P. Ariette Schierz
P. Ariette Schierz, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Ecological & Biological Sciences
  • Maynard

Dr. Schierz has more than 12 years of experience in evaluating fate, transformation, detection, and bioavailability of contaminants in the aquatic environment, including organic contaminants, heavy metals and metalloids, radionuclides, and engineered nanomaterials. Dr. Schierz has broad experience in aquatic geochemistry, analytical chemistry, environmental remediation, nanotechnology, and risk assessment, and she has both field and laboratory experience. She is proficient in a variety of analytical techniques, including gas chromatography with detection by electron capture, flame ionization, and mass-spectrometry (GC/ECD, FID, MS/MS), spectroscopic methods (NIRF-fluorescence, CVAFS), voltammetry for in-situ measurement of redox species, and particle characterization and separation measurements (DLS, field-flow fractionation, nanoparticle tracking analysis, SEM, AFM).

Dr. Schierz’s recent research focused on remedial strategies such as capping and in-situ amendments for risk mitigation of contaminated sediment sites. She evaluated the effect of in-situ treatments on sediment biogeochemistry, and implications for contaminant behavior. Her work has been used to demonstrate the performance of sediment amendments such as biochar and granulated activated carbon (GAC) to reduce mercury methylation and mercury flux out of the sediment. Dr. Schierz has expertise in environmental sampling and monitoring and has tested the performance of passive samplers such as DGT (diffusive gradient in thin films) to assess the bioavailability of sediment contaminants and evaluate remedy performance.

Dr. Schierz has evaluated various environmental implications of nanotechnology, including detection in highly complex environmental media at trace levels, toxicity and bioaccumulation in an estuarine benthic food chain, and long-term behavior and transformation in the aquatic environment. She also has experience with various in-situ groundwater treatments, including CarboIron, an injectable form of activated carbon, and nano zero-valent iron (NZVI), which can be used to create reaction barriers in contaminated aquifers (German patent).

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany, 2007, magna cum laude
  • M.Sc., Chemistry/Environmental Chemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany, 2003

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

OSHA Certified 40-Hours of Training in Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response

LANGUAGES

  • German

Publications

Xu X, Schierz A, Xu N, Cao X. Comparison of the characteristics and mechanisms of Hg(II) sorption by biochars and activated carbon. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2016; 463:55–60.

Georgi A, Schierz A, Mackenzie K, Kopinke FD. Colloidal activated carbon for in-situ groundwater remediation—Transport characteristics and adsorption of organic compounds in water-saturated sediment columns. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 2015; 179:76–88.

Schierz A, Espinasse B, Wiesner M, Bisesi JB, Sabo-Attwood T, Ferguson PL. Fate of single walled carbon nanotubes in wetland ecosystems. Environmental Science 2014; Nano, 1:574–583.

Khan I, Aich N, Afrooz ARM, Flora J, Schierz A, Ferguson PL, Sabo-Attwood T, Saleh N. Fractal structures of single-walled carbon nanotubes in biologically relevant conditions: Role of chirality vs. media conditions. Chemosphere 2013; 9(9):1997–2003.

Parks AN, Portis LM, Schierz A, Washburn K, Perron MM, Burgess RM, Ho KT, Chandler GT, Ferguson PL. Bioaccumulation and toxicity of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to benthic organisms at the base of the marine food chain. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2013; 32(6):1270–1277.

Khan I, Afrooz ARM, Flora J, Schierz A, Ferguson L, Sabo-Attwood T, Saleh N. Chirality affects aggregation kinetics of single-walled carbon nanotubes. Environmental Science and Technology 2013; 47(4):1844–1852.

Schierz A, Parks AN, Washburn K, Chandler GT, Ferguson PL. Characterization and quantitative analysis of single-walled carbon nanotubes in the aquatic environment using near-infrared fluorescence spectroscopy. Environmental Science and Technology 2012; 46(22):12262–12271 (cover article).

Zanker H, Schierz A. Engineered nanoparticles and their identification among natural nanoparticles. Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry 2012; 5:107–132.

Schierz A, Zanker H. Aqueous suspensions of carbon nanotubes: Surface oxidation, colloidal stability and uranium sorption. Environmental Pollution 2009; 157(4):1088–1094.

Mackenzie K, Schierz A, Georgi A, Kopinke F-D. Colloidal activated carbon and CARBO-IRON—Novel materials for in-situ groundwater treatment. Global NEST Journal 2008; 10(1):54–61.

Georgi A, Schierz A, Mackenzie K, Kopinke F-D. Anwendung von kolloidaler Aktivkohle zur in-situ Grundwasserreinigung. Terratec 2007; 11–12:TT22–TT24.

