Cristina Marcillo

Biological Systems Engineering

Born and raised in Boston, one of Cristina’s favorite places as a child was Harvard Square where musical street performers are common. While still in a stroller, she would ask her parents to take her out of it so she could dance along to the music and she’s carried along that enthusiasm for life.

In the spring 2016, Cristina graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. While there, she began researching the co-treatment of acid mine drainage with municipal wastewater, a promising method to treat both waste streams, specifically looking at the changing water chemistry and microbiology of this complex system. She has also assessed the persistence of pesticides in Adirondack lakes during her summer 2015 REU at Clarkson University.

Cristina has always been interested in understanding the natural world around her. Interest in engineering was influenced by high school science teachers at Boston Latin School, who expressed the importance of using science and acquired knowledge to benefit others. Through these experiences, she discovered her strong interest in engineering research and decided to pursue a graduate degree.

In August 2016, Cristina will join the Department of Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) as a Ph.D. student with Dr. Leigh-Anne Krometis. She will study links between land use change and environmental and public health risks in the Appalachian region, where mining has been prevalent. Christina believes that working at the intersection of public health and engineering provides a practical means to positively impact public welfare. She is excited to begin her training in BSE while also participating in the Interfaces of Global Change program at Virginia Tech.

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