University of California, Santa Barbara

Faculty Profile

Arturo Keller


Mechanical Engineering

Arturo Keller


Department of Mechanical and Enviromental Engineering
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

tel: 805-453-1822
fax: 805-456-3807

Personal web site

Research Description

Professor Keller's research and teaching interests focus on the fate, transport and remediation of pollutants in the environment. His research is directed towards understanding the process through which contaminants may accumulate or transform in soil, air or water, as well as in the biota, with an emphasis on developing better management strategies for dealing with pollutants in the environment. His group also works on developing and applying numerical models for predicting fate and transport of pollutants, and developing technologies for containment, remediation, and monitoring of organic pollutants. Current projects involve (1) developing remediation techniques/strategies for DNAPLs and MTBE; (2) the detection and movement of chlorinated organic pollutants through soil and groundwater; (3) understanding at the pore scale the fate and transport of viruses in saturated and unsaturated soils; (4) bioavailability in the vadose zone; and (5) the loading of chemicals from various land-uses to the receiving water bodies. Keller has fifteen years of experience in developing management strategies in the private sector which he brings to the program.


Arturo A. Keller spent 11 years in industry, both chemical and textile, designing processes to treat or reduce waste streams, before he decided to go back to school at Stanford to get his Ph.D. in environmental engineering. Now, in addition to teaching, which he loves, he spends his days "probing into the sources of pollution and what we can do about them. My current research is dedicated to understanding the movement of pollutants in the environment (air, soil and water), and how we can best reduce the likelihood of contamination, and risks -- both human and ecological -- through various management strategies," says Keller. He recently completed a study of a gasoline additive (MTBE) used to improve combustion and thus achieve air quality objectives, but which had a negative impact on water resources. The study's recommendations were presented to the legislature and governor, resulting in the banning of the additive.


  • The Bren School

Selected Publications

  • Stochastic Analysis of Transient Two-Phase Flow in Heterogeneous Media, Water Resources Research, 42, 2006, Chen, M, AA Keller, D Zhang, Z Lu and GA Zyvoloski, web link
  • Understanding parameter sensitivity and its management implications in watershed-scale water quality modeling, Water Resour. Res, 42, 2006, Zheng, Y., and A. A. Keller, web link
  • Approaches for Estimating the Margin of Safety in a Total Maximum Daily Load Calculation: Theoretical and Practical Considerations, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA. EPRI Report, 2005, Keller, AA & Y Zheng, web link
  • Free riding in Environmental Voluntary programs: the case of the U.S, EPA WasteWise program. Policy Sciences, 38, 2005, 91-106, Delmas, M, AA Keller, web link
  • Intermittent filtration of bacteria and colloids at pore and column scales, Water Resources Research, 41(9), 2005, Auset, M, AA Keller, F Brissaud, V Lazarova, web link
  • Materials Selection for Oil Spill Recovery in Marine Environments, Conference Proceedings of International Oil Spill Conference, April 2005, Orlando, FL, 2005, Broje, V & AA Keller, web link
  • Santa Barbara Coastal Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER): Nutrient concentrations in coastal streams and variations with landuse in the Carpinteria Valley, California., California and the World Ocean '02. ASCE, 2005, 811-823, Robinson, TH, A Leydecker, AA Keller, JM Melack, web link
  • Stormwater Runoff Management and Synergistic Water Quality Planning related to Proposed Major Projects in the 2004 Regional Transportation Plan, California Dept. of Transportation, Sacramento, CA, 2005, Keller, AA & D. Griset, web link
  • Determination of Impairment of a Waterbody, EPRI Report, EPRI, Keller, AA, L Cavallaro and C Ryals, web link
  • Evaluation of the Impact of and Management Strategies for Diazinon and Chlorpyrifos in Newport Bay, California and the World Ocean '02. ASCE, 1158-1163, Harrison, L, Jackson,M, Pettifor, G, Purpus, L, Splenda, J, White, S, Frew, J and AA Keller, web link

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