Marissa Tousley

Ph.D. Candidate, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Alfred University, 2011


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Marissa is a doctoral student, co-advised by Menachem Elimelech and Chinedum Osuji, in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses on membranes designed at the molecular level through directed assembly. The overarching goal of this work is to circumvent intrinsic limitations of traditional membrane fabrication techniques, in order to develop practical membranes for engineered osmosis and tight molecular weight cut-off, aqueous separations.

In the Elimelech lab, Marissa has investigated the surface functionalization of thin-film composite (TFC) membranes with carbon-based nanomaterials and controlled-release capsules for biofouling mitigation. Her current research focuses on engineered osmosis membranes fabricated using a directed assembly approach known as molecular layer by layer deposition (mLBL). Using mLBL, the membrane’s polyamide separation layer can be formed by sequential monomer deposition. Unlike traditional interfacial polymerization, this approach allows for covalent incorporation of polyamide on hydrophilic supports and tailoring of the active layer thickness to achieve a desired selectivity-permeability trade-off.

Information on Marissa’s research in the Osuji lab on the development of size-exclusion membranes by magnetic field directed assembly of lyotropic liquid crystalline templates can be found here.

Prior to coming to Yale for her Ph.D. studies, Marissa completed her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Beyond academics, Marissa enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors – hiking, running, and biking. She also has a passion for travel, reading novels, and exploring art exhibits.


pdfs and supporting information for group publications available on the main publications page.
  1. Feng, X., Tousley, M.E., Cowan, M.G., Wiesenauer, B.R., Nejati, S., Choo, Y., Noble, R.D., Elimelech, M., Gin, D.L., and Osuji, C.O. "Scalable Fabrication of Polymer Membranes with Vertically Aligned 1-nm Pores by Magnetic Field Directed Self-Assembly." ACS Nano, Volume 8. October 2014. pages 11977-11986.
  2. Tousley, M.E., Feng, X., Elimelech, M., and Osuji, C.O. "Aligned Nanostructured Polymers by Magnetic Field Directed Self-Assembly of a Polymerizable Lyotropic Mesophase." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Volume 6. September 2014. pages 19710-19717.
  3. Perreault, F., Tousley, M.E., and Elimelech, M. "Thin-Film Composite Polyamide Membranes Functionalized with Biocidal Graphene Oxide Nanosheets", Environmental Science & Technology Letters, Volume 1, December 2013, pages 71-76.
  4. Zodrow, K.R., Tousley, M.E., and Elimelech, M.. "Mitigating biofouling on thin-film composite polyamide membranes using a controlled-release platform", Journal of Membrane Science, Volume 453, March 2014, pages 84-91.
  5. Tousley, M.E., Wren, A.W., Towler, M.R., Mellott, N.P., “Proceccing, Characterization, and Bactericidal Activity of Undoped and Silver-Doped Vanadium Oxides”, Materials Chemistry and Physics, Volume 137, December 2012, pages 596-603.
  6. Nguyen, B.N., Meador, M.A.B., Tousley, M.E., Shonkwiler, B., McCorkle, L., Scheiman, D.A., Palczer, A., “Tailoring Elastic Properties of Silica Aerogels Cross- Linked with Polystyrene”, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Volume 1, February 2009, pages 621-630.