Christopher M. Sales is an Associate Professor in the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department at Drexel University, with research expertise in environmental microbiology, environmental biotechnologies, and environmental remediation technologies. He is also an Affiliated Researcher of the C&J Nyheim Plasma Institute of Drexel University, collaborating on the research and development of innovate non-thermal plasma technologies for food safety, public health, and environmental applications.
Prior to this position, he was a post-doctoral researcher in the group of Distinguished Professor Joseph Hughes at Drexel University, studying the biodegradation of nitroaromatic compounds. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, under Lisa Alvarez-Cohen. His doctoral research applied a functional genomics approach to studying the biodegradation of the emerging environmental contaminants, 1,4-dioxane and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). He also did undergraduate research with Wen K. Shieh at the University of Pennsylvania working on novel bioreactors for wastewater treatment.
His research group studies microbes and non-thermal plasma technologies at the nexus of food, energy, and water systems using an array of molecular biology, microbiology, and analytical chemistry laboratory techniques with bioinformatic, data science, and computational modeling methods. An active and evolving area of research in his laboratory involves the degradation and the environmental fate and transport of the emerging class of contaminants known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Degrees / Education
- PhD, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2012
- MS, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2006
- B.S.E, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 2005
- B.A., Environmental Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2005
Environmental microbiology, microbial ecology of natural and engineered systems, biodegradation and fate and transport of environmental contaminants, biotechnologies for energy and resource recovery from waste streams, innovative plasma technologies for food safety and environmental applications
Areas of Study
- Ebrahimi, F., Lewis, A. Sales, C.M., Suri, R., and E.R. McKenzie. 2021. Linking PFAS partitioning behavior in sewage sludge to solid characteristics, solution chemistry, and treatment processes. Chemosphere. 129530.
- Lewis, A., Joyce, T., Hadaya, M., Ebrahimi, F., Dragiev, I., Giardetti, N., Yang, J., Fridman, G., Rabinovich, A., Fridman, A.A. McKenzie, E.R., and C.M. Sales. 2020. Rapid degradation of PFAS in aqueous solutions by revere vortex flow gliding arc plasma. Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. DOI: 10.1039/C9EW01050E.
- Ksara, M., Newkirk, R., Keshani Langroodi, S., Althoey, F., Sales, C.M., Schauer, C.L., and Y. Farnam. 2019. Microbial Damage Mitigation Strategy in Cementitious Materials Exposed to Calcium Chloride. Constr. Build Mater. 195:1-9.
- Price, J.R., Ledford, S.H., Ryan, M.O., Toran, L., and C.M. Sales. 2018. Wastewater treatment plant effluent introduces recoverable shifts in microbial community composition in receiving streams. Sci. Total Environ. 613-614:1104-1116.
- Sniffen, K.D., Sales, C.M.,and M.S. Olson. 2018. The fate of nitrogen through algal treatment of landfill leachate. Algal Res. 30:50-58.
- Nayak, S., O’Donnell, S.-E., Sales, C.M., and R.V. Tikekar. 2016. Fructose accelerates UV-C induced photochemical degradation of pentachlorophenol in low and high salinity water. J. Agric. Food Chem. 64(21):4214-4219.
- Price, J.R., Keshani Langroodi, S., Lan, Y., Becker, J.M., Shieh, W.K., Rosen., G.L., and C.M. Sales. 2016. Untangling the microbial ecosystem and kinetics in a nitrogen removing photosynthetic high density bioreactor. Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. DOI: 10.1039/c6ew00078a.
- Price, J.R., Shieh, W.K., and CM. Sales. 2015. A novel bioreactor for high density cultivation of diverse microbial communities. J. Vis. Exp. 106:e53443.
- Sales, C.M., Grostern, A., Parales, J.V., Parales, R.E., and L. Alvarez-Cohen. 2013. Oxidation of the cyclic ethers 1,4-dioxane and tetrahydrofuran by a monooxygenase in two Pseudonocardia species. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.79(24):7702-7708.
- Sales, C.M., Mahendra, S., Grostern, A., Parales, R.E., Goodwin, L., Woyke, T., Nolan, M., Lapidus, A., Chertkov, O., Ovchinnikova, G., Szcyrba, A., and L. Alvarez-Cohen. 2011. Genome sequence of 1,4-dioxane degrading Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans strain CB1190. J. Bacteriol. 193:4459-4550