Liza Durant

Liza Wilson Durant

Professor and Associate Dean
Associate Dean Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement


  • PhD, Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 1996
  • MS, Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 1991
  • BS, Agricultural Engineering, Cornell University, 1987


Environmental Engineering, Environmental Microbiology, Water Quality, Hazardous Waste, Groundwater, Information Technology, Water Resources Engineering


Bioremediation, Environmental Microbiology, Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the Subsurface

Professional service:

Faculty Advisor to the GMU Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Faculty Advisor to the GMU Student Chapter of Design Build Institute of America, Faculty Advisor the GMU Student Chapter of Chi Epsilon, Faculty Advisor Engineers for International Development, Faculty Advisor to the GMU Student Chapter of Society of American Military Engineers

Faculty profile

Prior to her current appointment as Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement in the Volgenau School of Engineering, she served as Department Chair and Associate Chair of the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering (CEIE).  During her appointment in CEIE, she conducted classes in environmental engineering, hydrologic engineering and information technology for engineers. She received her PhD in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University where her research focused on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons in aquifer materials under mixed electron acceptor conditions. Since 1996, she has served on the faculty for the Engineering for Professionals Program at Johns Hopkins University conducting graduate courses in environmental microbiology, biological water treatment processes, bioremediation and environmental biotechnology.

Dr. Durant has extensive consulting experience on projects related to the feasibility and economics of hazardous waste management and remediation, contaminant fate and transport in the environment, risk assessment and reduction, and environmental dispute resolution. She was also twice awarded an American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Environmental Science and Engineering Fellowship. During her tenure as an AAAS fellow, she served as a science advisor to the US EPA in the National Center for Environmental Assessment and in the Immediate Office of the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development.

Selected publications:

Wilson Durant, L.P ., P .C. D’Adamo and E.J. Bouwer (1999) Aromatic hydrocarbon biodegradation with mixtures of O2 and NO3- as electron acceptors. Environmental Engineering Science. 16(6):487-500.

Bouwer, E.J., N.D. Durant, L.P. Wilson and W. Zhang. (1998) Design considerations for in situ bioremediation of organic contaminants. In: Biological Treatment of Hazardous Wastes (G. Lewandowski and L. DeFilippi, eds.). John Wiley and Sons. pp. 237-269.

Bouwer, E.J., W. Zhang, L.P. Wilson and N.D. Durant (1998) Biodegradation of Coal Tar Constituents in Aquifer Sediments. In: Soil and Aquifer Pollution: Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids – Contamination and Reclamation (H. Rubin, N. Narkis and J. Carberry, eds.). Springer. pp. 173- 190.

Wilson, L.P., P.C. DAdamo and E.J. Bouwer (1997) Bioremediation of BTEX, Naphthalene, and Phenanthrene in Aquifer Material Using Mixed Oxygen/Nitrate Electron Acceptor Conditions. National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA/600/SR-97/120.

Wilson, L.P. and E.J. Bouwer (1997) Biodegradation of aromatic compounds under mixed oxygen/denitrifying conditions. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (special double issue on bioremediation). 18:116-130.

Bouwer, E.J., W. Zhang, L.P. Wilson and N.D. Durant (1997) Bioremediation of Surface and Subsurface Contamination, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 829:103-117.

Durant, N.D., L.P. Wilson and E.J. Bouwer (1995) Microcosm studies of subsurface PAH degrading bacteria from a former manufactured gas plant. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. 15:307-317.

Zhang, W, E. Bouwer, L. Wilson and N. Durant (1995) Biotransformation of aromatic hydrocarbons. Water Science and Technology. 31(1):1-14.