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Institute for Environmental Studies


The University of south Florida Institute for Environmental Studies has been an information resource on chemicals and organisms that create environmental problems. Persons associated with the Institute ---Researchers, students, members of the board of Directors --- have concentrated on providing solutions to these problems and environmental issues.

The institute has provided speakers and some study materials for civic groups and schools to consider problems that can be caused by some chemicals, plants, and organisms that can be found in Florida’s environment.

The Institute was founded as the CHEMS Center, the Center for Chemical and Environmental Studies with the approval of the Board of Regents in May 1979. Subsequently the Center was converted to institute status, and under the leadership of Dean Stamps, the Institute was converted to a Type III center.

Mission: Research

Institute collaborators have done both pure and applied research on environmental problems.

Their research spans many disciplines: biology, chemistry, geology, engineering, mathematics, marine science, pharmacology, public health, and science policy.

Specialists in different fields have brought their expertise to bear on such complicated problems as red tide, corrosion, environmental policy, removal of nuisance chemicals, ornithology, sick buildings, and insurance matters (flooded buildings).

The Institute is unique for the range of problems that it has addressed and for the focus on developing natural methods of management or mitigation to minimize or solve problems created by chemicals and organisms in our environment.

Areas of Study

Ongoing research included seeking natural inhibitors of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), red tide research (respiratory problems and natural management by competing organisms, indices of environmental quality, management of filamentous algae, analyses of Diquat®, the role of land factors in longevity, and removal of nuisance species by sorption on supported chelating agents, most notably Octolig® a commercially available polyethylenediimines. Past studies have focused on removal of larger anions( arsenates, arsenite, chromate, perchlorate) removal as well as simple anions (phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, halides). More complex anions include certain dyes, including food dyes, BPA (as model compounds ), and pharmaceuticals that can be in natural waters.

Progress – Publication Activity

Members of the Institute (1979-2015) contributed 230 articles in refereed journals as well as 96 miscellaneous publications. Over 200 publications in refereed journals involved student collaborations.

Florida Scientist - Barbara and Dean Martin edited this journal for over 26 years covering over 100 issues. The editors were the first to be awarded emeritus status by the Florida Academy of Science since 1936.

Some Student Alumni

Cheryl McCane

Cheryl McCane
  • Chemical engineering major (2012-2013)
  • Lab-related experience included oral presentation at an FAS annual meeting, poster presentation and two publications:
  • Martin, D.F. and C. McCane, Evaluation of the Removal of Aqueous Halides from Media by Octolig®, Florida Scient. 2012, 75, 100-104.
  • Martin, D. F., R. J. Alessio, and C.H. McCane, Removal of synthetic food dyes in aqueous solutions by Octolig®, J. Environ. Sci. Hlt, Part A. 2013, 48, 495-500.
  • 2015 position: R and D engineer, Titanium Technologies. The Chemours Co.

Douglas Franz

Doug Franz
  • 2010-11
  • An undergraduate Honors thesis
  • Two Poster presentations, One oral (outstanding presentation award at the FAS annual meeting, 2011)
  • Martin, D. F. and D. Franz. Comparison of anion removal capacities of Octolig® and Cuprilig, J. Environ. Sci. Hlt, Part A 46 (14), 1619-1624
  • Franz, D. M. and D. F. Martin, Enhanced removal of aqueous BPA model compounds using metalloligs, J. Environ. Sci. Hlt, Part A. 2014, 49, 307-312.
  • Currently a doctoral candidate in chemistry at USF

Tanya Sehgal

Tanya Sehgal
  • 2013-14 A poster presentation (Castle Conference)
  • Martin, D. F., T. Sehgal, and T. Word, Removal of pain-relieving drugs from aqueous solutions using Octolig® and metalloligs. J. Environ. Sci. Hlth, Part A., 2015, 50, 788-793.
  • Currently in dental school

Jenny Mojarena Martin

Jenny Mojarena Martin
  • 2014-15 One poster presentation (Castle conference)
  • Manuscript submission Martin, D. F., J. Mojarena Martin, and Tara A. Word, Removal of aqueous samples of selected NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ) by Octolig®, J. Environ. Sci. Hlth, Part A. 2016, 51, 186-191
  • Currently a pre-professional student

Marwa Elkharsity

Marwa Elkharsity
  • 2014 (August) Two poster presentations (Oktoberfest’14; Castle ’15)
  • FAS Annual meeting March ’14 oral paper
  • Manuscript submission: Martin, D. F. and M. Elkharsity, Chemists at War: World War II: Roles of Five Chemists. Bull. Hist. Chem. submitted
  • Honors College thesis research 2015-2016
  • March 2016: Clear Springs Land Undergraduate Research Award
  • 2016: B.S. in Biomedical Sciences

Kevlin Acosta

Kevlin Acosta
  • Methods II student second semester, 2016
  • Graduated May 2016, B.S. in Chemistry
  • Publication: Dean F. Martin, Kelvin Acosta, and Christopher R. McKeithan, Removal of a common antibiotic (Amoxicillin) from different aqueous systems using Octolig®, J. Environ. Sci Health Part A, 2016

Stephanie Leonard

Stephanie Leonard
  • Methods II Student spring semester, 2017
  • Poster for 15th Castle Student Research Conference
  • Graduated: May (2017): Chemistry (B.S.) and Environmental Science & Policy (B.S.).
  • Next: USF-SP Environmental Science M.S. program

John Hurst

John Hurst
  • Second Semester, 2018

Members of the Board of Directors

The Institute Director is advised by members of a Board of Directors which includes the following, and their current affiliations:

Dr. Bill Baker, Professor of Chemistry, Director, CDDI, USF
Dr. Scott Emery, Wetlands Director, Environmental Protection Commission, Hillsborough Co.
Dr. Ann Hodgson, Resource Designs, Inc. Natural Resources R & D
Dr. Shahamat Khan (soil chemist) Editor, Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A; Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B
Dr. Joseph J. Krzanowski, Jr. Professor Emeritus, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, USF
Dr. Roman Manetsch, Associate Professor Department of Chemistry and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern University
Dr. Ralph E. Moon, CHMMM, CIAQP, Conestoga-Rovers ad Associate (CRA), Tampa
Dr. Mark Rains (geologist), Associate Professor, School of Geosciences, USF
Dr. Richard Wunderlin, Professor Emeritus, Director, USF Herbarium
Dr. Rong Zhang, (environmental chemist) USF Department of Chemistry
Dr. Dean F. Martin, Director, ex officio member