Water is essential to life as we know it, and its availability limits the growth of ecosystems and societies. Here in the desert southwest, we are keenly aware of the need for a supply of high quality water to support our agricultural activities, metropolitan areas and healthy ecosystems.

Our faculty are experts in:

  • arid lands water policy 
  • groundwater and well water quality 
  • water distribution systems 
  • wastewater reuse 
  • water quality chemistry

Click on the profiles to learn more about who we are and what we research in water quality, security and sustainability.

Luisa Ikner

UA Profile

WEST Center


  • Pollution Science (ENVS 305)
  • Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (ENVS 426/526)

My Research Interests:

  • Antimicrobial effectiveness
  • Best practices for effective research partnerships
  • Emerging bacterial and viral pathogens (BSL-2, BSL-3)
  • Microbial decay/removal in natural and human-made systems
  • Method development/optimization
  • Pandemic preparedness
  • Pathogen detection in water
  • Wastewater treatment and advanced water purification


  • PhD in Soil, Water and Environmental Science from the University of Arizona

Leif Abrell

Associate Research Professor

Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants (ALEC)

  • I focus on water quality chemistry in our work on water quality, security and sustainability.
  • Explore my other areas of research:




Jon Chorover

Jon Chorover

Interim Associate Vice President (ALVSCE)

Interim Associate Dean for Research (CALES)


Arizona Lab for Emerging Contaminants (ALEC)

Kathy Jacobs

Kathy Jacobs

Director, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS)


  • I focus on arid lands water policy in our work on water quality, security and sustainability.

Jean McLain

Jean E. McLain


Assistant Dean, Faculty Advancement

Research Specialist

Sharon Megdal

Sharon B. Megdal

Director, Water Resources Research Center

Professor and Specialist

Distinguished Outreach Professor

C.W. and Modene Neely Endowed Professor for Excellence in Agriculture and Life Science

  • I focus on arid lands water policy in our work on water quality, security and sustainability.

Ian Pepper

Ian L. Pepper

Regents Professor

Director, Water & Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center


Channah Rock


Extension Specialist

Jim Brennan Endowed Chair in Extension Fresh Produce Safety