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Lehigh University logo

Kristen Jellison

Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Position: Associate Professor

Address: STEPS Building, Room 344
1 West Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 758-3555

Areas of Research

  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Water Resource Management
  • Watersheds
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Sustainable Development
  • Engineering Processes for Enhanced Sustainability
  • Fate and Transport of Contaminants and Pathogens


The ultimate goal of Dr. Jellison’s research is the prevention of waterborne disease. She strives to achieve this goal from two different, but complementary, approaches: (i) the protection of drinking water sources from contamination with waterborne pathogens and (ii) the design/optimization of household water treatment technologies appropriate for use in developing countries.

Jellison's research team focuses on environmental sources, fate, and transport of Cryptosporidium, a protozoan parasite responsible for waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis -- a self-limiting illness in otherwise healthy people that can be prolonged and life-threatening for the immunocompromised population. The team's research in the area of household drinking water treatment focuses on simple technologies like biosand filtration, ceramic pot filtration, and chlorination. She is working to optimize such technologies and standardize their operating procedures to make them more effective, affordable, and available to a larger global population.

Dr. Jellison is recipient of a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, and her research is also supported by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Lindbergh Foundation, Pennsylvania State University, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Philadelphia Water Department. She is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the American Water Works Association, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. She is also a co-adviser of Lehigh's Engineers Without Borders Program.


  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University