Baohua Gu

Baohua Gu

Corporate Fellow


Baohua Gu is a Corporate Fellow and Team Leader in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He holds a joint appointment as Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville ( He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991, and is an author of more than 250 journal publications, books or book chapters, with an H-Index of 66 (Google Scholar). His major research areas include biogeochemical transformation and transport of environmental pollutants (e.g., mercury, uranium, and emerging contaminants), soil carbon–mineral interfacial interactions and spectroscopic studies, surface enhanced Raman and nanomaterials for energy and environmental applications.


Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2016)

Fellow, Geological Society of America (GSA) (2016)

Scientist of the Year, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2014)

Director’s Award, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2013)

Scientific Research Award, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2013)

ESTCP Project of the Year Award, U.S. Department of Defense (2009)

Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar Award, U.S. State Department (2008)

R&D 100 Award, R&D Magazine (2004)

Scientific Achievement Award, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1999, 2000)


(see additional publications at

Chen, H. M.; Yang, Z.; Chu, R. K.; Tolic, N.; Liang, L.; Graham, D. E.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Gu, B., Molecular insights into Arctic soil organic matter degradation under warming. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2018, 52, 4555–4564.

Lu, X.; Gu, W.; Zhao, L.; Ul Haque, M. F.; DiSpirito, A. A.; Semrau, J. D.; Gu, B., Methylmercury uptake and degradation by methanotrophs. Science Adv. 2017, 3, e1700041.

Chen, H. M.; Johnston, R. C.; Mann, B. F.; Chu, R. K.; Tolic, N.; Parks, J. M.; Gu, B. Identification of mercury and dissolved organic matter complexes using ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry. Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2016, 4, 59-65.

Jubb, A. M., Y. Jiao, G. Eres, S. T. Retterer, and B. Gu. 2016. "Elevated gold ellipse nanoantenna dimers as sensitive and tunable surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy substrates." Nanoscale 8 (10):5641-5648.

Yang, Z., S. D. Wullschleger, L. Liang, D. E. Graham, B. Gu. Effects of warming on the degradation and production of low-molecular-weight labile organic carbon in an Arctic tundra soil. Soil Biol. Biochem., 2016. 95:202-211.

Lin, H., J. L. Morrell-Falvey, B. Rao, L. Liang, and B. Gu. Coupled mercury-cell sorption, reduction, and oxidation on methylmercury production by Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014. 48(20):11969-11976.

Hu, H.; H. Lin, W. Zheng, S. J. Tomanicek, A. Johs, X. Feng, D. A. Elias, L. Liang, B. Gu. Oxidation and methylation of dissolved elemental mercury by anaerobic bacteria. Nature Geosci., 2013. 6:751-754.

Zheng, W., H. Lin, B. F. Mann, L. Liang, and B. Gu. Oxidation of dissolved elemental mercury by thiol compounds under anoxic conditions. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013. 47:12827−12834.

Gu, B., Y. Bian, C. L. Miller, W. Dong, X. Jiang, and L. Liang. Mercury reduction and complexation by natural organic matter in anoxic environments. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2011. 108:1479-1483.

Schaefer, J. K.; Rocks, S. S.; Zheng, W.; Liang, L.; Gu, B.; Morel, F. M. M. Active transport, substrate specificity, and methylation of Hg(II) in anaerobic bacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2011. 108(21):8714-8719.

Hatab, N. A., Hsueh, C. H., Gaddis, A., Retterer, S. T. Li, J. H., Eres, G., Zhang, Z., Gu, B. Free-standing optical gold bowtie nanoantenna with variable gap size for enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Nano Letters, 2010. 10:4952-4955.

Gu, B.; Dong, W.; Liang, L.; Wall, N. A. Dissolution of technetium(IV) oxide by natural and synthetic organic ligands under both reducing and oxidizing conditions. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2011. 45:4771-4777.

Miller, C.; Southworth, G.; Brooks, S. C.; Liang, L.; Gu, B. Kinetic controls on the complexation between mercury and dissolved organic matter in a contaminated environment. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2009. 43:8548-8553.

Zhu W., Qiu X., Lancu V., Chen X., Pan H., Wang W., Dimitrijevic N., Rajh T., Meyer H. M., Paranthaman M. P., Stocks M., Weitering H., Gu B., Eres G., and Zhang Z. Bandgap narrowing of titanium oxide semiconductors by non-compensated anion-cation codoping for enhanced visible-light photoactivity. Phys. Rev. Lett., 2009. 103:226401.

Gu, B.; Ruan, C.; Wang, W. Perchlorate detection at nanomolar concentrations by surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Appl. Spectr. 2009. 63:98-102.

Wang, W.; Liang, L.; Johs, A.; Gu, B. Thin films of uniform hematite nanoparticles: controls on surface hydrophobicity and self-assembly. J. Mater. Chem. 2008, 18:5770-5775.

Gu, B. H.; Brown, G. M.; Chiang, C. C. Treatment of perchlorate-contaminated groundwater using highly selective, regenerable ion-exchange technologies. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2007, 41, 6277-6282.

Gu, B. and J. D. Coates. 2006. Perchlorate Environmental Occurrence, Interactions and Treatment, Springer, New York. (Book)


B. Gu, C. Ruan and W. Wang. 2010. Functionalized gold surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrate for rapid and ultra-sensitive detection of anionic species in the environment. (US Patent, 12,645,017).

B. Gu, D. Cole, and G. M. Brown. 2004. Destruction of perchlorate in ferric chloride and hydrochloric acid solution with control of temperature, pressure, and chemical reagents. (US Patent 6,800,203; European Patent 1507587).

B. Gu and G. M. Brown. Regeneration of anion exchange resins by catalyzed electrochemical reduction. 2002 (US Patent 6,358,396).

G. M. Brown, B. Gu, B. A. Moyer, and P. V. Bonnesen. 2002. Regeneration of anion exchange resins by sequential chemical displacement (US Patent 6,448,299).

W. Wang, B. Gu, S. T. Retterer, M. J. Doktycz. 2015. Volume-labeled nanoparticles and methods of preparation (U.S. Patent 9,011,735).

Specialized Equipment

Philips Transmission Electron Microscope Philips Transmission Electron Microscope (hi-res image)
Renishaw Raman Spectrometer Renishaw Raman Spectrometer (hi-res image)
Bruker Hyperion FTIR Spectrometer Bruker Hyperion FTIR Spectrometer (hi-res image)
Thermo ICP-MS Thermo ICP-MS (hi-res image)
Nicolet FTIR Spectrometer Nicolet FTIR Spectrometer (hi-res image)
Horiba Fluorescence Spectrometer Horiba Fluorescence Spectrometer (hi-res image)
ZetaPlus Particle Analyzer UV-vis Spectrophotometer ZetaPlus Particle Analyzer UV-vis Spectrophotometer (hi-res image)
Ultimate 3000 HPLC System Ultimate 3000 HPLC System (hi-res image)
Dionex HPLC IC System Dionex HPLC IC System (hi-res image)
Agilent GC Agilent GC (hi-res image)
Thermo IC System Thermo IC System (hi-res image)
Leco C and N Analyzer Leco C and N Analyzer (hi-res image)
Solar Simulator Solar Simulator (hi-res image)
Micromeritics BET Analyzer Micromeritics BET Analyzer (hi-res image)

User Facility