Kabindra Shakya, Assistant Professor and Environmental Science Program Director, Department of Geography and the Environment, Villanova University

Research interests: My research interests are mainly focussed on air pollution issues. But my lab is also interested in monitoring environmental pollution in general. Description of some projects are given below:

Mobile monitoring of air and noise pollution: In collaboration with Dr. Peleg Kremer, we measured air and noise pollution from Philadelphia in summers of 2017 (Shakya et al., 2019), 2019 (Cummings et al., 2021; Cummings et al., 2022; Conway, 2020), and 2021. This project was funded through the National Science Foundation and Villanova University Summer Grant.

Indoor Air Quality: In collaboration with CCATE, Norristown, children's exposure to indoor air pollutants were measured from Hispanic households in 2020. This project was funded through Villanova University Summer Grant.

Subway Air Pollution and Health Effects: We measured exposure to air pollutants at 12 underground subway stations in Philadelphia in 2018 and 2019 (Shakya et al., 2020). With the funding from National Institutes of Health, we are monitoring air pollution at Philadelphia subways and assessing health effects.

Environmental/ Geoscience Education: With the funding from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, we are conducting environmental education and environmental monitoring program from middle and high school students from minority communities around Philadelphia. With the funding from National Science Foundation, we are conducting geoscience education and hands-on experience to prepare for geoscience career for African American students in Philadelphia.

Monitoring air pollution using passive sampling: We are monitoring gases Nitrogen dioxide, Nitric oxide, Ozone, Sulfur dioxide, and ammonia from 16 sites in Philadelphia city and surrounding suburban and rural regions. Graduate student Bryan Terry is completing his Master's thesis research analyzing these gases and building landuse regression model using Geographic Information System (GIS).

Long-term trend of pollution: Using environmental databases, we are interested to monitor long-term trend of various pollutants. Undergraduate student Kyle Kellebenz conducted a senior research project to analyze long-term trend of indoor radon trends in Pennsylvania using GIS, and published his work (Kellenbenz and Shakya, 2021).

Assessing heavy metal contamination in community gardens around Philadelphia: We monitored heavy metal contamination for the samples collected from Philadelphia city and suburban regions, and from Pittsburgh. Undergraduate student Olivia Bassetti is conducting a senior thesis on this topic.

Please refer to research page for more information on research projects and available instrumentation.

My past research projects have been focussed on chemical characterization of ambient atmospheric aerosols from multiple locations e.g. Kathmandu (Shakya et al., 2010, 2017a, 2017b; Kiros et al., 2016), Texas (Shakya et al., 2011; Rutter et al., 2015), Alaska (Shakya et al., 2013), and New Hampshire (Shakya et al., 2012) by using various analytical techniques: spectroscopy (e.g. XRF spectroscopy) and chromatography (e.g. ion chromatography) and other techniques (e.g. Sunset EC/OC analyzer). I have also completed works on measuring the exposure of air pollution among traffic police in Kathmandu, Nepal and assessing their health effects (Shakya et al., 2016; Shakya et al., 2019). My previous work also included environmental chamber experiments to measure the formation of secondary organic aerosol (Shakya et al., 2010, 2013; Rutter et al., 2012) and to analyze large datasets from US EPA's air quality monitoring stations (Shakya et al., 2015) .

Masks:  Which masks work the best? I published results showing poor effectiveness of cloth masks to protect from particles (Shakya et al., 2016).


Research opportunity

Please visit the departmental website for further details on graduate program (M.S. in Environmental Science). Graduate fellowships are available from the University and Teaching Assistantships are available from the department. You need to apply before the deadline (February 1) to be eligible for the department's teaching assistantships.

Graduate fellowships are also available through the National Science Foundation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Please email to kabindra.shakya@villanova.edu to inquire for graduate and undergraduate research opportunities.