Dr. Jorge Gardea-Torresdey
Background and Research Interests
Dr. Jorge Gardea-Torresdey is the Richard Dudley Professor of Environmental Science & Engineering and Professor of Chemistry at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
Dr. Gardea-Torresdey joined UTEP in January of 1994. Within two years of joining UTEP as a faculty member, he became the Director of the Environmental Science and Engineering PhD Program, an administrative position he held until 2003. In 2001, he became Chair of the Chemistry Department at UTEP. For 17 years, he guided the growth of the department, both in research and in the expansion of program offerings. The addition of a Biochemistry BS, a Chemistry PhD degree, and a new state-of-the-art building are examples of his leadership efforts.
Dr. Gardea-Torresdey’s research group was recognized as the first to discover the production of gold and silver nanoparticles in biological systems (Gardea-Torresdey, J.L. et al. (2002) Nano Lett 2/4 (397-401); Gardea-Torresdey J.L., et, al. (2003). Langmuir 19(4), 1357-1367)). This discovery has been highlighted by important organizations including Nature and the Lawrence Hall of Science of the University of California Berkeley, among others.
Dr. Gardea-Torresdey is a world leader in environmental nanotechnology and is a key investigator who has authored over 500 publications; he has received five US patents for projects in environmental remediation. He has been the UTEP PI of three major multi-institution research centers on nanotechnology: (1) the $48,000,000 NSF University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN, UCLA, leading institution; Dr. Andre Nel, Center PI), (2) the $18,500,000 NSF ERC Center for Off-Grid Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT, Rice University, leading institution; Dr. Pedro Alvarez, Center PI), and (3) the $480,000 USDA Center to Enhance Micronutrient Use Efficiency and Increase Crop Yield using nanotechnology (Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station, leading institution; Dr. Jason White, Center PI).The scientific contributions of Dr. Gardea-Torresdey have allowed him to receive many honors throughout his professional life. Among other awards, he has received the UTEP’s Graduate Mentor Award (2016), the 2009 SACNAS Distinguished Scientist of the Year Award, and the 2012 Piper Professor Award, which is one of the most prestigious honors conferred to a professor in the State of Texas. Very recently, Dr. Gardea-Torresdey received the distinguished 2018 University of Texas System’s STARs Retention Award, which is perhaps the highest honor conferred to a faculty member in the University of Texas System.
Dr. Gardea-Torresdey has a strong record of teaching and training undergraduate and graduate students. He has graduated 46 PhD Students (34 in Environmental Science and Engineering, 11 in Chemistry and 1 in Material Science & Engineering) and 37 students have received their M.Sc. degrees under his mentorship. Moreover, he has mentored more than 35 undergraduate students in research. Dr. Gardea-Torresdey has graduated more PhD students in STEM fields than any professor in UTEP's history. His experience mentoring women and underrepresented minorities, particularly Hispanics, has been an ideal fit for UTEP’s mission as one of the largest minority serving universities in the continental US.
Aside from his prestigious academic achievements, Dr. Gardea-Torresdey has been deeply involved in the scientific publishing business for over a decade. He began his career in this field as an Editor of the Journal of Hazardous Materials from 2007 to 2010. In January 1, 2011 he was appointed Associate Editor of Environmental Science &Technology, which is ranked # 1 in the world in the fields of Environmental Sciences and Environmental Engineering. He still holds this position and is known internally for his uncanny ability to pick articles that will be of great interest to the general public.
In 2018, Dr. Gardea-Torresdey and Dr. White published a paper in Nature Nanotechnology wherein the problem of future food security was outlined (White, J. C., Gardea-Torresdey, J. L. 2018. Nature Nanotechnology 13, 621-629). With a projected global population of 9.7 billion by 2050, agricultural production will need to increase by up to 60 percent. His findings on the application of nanotechnology in agriculture and water treatment has the potential to contribute to address this significant challenge. Therefore, his efforts have made a significant contribution to society.
Equally important, Dr. Gardea-Torresdey’s impact in his students’ lives is his most cherished accomplishment. Through his help and careful mentoring he has positively impacted the lives of many underrepresented minorities and women in STEM. He is extremely proud and humbled by his students’ success and their accomplishments in their respective fields. He maintains contact with many of his former students and welcomes news of their endeavors.
