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Katherine Aubrecht

Division Head, Sustainability Studies

Associate Professor

Faculty Director, COS Major



- Cornell University

Research Topics:

chemistry education research, sustainable and green chemistry

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  • Bio/Research


    Katherine Aubrecht is a chemist whose research and teaching interests include: the development of learning materials and curricula connecting chemistry to issues of sustainability, context-based approaches in chemistry education, fostering and assessing student transfer of chemistry concepts, biodegradable and biorenewable polymers, and environmentally benign synthetic methodology. She earned a B. A. in Chemistry from Reed College and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Cornell University.

  • Publications


    Aubrecht, K. B. Teaching Relevant Climate Change Topics in Undergraduate Chemistry Courses: Motivations, Student Misconceptions, and Resources , Curr. Opin. Green Sustain. Chem.   2018,   13, 44-49. (DOI:

    Aubrecht, K. B.; Padwa, L.; Shen, X.; Bazargan, G. Development and Implementation of a Series of Laboratory Field Trips for Advanced High School Students To Connect Chemistry to Sustainability.   J. Chem. Educ.   2015,   92,   631-637. (DOI: 10.1021/ed500630f)

    Yang, R.; Su, Y. Aubrecht, K. B.; Wang, X.; Ma, H.; Grubbs, R. B.; Hsiao, B. S.; Chu, B. Thiol Functionalized Chitin Nanofibers for As(III) Adsorption.   Polymer   2015,   60, 9-17. (DOI:10.1016/j.polymer.2015.01.025)

    Yang, R.; Aubrecht, K. B.; Ma, H. Wang, R.; Grubbs, R. B.; Hsiao, B. S.; Chu, B. Thiol-modified Cellulose Nanofibrous Composite Membranes for Chromium (VI) and Lead (II) Adsorption.  Polymer 2014,  55, 1167-1176. (DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2014.01.043)

    Cai, Y.; Aubrecht, K. B.; Grubbs, R. B. Thermally-induced Changes in Amphiphilicity Drive Reversible Restructuring of Assemblies of ABC Triblock Copolymers with Statistical Polyether Blocks.  J. Am. Chem. Soc.2011, 133,  1058.(DOI: 10.1021/ja109262h)

    Robert, J. L.; Aubrecht, K. B. Ring Opening Polymerization of Lactide to Form a Biodegradable Polymer: an Organic Chemistry Laboratory.  J. Chem. Ed. 2008,  85, 258. (DOI: 10.1021/ed085p258)

    Wiberg, K. B.; Hintz, W.; Jarret, R. M.; Aubrecht, K. B. Conformational Preferences for 1,2- and 1,4- Difluorocyclohexane.  J. Org. Chem. 2005,  70, 8381. (DOI: 10.1021/jo051049w)

    Aubrecht, K. B.; Grubbs, R. B. Synthesis and Characterization of Thermoresponsive Amphiphilic Block Copolymers Incorporating a Poly(Ethylene oxide- stat-Propylene oxide) Block.  J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2005,  43, 5156. (DOI: 10.1002/pola.21007)

    Aubrecht, K. B.; Hillmyer, M. A.; Tolman, W. B. Polymerization of  D,L-Lactide by Monomeric Sn(II) Alkoxide complexes.  Macromolecules 2002,  35, 644. (DOI: 10.1021/ma011873w)

    Other Professional Activities

    ACS Committee on the Environment (CEI) Award for Incorporation of Sustainability into Chemistry Education (2016)

    With support from NSF TUES (Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science) program, developed inquiry-based learning materials and a project-based lab for three undergraduate chemistry courses that focus on sustainability.

    With support from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation’s Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences, developed a series of hands-on workshops for high school students that link chemistry content to issues of sustainability. These workshops are offered through the Institute for STEM Education at Stony Brook University.

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