Lauren N. Pincus

Headshot of Dr. Pincus smiling

Lauren N. Pincus

Assistant Research Professor of Chemistry (Assistant Professor effective August 2024)


Office Phone: (202) 994-6121
800 22nd St. NW Washington DC 20052

The Pincus Lab is excited to begin welcoming new members. Please reach out via email with your CV attached if you are interested in joining! 

Reactions and interactions at the solid-water and solid-air interface control much of the fate of pollutants. Dr. Pincus’ research aims to examine complexation of inorganic pollutants by natural and engineered solids using advanced synchrotron spectroscopy techniques in order to understand and control the fate and transport of inorganic pollutants in the environment, develop novel sustainable and selective materials for aqueous contaminant removal, and design new technologies for climate change mitigation.  

Rapid Accumulation of Soil-Inorganics on Plastics- Implications for Plastic Degradation and Contaminant Fate

Lauren N. Pincus, Ajith Pattammattel, Denis Leshchev, Kewei Zhao, Eli Stavitski, Yong S. Chu, Satish C. B. Myneni2023. Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 10(6), 538-542 DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.3c00241

Selective Adsorption of Arsenic Over Phosphate by Transition Metal Cross-Linked Chitosan

​Lauren N. Pincus, Predrag V. Petrović, Isabel S. Gonzalez, Eli Stavitski, Zachary S. Fishman, Holly E. Rudel, Paul T. Anastas, Julie B. Zimmerman 2021, Chemical Engineering Journal, 412, 128582 DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2021.128582

Aerobic Oxidation of Arsenite to Arsenate by Cu(II)-chitosan/O2 in Fenton-like Reaction, a XANES Investigation

​Lauren N. Pincus, Isabel S. Gonzalez, Eli Stavitski, Julie B. Zimmerman 2020, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, 6(10), 2713-2722. DOI: 10.1039/D0EW00326C

Exploring the Mechanisms of Selectivity for Environmentally Significant Oxo-anion Removal  During  Water Treatment: a Review of Common Competing Oxo-anions and Tools for Quantifying Selective Adsorption

​Lauren N. Pincus, Holly E. Rudel, Predrag V. Petrović, Srishti Gupta, Paul Westerhoff, Christopher L. Muhich, Julie B. Zimmerman 2020, Environmental Science & Technology, 54(16), 9769-9790 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c01666

Arsenic-bearing Serpentine Group Minerals: Mineral Synthesis with Insights for the Arsenic Cycle

​Peter C. Ryan, F. Javier Huertas, Lauren N. Pincus, William Painter 2019, Clays and Clay Minerals, 67, 488-506 DOI: 10.1007/s42860-019-00040-1.

Toward Realizing Multifunctionality: Photoactive and Selective Adsorbents for the Removal of Inorganics in Water Treatment

​Lauren N. Pincus, Amanda W. Lounsbury, Julie B. Zimmerman 2019, Accounts of Chemical Research, 52(5), 1206-1214 DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.8b00668.

Multifunctional Photoactive and Selective Adsorbent for Arsenite and Arsenate: Evaluation of Nano Titanium Dioxide Enabled Chitosan Cross-Linked with Copper

​Lauren N. Pincus, Fjodor Melnikov, Jamila S. Yamani, Julie B. Zimmerman 2018, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 358, 145-154 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.06.033.

The Green ChemisTREE: 20 Years After Taking Root with the 12 Principles

​Hanno C. Erythropel, Julie B. Zimmerman, Tamara M. de Winter, Laurène Petitjean, Fjodor Melnikov, Chun Ho Lam, Amanda W. Lounsbury, Karolina E. Mellor, Nina Z. Janković, Qingshi Tu, Lauren N. Pincus, Mark Falinski, Wenbo Shi, Philip Coish, Desirée L. Plata, Paul T. Anastas 2018, Green Chemistry, 20, 1929-1961 DOI:10.1039/C8GC00482J.

The Influence of Soil Age and Regional Climate on Clay Mineralogy and Cation Exchange Capacity of Moist Tropical Soils: A Case Study from Late Quaternary Chronosequences in Costa Rica

​Lauren N. Pincus, Peter C. Ryan, F. Javier Huertas, Guillermo E. Alvarado 2017, Geoderma, 308, 130-148 DOI:10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.08.033.


Kaolinite and Halloysite Derived from Sequential Transformation of Pedogenic Smectite and Kaolinite-Smectite in a Chronosequence: Implications for Understanding and Predicting Soil Mineralogy

​Peter C. Ryan, F. Javier Huertas, Franklin Hobbs, Lauren N. Pincus 2016, Clay and Clay Minerals, 64(5), 639-667 DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.2016.064030.


Environmental chemistry, synchrotron spectroscopy, water chemistry, green chemistry

NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University, 2021-2023

Harry H. Hess Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University, 2020-2021

Ph.D., Yale School of the Environment, Yale University, 2020
B.A., Chemistry and Geology, Middlebury College, 2014


"The ubiquity of plastic materials in modern life has meant that plastic debris can be found everywhere. A subset of these environmental contaminates, smaller than a sesame seed, are called microplastics, and an even smaller subset of those are called nanoplastics. We are joined by Lauren Pincus, an environmental chemist and post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University, to learn about plastic degradation, how it interacts with inorganic materials in the environment and what we might do to help prevent it."  You can also listen to the audio only full length story here.