B.S. University of Delaware, 1984M.S. University of Pennsylvania, 1985Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 1989

"Our goal is to improve the efficiency by which chemical pollutants in groundwater are removed using microorganisms that are able to biodegrade them."

Roseanne M. Ford, Professor

Roseanne M. Ford is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia. She holds a B.S. degree from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, both in chemical engineering. She spent the spring of 1995 as a Visiting Professor at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 2003 she was a visitor at the USGS in Boulder, CO and a Visiting Professor at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. She recently completed a four-year term as department chair and was Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies from 2004-2010. Professor Ford's research focus is on the transport of chemotactic bacteria in porous media and its impact on bioremediation. She was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and was awarded the Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professorship, which is the highest teaching award given at UVa. In 2016 she received the AIChE WIC Excellence in Mentoring Award.


  • William R. Kenan, Jr. Visiting Professorship for Distinguished Teaching, Princeton University 2017-2018
  • AIChE Women's Initiatives Committee's Mentorship Excellence Award 2016
  • Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professorship 2011-2013
  • Thomas E. Hutchinson Faculty Award for dedication and excellence in teaching 2008
  • American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Elected to College of Fellows 2005
  • University of Virginia President and Visitors' Prize for Scientific Research, Life Sciences 1996
  • Department of Energy, Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program, Junior Faculty Award 1991

Research Interests

  • Computational Systems Biology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Resources

Selected Publications

  • "Enhanced Retention of Chemotactic Bacteria in a Pore Network with Residual NAPL Contamination," Environ. Sci. Technol., 50(1):165-172 (2016). ABS Wang, X., L. M. Lanning and R. M. Ford
  • "Chemotaxis Increases the Residence Time of Bacteria in Granular Media Containing Distributed Contaminant Sources," Environ. Sci. Technol., 50(1):181-187 (2016). ABS Adadevoh, J. S. T., S. Triolo, C. A. Ramsburg and R. M. Ford
  • "Quantitative Analysis of Chemotaxis Towards Toluene by Pseudomonas putida in a Convection-free Microfluidic Device," Biotechnol. Bioeng., 112:896-904 (2015). Wang, X., J. Atencia and R. M. Ford
  • "Bacterial chemotaxis toward a NAPL source within a pore-scale microfluidic chamber," Biotechnol. Bioeng., 109:1622-1628 (2012). Wang, X., T. Long and R. M. Ford
  • "Chemotaxis Increases Vertical Migration and Apparent Transverse Dispersion of Bacteria in a Bench-Scale Microcosm," Biotechnol. Bioeng., 108:2070-2077 (2011). Strobel, K. L., S. McGowan, R. D. Bauer, C. Griebler, J. Liu and R. M. Ford
  • "Transverse Bacterial Migration Induced by Chemotaxis in a Column with Structured Physical Heterogeneity," Environ. Sci. Technol., 43: 5921-5927 (2009). Wang, M. and R. M. Ford
  • "Enhanced Transverse Migration of Bacteria by Chemotaxis in a Porous T-Sensor," Environ. Sci. Technol., 43:1546-1552 (2009). Long, T. and R. M. Ford
  • "Upscaling Microbial Chemotaxis in Porous Media," Adv. Wat. Resour., 32: 1413-1428 (2009). Valdes-Parada, F. J., M. L. Porter, K. Narayanaswamy, R. M. Ford and B. D. Wood
  • "Coupled Effect of Chemotaxis and Growth on Microbial Distributions in Organic-Amended Aquifer Sediments: Observations from Laboratory and Field Studies," Environ. Sci. Technol., 42:3556-3562 (2008). Wang, M. R. M. Ford and R.W. Harvey
  • "Role of chemotaxis in the transport of bacteria through porous media," Advances in Water Resources, 30:1608-1617 (2007). Ford, R.M. and R.W. Harvey

Courses Taught

  • CHE 3321: Transport Processes I: Momentum Transfer
  • CHE 6630: Graduate Mass Transfer

Featured Grants & Projects

  • Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative – Role of Microbial Motility in Degradation of Dispersed Oil

    We will test the hypothesis that in marine environments biodegradation of oil droplets occurs at a faster rate when exposed to chemotactic bacteria. We will use microfluidic devices that were developed in partnership with National Institute of Standards and Technology to evaluate chemotactic properties for a wide range of marine organisms and hydrocarbons. To mimic aspects of the environmental conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, we will consider the effects of surfactant, temperature and multiple chemical stimuli. These results will be used in models that incorporate the effect of chemotaxis on the fate and transport of dispersed oil droplets. Ultimately, these efforts will improve the reliability of models that are used to assess environmental impact and policy decisions.