Faculty Directory
Ludmilla Aristilde

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (beginning July 1, 2019)


2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

Email Ludmilla Aristilde



Civil and Environmental Engineering

Chemical and Biological Engineering


Postdoc, Geosciences and Metabolomics, Princeton University

Ph.D., Molecular Toxicology, University of California-Berkeley

M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California-Berkeley

B.S., Science of Earth Systems, Cornell University

B.F.A., Fine Arts, Cornell University


Ludmilla Aristilde grew up in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. After emigrating to the U.S., Aristilde enjoyed studying her two passions, art and environmental science, at Cornell University where she completed a dual-degree program with a B.F.A. in Fine Arts and a B.S. in Science of Earth System. Following internships in India and in Peru in environmental pollution, she pursued graduate studies at the University of California-Berkeley and worked on the environmental chemistry and toxicology of veterinary antibiotics. For her postdoctoral work after her PhD, she first went to Grenoble (France) as an American Fulbright scholar to study different spectroscopic techniques to investigate organo-mineral interactions. After France, she spent three years as a NSF postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University learning how to use molecular biology tools to tackle problems at the interface of environmental chemistry and biological processes. After Princeton, Dr Aristilde started her faculty career at Cornell University (Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering) where she started as an Assistant Professor in  2012 and then promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2018.

Research Interests

Aristilde’s areas of expertise are in the combined application of experimental and computational tools in chemistry and biochemistry to gain novel molecular insights underlying the dynamics of organics in environmental systems. The goal of the Aristilde Group is to obtain a fundamental understanding of the “why” and “how” of the environmental behavior of biologically-active organic molecules, with implications for ecosystem health, agricultural productivity, and biotechnology. Her group seeks to figure out the mechanisms responsible for the physical and biological fate of these molecules. The current research activities of her group are focused on (i) the physical chemistry of organic contaminants in environmental matrices, (ii) cellular carbon metabolism of organic substrates in environmental bacteria, (iii) catalytic dynamics of nutrient-cycling extracellular enzymes, (iv) molecular ecotoxicological targets of organic contaminants.

Selected Publications

    • Wilkes R.A., Mendonca C., Aristilde L. (2019) A cyclic metabolic network in Pseudomonas protegens Pf-5 prioritizes the Entner-Doudoroth pathway and exhibits substrate hierarchy for carbohydrate co-utilization, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 85:e02084-18.
    • Wushensky J. A., Youngster T., Mendonca C.M., Aristilde L. (2018) Flux connections between gluconate pathway, glycolysis, and pentose-phosphate pathway during carbohydrate metabolism in Bacillus megaterium Frontiers in Microbiology, 9:2789.
    • Barzen-Hanson K., *Wilkes R.A., Aristilde L. (2018) Quantitation of carbohydrate monomers and dimers using liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry. Carbohydrate Research, 468, 30-35.
    • Richards B., Pacenka S., Meyer M., Dietze J., Schatz A., Teuffer K., Aristilde L., Steenhuis T. (2018). Antecedent and post-application rain events trigger glyphosate transport from runoff-prone soils. Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 5, 249-254.
    • Okaikue-Woodi F.E.K., Kelch S.E., Schmidt M.P., Martinez C.E., Youngman R.E., Aristilde L. (2018). Structures and mechanisms in clay nanopore trapping of structurally-different fluoroquinolone antimicrobials. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 15, 695-701. [Featured on the Issue Cover]
    • Aristilde L., Guzman J., Klein A.R.., Balkind R. (2017). Compound-specific short-chain carboxylic acid identified in a peat dissolved organic matter using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Organic Geochemistry, 111: 9-12.
    • Aristilde L., Reed M.L., Kukurugya M.A., Katz V., Youngster T., Wilkes R., Sasaki C. (2017). Glyphosate-induced specific and widespread perturbations in the metabolome of soil Pseudomonas Frontiers in Environmental Science, 5: 34.
    • Aristilde L., Galdi S.M., Kelch S.E., Aoki T.G. (2017). Sugar-influenced water diffusion, interaction, and retention probed by theoretical simulations and experimental spectroscopies. Advances in Water Resources, 106, 24-38.
    • Aristilde L. (2017). Metabolite labelling reveals hierarchies in Clostridium acetobutylicum that channel carbons from sugar mixtures towards biofuel precursors. Microbial Biotechnology,10, 162-174.
    • Pochodylo A.L, Aoki T.G., Aristilde L. 2016. Adsorption mechanisms of microcystin variant conformations at water-mineral interfaces: A molecular modeling investigation. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 480, 166-174.
    • Sasnow S.S., Wei H., Aristilde L. (2015). Bypasses in intracellular glucose metabolism in iron-limited Pseudomonas putida. MicrobiologyOpen, 5, 3-20.  
    • Wei H., Aristilde L. (2015). Structural characterization of multiple pyoverdines secreted by two big Pseudomonas strains using liquid chromatography-high resolution tandem mass spectrometry with varying dissociation energies. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 407, 4629-4638.