Lauren Stadler

WEBSITE(S)| Stadler Research Group | Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering | NEWT Center | Google Scholar

Lauren Stadler brings 13 years of leadership experience in civil and environmental engineering and a vision to reimagine wastewater systems as a valuable source of information for the protection of public health. Stadler is an environmental engineer whose research focuses on wastewater-based epidemiology, environmental antibiotic resistance, wastewater treatment and resource recovery, and environmental synthetic biology. 

In May 2020, Stadler began working with the Houston Health Department and Houston Public Works to establish and implement protocols for Houston’s wastewater initiatives to track community COVID-19 infection dynamics. Her laboratory has developed a highly sensitive assay to reliably detect low concentrations of viral load in wastewater. Additionally, Stadler has worked extensively with collaborators to develop and implement methods for the detection of viral variants and antibiotic resistance genes and bacteria in wastewater.

Stadler joined the faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rice University in 2016 as an assistant professor after completing her doctoral degree in environmental engineering at the University of Michigan. She was named a New Engineer to Watch by the Water Environment Federation, a Gulf Research Program Early Career Fellow by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and a Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Engineering Scholar. The results of her work have been published in over 30 peer-reviewed journal publications and disseminated at numerous conferences and workshops. 

Research Areas

Investigations in the Stadler laboratory combine microbial ecology, environmental chemistry and sustainability assessments to study wastewater treatment processes and resource recovery and their impact on the environment and human health. Focus areas have included biological wastewater and water treatment, microbial ecology of wastewater and water treatment systems, wastewater-based epidemiology for monitoring human pathogens, environmental synthetic biology, resource recovery from wastewater (energy, water, nutrients, chemicals), and sustainability assessments to guide design and implementation of treatment and recovery systems.


Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan

M.S.E. in Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan

B.S. in Engineering, Swarthmore College