Leigh-Anne Krometis


Growth of human populations and accompanying increased urbanization often introduces new contaminants to the environment or creates new pathways of human exposure to existing risks while simultaneously creating an ever-increasing demand for high quality natural resources, particularly clean water. In order to promote development while preserving public health, it is necessary to identify potential threats and engineer solutions to minimize exposure and risk. The broad goals of our research group are to:

  1. Identify (detect, quantify) waterborne agents that pose a threat to public health
  2. Characterize environmental transport pathways that may result in human exposure to these contaminants
  3. Assess the relative risks of specific contaminants in order to prioritize interventions (remediation)

In keeping with these goals, specific research group projects include: detection of human and non-human markers of fecal contamination in private drinking water supplies; identification of correlations between demographic characteristics and drinking water contamination by E. coli and/or heavy metals in rural communities; development of a stochastic model to estimate human risk associated with indicator bacteria impaired watersheds; assessment of the proximity of state-identified water quality impairments in Central Appalachia to mining and agricultural landuses; and characterization of patterns of sediment and water contamination by pollutants of human health concern in Stroubles Creek. Laboratory analyses related to these efforts are conducted in the BSE Water Microbiology Laboratory in Seitz Hall.


  • August 2014: Congratulations to Krometis lab undergraduate researcher Vickie Nystrom, who won first place in the 2014 Virginia American Waterworks Association essay contest, earning an award of $2000.
  • August 2014: Welcome to the group, Hannah Billian, our newest MS Candidate!
  • July 2014: Today's top VT News story highlights the work of Matt Razaire, who is completing his summer Scieneering research fellowship in the Krometis Lab. Read more here.
  • June 2014: Congratulations to Heather Govenor, recipient of the 2014 William R. Walker Fellowship Award.
  • April 2014: Congratulations to Doctoral Candidate Kelsey Pieper, who placed second in the annual oral presentation compeititon at the 2014 Virginia Tech GSA Research Symposium.
  • March 2014: Dr. Krometis was named Virginia Tech College of Engineering's Outstanding Assistant Professor for 2014.
  • Feb 2014: Congratulations to PhD candidate Kelsey Pieper on her 2014 VT-GSA Graduate Research Development Program Grant.
  • Oct 2013: The accolades keep coming...Congratulations to Heather Governor on being named a Cunningham Scholar, and to Kelsey Pieper on her Virginia AWWA Scholarship.
  • Sept 2013: Welcome Heather Govenor! Heather is beginning her doctoral research in BSE, focused on risk assessment in the Coalfields, under Drs. Leigh-Anne Krometis and Cully Hession.
  • Aug 2013: Welcome Lory Willard! Co-advised by Drs. Leigh-Anne Krometis and Tess Thompson, Lory will be assessing the performance of a mature bioretention cell in Blacksburg in treating urban stormwater.
  • July 2013: Congratulations to Kelsey Pieper, whose proposal "Identifying sources of lead release in Virginia's private drinking water systems", was awarded a 2013 on Virginia Water Resources Research Center Student Grant!
  • July 2013: If you'll be attending the ASABE Annual Meeting this year in Kansas City, be sure to check out Hehuan Liao's lecture "Water Quality Parameters Associated with Fecal Indicator Bacteria in the Water Column and Bottom Sediments of Stroubles Creek, Virginia, USA" on the morning of July 24th.
  • June 2013: Welcome to our StREAM Lab REU Cohort! Follow our scientific adventures this summer on facebook or on Twitter @StREAMLabREU.
  • May 2013: Dr. Krometis is one of sixteen participating faculty members in the new Virginia Tech Interdisciplinary Graduate Program "Interfaces of Global Change" led by Dr. Bill Hopkins in the Fish and Wildlife Department. This truly unique program"will address the multidimensional aspects of global change and provide the next generation of scientists with a unique perspective and skill set to address the most challenging environmental issues facing society today" - and is now accepting applicants.
  • May 2013: The Virginia Household Water Quality Program group (Leigh-Anne Krometis, Brian Benham, Erin Ling, Pete Ziegler, and Donna Daniel) received the Florence Hall Award from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science for our Master Well Owner Training and subsidized drinking water clinics in the Southside counties of Virginia.
  • May 2013: Congratulations to our newest Master of Science, Tammy Smith, on the successful defense of her thesis: "Correlations Between Fecal Indicator Bacteria Prevalence and Demographic Data in Private Water Supplies in Virginia"!
  • Feb 2013: Dr. Krometis will be giving an invited talk: "Impacts of mountain top removal mining and inadequate sanitation on downstream water quality in the Appalachian Coalfields" for the Penn State Agricultural and Biological Engineering graduate seminar series on Feb. 26th in State College, PA.
  • Sept 2012: Dr. Krometis was profiled as the feature professor in this month's Engineering Forum magazine. You can read the aticle, written by a BSE senior, here.
  • There are no further openings in the Krometis group for graduate students at this time.