Douglas Call

Assoc Professor

  • Fitts-Woolard Hall 3179

Dr. Call is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Call is interested in biological and electrochemical processes to treat water and wastewater and recover resources from wastes. Watch a short video below to hear Dr. Call briefly explain his research focus.

Dr. Call received both his MS (2008) and PhD (2011) in Environmental Engineering from Penn State University. He continued as a postdoctoral scientist at Penn State until becoming an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University in 2012. He is currently teaching CE 373 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering, CE 378 Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology, and CE 573 Biological Principles of Environmental Engineering at NC State.


Ph.D. 2011

Environmental Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

M.S. 2008

Environmental Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

B.S. 2005

Civil Engineering

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

B.S. 2003

Environmental Sciences

University of Virginia

Research Description

Dr. Call's research focuses on technologies that recover resources from wastes and generate new resources using lower carbon footprints than conventional approaches. He has expertise in both biological and electrochemical principles. Examples of current research interests include: (1) "rewiring" anaerobic digestion to produce high-value chemicals, (2) developing hybrid microbial-material interfaces that quickly and thorougly transform aqueous contaminants, (3) desalination of brackish water using capacitive deionization (CDI), (4) improving phosphorus removal from wastewater using biological approaches, (5) using electrochemical approaches to remove and recover carbon dioxide and metals from aqueous sources, and (6) conversion of nitrogen gas into ammonium using microbial electrochemical technologies.

Honors and Awards

  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2020
  • Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology, 2019
  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award - Virginia Tech, 2019


Nitrogen Fixation and Ammonium Assimilation Pathway Expression of Geobacter sulfurreducens Changes in Response to the Anode Potential in Microbial Electrochemical Cells
Ortiz-Medina, J. F., Poole, M. R., Grunden, A. M., & Call, D. F. (2023, March 28), APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Vol. 3.
Perspective: Phosphorus monitoring must be rooted in sustainability frameworks spanning material scale to human scale
McLamore, E., Duckworth, O., Boyer, T. H., Marshall, A.-M., Call, D. F., Bhadha, J. H., & Guzman, S. (2023), WATER RESEARCH X, 19.
The challenge of non-reactive phosphorus: Mechanisms of treatment and improved recoverability using electrooxidation
Mallick, S. P., Hossain, M. S., Takshi, A., Call, D. F., & Mayer, B. K. (2023), JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, 11(5).
Improving Long-Term Anode Stability in Capacitive Deionization Using Asymmetric Electrode Mass Ratios
Algurainy, Y., & Call, D. F. (2022), ACS ES&T ENGINEERING, 2(1), 129–139.
Influence of Inoculum Type on Volatile Fatty Acid and Methane Production in Short-Term Anaerobic Food Waste Digestion Tests
Ding, H., Barlaz, M. A., de los Reyes III, F. L., & Call, D. F. (2022, December 9), ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING, Vol. 12.
Mechanisms of orthophosphate removal from water by lanthanum carbonate and other lanthanum-containing materials
Zhi, Y., Paterson, A. R., Call, D. F., Jones, J. L., Hesterberg, D., Duckworth, O. W., … Knappe, D. R. U. (2022), SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 820.
Developing microbial communities containing a high abundance of exoelectrogenic microorganisms using activated carbon granules
Cheng, Q., & Call, D. F. (2021), SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 768.
Evidence of thermophilic waste decomposition at a landfill exhibiting elevated temperature regions
De la Cruz, F. B., Cheng, Q., Call, D. F., & Barlaz, M. A. (2021), Waste Management, 124, 26–35.
Influence of natural organic matter and pH on phosphate removal by and filterable lanthanum release from lanthanum-modified bentonite
Zhi, Y., Call, D. F., Grieger, K. D., Duckworth, O. W., Jones, J. L., & Knappe, D. R. U. (2021), Water Research, 202, 117399.
Life cycle assessment of salinity gradient energy recovery using reverse electrodialysis
Mueller, K. E., Thomas, J. T., Johnson, J. X., DeCarolis, J. F., & Call, D. F. (2021), JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, 25(5), 1194–1206.

View all publications via NC State Libraries

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Biocatalyst Interactions with Gases (BIG) Collaboration
Novo Nordisk Foundation(9/01/22 - 8/31/27)
STC: Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS) Center
National Science Foundation (NSF)(10/01/21 - 9/30/26)
CAREER: Leveraging the Multifunctional Redox Properties of Pyrogenic Materials to Enable Biological Transformations of Aqueous Organic Contaminants
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/01/20 - 6/30/25)
Harnessing (bio-)electrochemical Technologies as Sustainable Sources for on Demand Precision Agriculture
Game-Changing Research Incentive Program for Plant Sciences (GRIP4PSI)(2/17/20 - 6/30/24)
Converting Textile Waste to Pumpable Slurry for Biogas Production
Environmental Research and Education Foundation(9/01/21 - 8/31/23)
Recovering High-value Acids from Anaerobic Co-digestion of Municipal Solid and Grease Interceptor Waste Using an Electrically Driven Separation Process
Environmental Research and Education Foundation(5/01/19 - 4/30/22)
An Electroactive Point-of-Use Filter for Per- and Poly Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Removal
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(10/01/19 - 8/15/21)
Electrically Assisted Sorption and Desorption of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)(5/16/18 - 5/16/21)
EAGER Electrically Driving the Microbial Conversion of Nitrogen Gas into Ammonia
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/18 - 7/31/20)
Improving the Anaerobic Treatment of Biosolids and High-Strength Waste Streams through Addition of Electrically-Conductive Particles
NCSU Water Resources Research Institute(3/01/15 - 12/31/16)