Georgi A, Schierz A, Trommler U, Horwitz C-P, Collins JP, Kopinke F-D. Application of hydrogen peroxide by complexes of iron(III) with humic acid for chemical degradation of organic compounds in water. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2007; 72(1-2): 26–36.

Book Chapter

Mackenzie K, Bleyl S, Schierz A, Georgi A. In-situ generation of sorption and reaction barriers using colloidal sorbents and sorbent-carried nano-iron. In: Nanotechnology for water purification, BrownWalker Press, Boca Raton (USA), ISBN-13: 978-1-61233-619-0, Chapter 4, 71–88, 2012.

Invited Talks

Schierz A. Environmental implications of nanotechnology. Society of Environmental Professionals, Texas Tech University, 2014.

Schierz A. Fate of mercury and methyl-mercury in contaminated sediments—From the lab to the field. Institute Seminar Series, Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf, Germany, 2013.

Schierz A. Addressing challenges in the detection of single-walled carbon nanotubes in environmental samples, Nanobiotox Seminar Series, NIST, Gaithersburg, 2011.

Schierz A. Detection of single-walled carbon nanotubes in environmental samples by field flow fractionation—NIR fluorescence spectroscopy. Duke University, 2011.

Selected Presentations

Schierz A, Bireta P, Grundy JS, Reible DD. Validation of diffusive gradient in thin-films technique for mercury and methylmercury measurements in natural environments. NEMC2014, Washington, DC, 2014.

Offutt AJ, Schierz A, Landis RC, Reible DD. The interaction of benthic oligochaetes, T. tubifex, with mercury impacted sediment. Goldschmidt 2014 Conference, Sacramento, CA, 2014.

Bireta P, Grundy JS, Schierz A, Reible DD, Landis RC. Measurement of mercury flux from a river bank environment. Goldschmidt 2014 Conference, Sacramento, CA, 2014.

Schierz A, Bireta P, Grundy JS, Katz LE, Reible DD. Effect of amendments on mercury fate in contaminated sediments. Goldschmidt 2014 Conference, Sacramento, CA, 2014.

Schierz A, Bireta P, Grundy JS, Katz LE, Reible DD. Evaluating effects of capping and in-situ treatments on mercury methylation in mercury contaminated sediments. International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant ICMGP2013, Edinburgh, UK, 2013.

Schierz A, Reible DD, Bireta P, Grundy JS, Landis R, Grosso N. Field sampling for porewater Mercury and Methylmercury using DGT. Conference on DGT and the Environment, Lancaster, UK, 2013.

Schierz A, Bireta P, Grundy JS, Katz LE, Reible DD. Environmental factors controlling mercury methylation in low productivity sediments. 7th International Conference on Remediation of Contaminated Sediments, Dallas, TX, 2013.

Schierz A, Parks AN, Ferguson PL. Novel approaches for the detection of single walled carbon nanotubes in environmental matrices – Evaluation of asymmetric flow field flow fractionation, SETAC North America 32nd Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 2011.

Parks AN, Schierz A, Burgess RM Ho KT, Portis LM, Pelletier M, Washburn K, Chandler GT, Ferguson L. Using radiolabels for investigating the bioaccumulation and interaction effects of 14C-SWNT and 3H-Ponasterone A in Leptocheirus plumulosus. SETAC North America 32 nd Annual Meeting Boston, MA, 2011.

Schierz A, Azad S, Ferguson PL, Wallis P. Carbon nanotube content in wastewater at SouthWest Nano Technologies Inc., ICEIN2011-EPA Nano Grantees Conference, Durham, NC, 2011.

Schierz A, Parks AN, Ferguson PL. Characterization and analysis of single-walled carbon nanotubes in complex matrices by asymmetric flow FFF coupled with NIRF spectroscopy. Nano2010, Clemson, SC, 2010.

Patents

DE102005054666A: Verfahren zur in-situ Grundwasserreinigung in schadstoffbelasteten Aquiferen, Feb. 2014; Kopinke, F.-D., Schierz A, Georgi A, Leibold, M., Roland, U., Mackenzie K, Köhler, R.; declarant: UFZ – Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig-Halle GmbH.

Prior Experience

Research Scientist, Texas Tech University, 2014–2015

Research Fellow, The University of Texas at Austin, 2011–2014

Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University, 2009–2011

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of South Carolina, 2008–2009

Junior Research Scientist, Helmholtz-Centre Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), 2007–2008

Research Assistant, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), 2004–2007

Professional Affiliations

American Chemical Society–ACS

ACS Younger Chemistry Committee Chair of Central Texas Local Section , 2012/2013

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry—SETAC

Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.—DECHEMA

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany, 2007, magna cum laude
  • M.Sc., Chemistry/Environmental Chemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany, 2003

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

OSHA Certified 40-Hours of Training in Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response

LANGUAGES

  • German