Profile Picture of Shelby TillemaShelby Tillema, B.Sc.

Shelby Tillema is a Temporary Researcher for Dr. Bolhari. She graduated from CU Boulder in May 2021 with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering, and she plans to pursue a PhD starting in Fall 2022. Her research interests include resource recovery from waste products, emerging contaminants, sustainability and resiliency, and environmental toxicology. During her time at CU, Shelby worked as a research assistant (DLA) for the Linden lab group, researching the ability of UV LEDs to mitigate biofilm formation in irrigation drip emitters. She was part of a team who won 2nd place at the 2021 WERC Environmental Design Competition for their design of a PFAS destruction process. They proposed a thermal destruction process with the addition of calcium hydroxide using biochar derived from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Shelby also held internships in both the private and public sectors during her undergraduate education. In her free time, Shelby likes to make pottery, knit, read, and play tabletop and video games with her friends.


Profile Picture of Calvin MalkoskiCalvin Malkoski

My name is Calvin Malkoski and I am working as a research assistant for Dr. Bolhari. I have worked for the last three years for the University of Colorado Boulder at various different jobs. I worked as a teaching assistant for the Atmospheric Science Department in an introductory course helping students learn about weather, pressure and basic physics. I also was a peer mentor for the College of Engineering, leading lectures on career development and helping to plan lessons and grade projects. Since working for Dr. Bolhari I have worked on two main projects. First, I worked creating surveys that will evaluate the culture within different engineering programs. Further, I am currently working on a project modeling an aquifer in west Texas to determine parameters that will help understand the usage of groundwater in that region.



Rita Trick

Profile Picture of Rita TrickI am a Boulder Native and love the outdoors! I have a passion for protecting the great places we have left and providing sustainable solutions for less fortunate locations. I am currently working with Dr. Bolhari on publication of a series of hands on STEM projects related to fate and transport of contaminants in the environment.

Some accomplishments and passions include:

  • 2nd Place WERC PFAS Destruction Design Contest (May 2021)  
  • ​Won Freshman Engineering Projects (Dec. 2017)
  • Particularly interested in water sanitation and hygiene as well as microplastics 
  • Member of: CU Surf Club, CU Freeride, and CU Alpine Club


Former research students:

Undergraduate research assistants for microplastics study:

  • Dhiraj Shrestha
  • Geneva Gutierrez

Undergraduate research assistants for NSF-EAGER:

  • Jesse Lee
  • Maria Ochoa
  • TJ Spies
  • Austin Poole
  • Nicholas Menrique

Undergraduate faculty-mentored research students:

  • Brandon Machingura
  • Brandon Dussenbury
  • Jake Gravell
  • Mark halfman
  • Natalie Cox
  • Shelby Freeman