Awards and Activities
2022 Dr. Gardea wins the College of Science Best Dissertation Faculty Mentoring Award.
2022 Named among world's most highly cited researchers 2022 by Clarivate Analytics.
2021 Named among world's most highly cited researchers 2021 by Clarivate Analytics.
2020 Named among world's most highly cited researchers 2020 by Clarivate Analytics.
2019 Named among world's most highly cited researchers 2019 by Clarivate Analytics.
2019 Appointed Honorary Professor at Zhejiang University of Technology, China, June 2019.
2018 Named among world's most highly cited researchers 2018 by Clarivate Analytics.
2018 University of Texas System’s STARs Retention Award.
2018 Dr. Gardea's grant and former
2018 Member of the UT System and CONACyT (
2018 Featured in the editorial page by the editor of the Renowned Scientific Journal Nature Nanotechnology in the August 2018 issue.
2018 March. Highlighted in the documentary on water treatment on the U.S.-Mexico border presented by Telemundo, which is one of the
2017 Dr. Gardea was recognized by the Government of Mexico (CONACYT) for his outstanding career as a researcher and his valuable scientific contributions to nanotechnology (Oct. 26, 2017. Saltillo, Mexico).
2017 Great Minds in STEM Award (Oct. 20, 2017. Pasadena, California).
2016-2019. Editorial Board, Science of the Total Environment.
2016 Awarded the title of Honorary Professor at Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, September 2016.
2016 Recipient of the First Ever UTEP Graduate Mentor Award in UTEP history.
2015 Outstanding Performance Award for outstanding efforts in securing extramural funding, Office of Research and Sponsored Projects.
2015 Mentor Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation, UTEP Honors Convocation.
2015 New Mexico State University Distinguished Alumni Award.
2014 UTEP Award for Outstanding Efforts in Securing Extramural Funding.
2014 Mentor Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation, UTEP Honors Convocation 2013 Excellence in Research Mentorship Award, UTEP, College of Science.
2013 June 19. Awarded the title of Honorary Professor, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
2012 Piper Professor Award, this is the most distinguished Award for a Professor in the State of Texas.
2012 UTEP College of Science Distinguished Teaching Award.
2011 UTEP Green Chemistry Award.
2011 UTEP College of Science Distinguished Teaching Award.
2011 September 1-through 2016 August 31. Reappointed to the Richard M and Francis M Dudley Endowed Chair for a full five-year appointment.
2011-present. Associate Editor for North America, Environmental Science
2007-2010. Editor of the Journal of Hazardous Materials.
2009 Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Distinguished Scientist Award.
2008 Environmental Science and Technology Excellence in Review Award.
2006 September 1-through 2011 August 31. Reappointed to the Richard M and Francis M Dudley Endowed Chair for a full five-year appointment.
The “Chromium Symposium” organized by Dr. Gardea-Torresdey at the 233rd ACS National Meeting makes the cover page of the journal Chemical & Engineering News.
Editorial Advisory Board of Environmental Science and Technology, January 2007-August 2011. This board also advises the US government on issues related to Environmental Science and Technology.
Editorial Board, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, January 2003-2006, Reappointed 2007-2010.
Guest Editor-in-Chief, Microchemical Journal, Special Issue on “Applications of X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy,” published April 2002.
Editorial Board, Advances in Environmental Research, January 2002-2005.
Editorial Board, Journal of Hazardous Materials, June 2001-2011.
Editorial Board, Applied Spectroscopy Reviews, May 2001-present.
Editorial Board, Scientiae Naturae, November 2001-present.
Editorial Board, Microchemical Journal, May 2000-present.
Highlighted in the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California –Berkeley, June 2004-present (for my research in Nanobiotechnology). Research Hall on nanotechnology (Nano Zone).
Recipient of the prestigious 2004 Benedetti-Pichler Award given by the American Microchemical Society for contributions to microchemistry.
Research highlighted by the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Fall 2003.
Research highlighted by the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences in the 2005 Budget request to US Congress of 2 billion dollars.
Exceptional Leadership Award presented by the students of UTEP-Environmental Science and Engineering Ph.D. Program 2003.
Outstanding Award, Border Environment in the Paso del Norte Region, 2002.
Dudley Endowed Chair Awarded at University of Texas at El Paso, January 2001.
2001 University of Texas at El Paso Distinguished Achievement Award for Research, (Most Prestigious Award Given to a Faculty Member).
Chairman, Rio Grande Valley Section of the American Chemical Society, 1998.
Outstanding Achievement in Teaching, Presented by the UTEP ACS Student Affiliates, 1998.
Nominated to be in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology,
Sigma Xi Research Society Award, 1987.
Award for Outstanding Performance from the President of Mexico, Mexico City, 1980.
(Selected as one of the most outstanding graduating seniors in Chemical Engineering from all Mexican Universities).