass spectrometry. 


Sklenar, K., Westrick, J.A., Szlag, D. C. (2014 in press) A Water Utility Manager’s Guide to Cyanotoxins. AWWA.

Westrick JA, Southwell BJ, Szlag DC, Lenca NM (2011) Technologies for Early Warning and Detection of Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms Leading to Integrated Source Water Protection. Water Treatment Processes, Ed: Demadis K, Nova Science Publishers, Inc. (ebook).

Westrick JA, Southwell B, Szlag D.C., Zimba P. (2010) Detection of Cyanotoxins during Potable Water Treatment. Algae Source to Treatment, AWWA.

Thurston, H., H. C. Goddard, D. C. Szlag, and B. Lemberg. (2003). "Controlling Stormwater Runoff with Tradable Credits for Impervious Spaces." Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Reston, VA, 129(5):409-418

Thurston, H., Goddard, H. C., Szlag, D.C. and Lemberg, B.  (2002) Trading Stormwater Abatement Responsibility in Cincinnati’s Shepherd Creek Watershed.  Stormwater, June 2002. 

Bolger, P.T and D.C. Szlag (2002) An electrochemical system for removing and recovering elemental mercury from a gas stream.  Environmental Science and Technology.  36(20) 4430-4435.

Bolger, P.T and D.C. Szlag (2002) Investigation into the Rejuvenation of Spent Electroless Nickel Baths by Electrodialysis.  Environmental Science and Technology.  36(10) 2273-2278.

Bolger, P. T. and D. C. Szlag (2001) Current and Emerging Technologies for Extending the Lifetime of Electroless Nickel Plating Baths. Sikdar, S.K. (ed.), Clean Products and Processes. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 2(4):209-219. 

Szlag, D.C. and Wolf  N.J. (1999) Recent advances in ion exchange materials and processes for pollution prevention. Clean Products and Processes 1(1): 117–131.

Department of Chemistry

Mathematics and Science Center, Room 260
146 Library Drive
Rochester, , MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-2320
fax: 370-2321