Matthew Berens Ph.D.

Matthew Berens
Professional Title
Postdoctoral Associate: Environmental Analytical Chemistry


Dr. Berens is a biogeochemist exploring the interface of geochemistry, environmental engineering, and microbiology to understand the fate of natural and anthropogenic pollutants in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. His previous research has included evaluating the role of iron-oxide minerals during the degradation of novel organic contaminants and quantifying the occurrence and distribution of insecticides in Minnesota's surface and groundwater.

Current Research

Dr. Berens is currently a postdoctoral associate under the advisement of Dr. Bridget Ulrich and Dr. Chan Lan Chun. With Dr. Ulrich, he is participating on the EPA Great Lakes Sediment Surveillance Program (GLSSP) where he is responsible for the development and oversight of analytical methods to extract and quantify concentrations of organic pollutants in Great Lakes sediments. Additional work includes the electrochemical analysis of lake sediments to determine the effects of redox conditions on pollutant distribution. With Dr. Chun, he is conducting research funded by the USDA to optimize a bioelectrochemical reactor for sulfate removal from contaminated mining waters. The goal of this research seeks to reduce the impacts of sulfate pollution on sensitive wild rice ecosystems and its implications for downstream mercury accumulation in biota and humans.


Dr. Berens grew up in Oakdale, MN and attended Bethel University (MN) where he graduated with a BS degree in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and a BA degree in Chemistry (2015). He received a PhD in Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering from the University of Minnesota (2020).

  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2020
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2018
  • B.S., Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Bethel University, 2015
  • B.A., Chemistry, Bethel University. 2015


Google Scholar profile

Additional Classification

NRRI News Articles

What exactly is a Postdoc? And what research are they doing at NRRI?