Markus Hilpert, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Profile Headshot


I am an expert in environmental pollutant transport working at the interface between environmental engineering, hydrology and environmental health.  Earlier in my career, my research focused on multiphase flow and emergent contaminant transport in subsurface environments. In recent years, however, my research has focused increasingly on the public health implications of environmental contamination. My research agenda now also addresses adverse health effects of electronic cigarettes, chronic volatile organic compound (VOC) releases from gas stations, and traffic-related air pollution.

Office Location: 650 West 168th Street, BB 1604

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

Administrative Titles

  • Faculty, Columbia Center for Environmental Health and Justice in Northern Manhattan
  • Research Associate, Earth Engineering Center

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MS, 1993 University of Karlsruhe
  • PhD, 1997 University of Karlsruhe

Editorial Boards

Advances in Water Resources

Honors & Awards

Editor's Highlight in Water Resources Research: New way of thinking about a classical problem in environmental and water resources engineering (2017)

Invited talk, Gordon Research Conference on Flow & Transport in Permeable Media (2012)

Award for Excellence in Manuscript Review for the Vadose Zone Journal by the Soil Science Society of America (2004)

Invited talk, Gordon Research Conference on Flow & Transport in Permeable Media (2004)

NIEHS researchers and grantees in 2021, institute leaders selected the paper “Metals from e-cigarette aerosols accumulate in the brain” to be a NIEHS paper of the year 2021. This paper was first-authored by my colleague Dr. Diane Re and myself.


Research Interests

  • Chronic disease
  • Environmental Health
  • Urban Health

Selected Publications

Peters, A., D. Hernández, M.A. Kioumourtzoglou, M.A. Johnson, S.N. Chillrud, M. Hilpert (2022). Assessing neighborhood-scale traffic from crowd-sourced traffic data: findings from an environmental justice community in the South Bronx. Environmental Science and Policy 133: 155-163.

Hilpert, M., Re, D.B., Saglimbeni, B., Strait, M., Ilievski, V., Coady, M., Talayero, M., Wilmsen, K., Chesnais, H., Balac, O., Glabonjat, R.A., Slavkovich, V., Yan, B., Graziano, J., Navas-Acien, A., Kleiman, N.J. (2021). Exposure to e-cigarette aerosol over two months induces accumulation of neurotoxic metals and alteration of essential metals in mouse brain. Environmental Research 202: 111557.

Shearston, J.A., Martinez, M.E. Y. Nunez, Hilpert, M. (2021). Social distancing policies decongest Manhattan during COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from crowd-sourced traffic congestion maps. STOTEN. DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.04.21252917. PMID: 33758882. PMCID: PMC7987041.

Hsieh, P.Y., Shearston, J.A., Hilpert, M. (2021). Benzene emissions from gas station clusters: A new framework for estimating lifetime cancer risk. Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering 19: 273–283.

Hilpert, M., Ilievski, V., Coady, M., Andrade-Gutierrez, M., Yan, B., Chillrud, S.N., Navas-Acien, A., Kleiman, N.J. (2019). A custom-built low-cost chamber for exposing rodents to e-cigarette aerosol: practical considerations. Inhalation Toxicology 31: 399-408.

Hilpert, M., Ilievski, V., Hsu, S.-Y., Rule, A.M., Olmedo, P., and Drazer, G. (2021). E-cigarette aerosol collection using converging and straight tubing sections: Physical mechanisms. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 584: 804-815.

Zhao D., Navas-Acien A., Ilievski V., Slavkovich V., Olmedo P., Adria-Mora B., Domingo-Relloso A., Aherrera A., Kleiman N.J., Rule A.M., Hilpert M. (2019). Metal concentrations in electronic cigarette aerosol: Effect of open-system and closed-system devices and power settings. Environmental Research 174: 125-134.

Hilpert, M., B. Adria-Mora, J. Ni, Ana Rule, and K. Nachman (2015). Hydrocarbon release during fuel storage and transfer at gas stations: environmental and health effects. Current Environmental Health Reports 2: 412-422. View paper

Hilpert, M., and P.N. Breysse (2014). Infiltration and evaporation of small hydrocarbon spills at gas stations. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2014.08.004 View paper

Johnson, W.P. and M. Hilpert (2013). Upscaling colloid transport and retention under unfavorable conditions: linking mass transfer to pore and grain topology. Water Resources Research. doi: 10.1002/wrcr.20433. View paper

Urban Health Activities