Sara K. McMillan, PhD, PE

My students and I study biogeochemistry and water quality of aquatic ecosystems with an emphasis on the interactions between hydrology and nutrient and carbon transformations. Our research centers on the sustainability of healthy ecosystems and restoring ecosystem functions of streams and wetlands. Some of our current research projects include:

  • Understanding and predicting the cumulative effects of stormwater BMPs on urban stream ecosystem function at multiple spatial and temporal scales.
  • Investigating the factors that control rates of denitrification in restored and degraded urban streams, particularly the extent to which variability can be explained by environmental conditions and the genetic structure of bacterial communities.
  • Understanding the effects of stream restoration techniques on ecosystem function, specifically biological integrity, nutrient processing and ecosystem metabolism.
  • Developing and applying quantitative modeling approaches to better understand the complex interactions in environmental systems and develop solutions to advance the science of ecosystem restoration.

Dr. Sara McMillan, P.E.
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd, EPIC 3324
Charlotte, NC 28223
Phone: (704) 687-1223; smcmillan (at)
Curriculum vitae (pdf)




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