Christina Bauer


Christina BauerAssociate Professor of Environmental Science and Biology

Department of Biology and Environmental Science
Chester and Olive McCloskey Endowed Chair in Chemistry
3-2 Engineering Chemistry Advisor
Science & Learning Center 344

Academic History

B.S., ACS-accredited Chemistry

Ph.D., University of Arizona/Georgia Institute of Technology (Degree officially awarded from U of A)

Academic Interests

  • Metal Organic Frameworks – design and use in sustainable energy
  • Polymeric micro and nanoparticles/nano plastics
  • Upcycling materials for activated charcoal and water filtration
  • Metallic and semiconductor nanoparticles
  • Science Education – Formal and Informal
  • Lipid Nanoparticles and Vesicles
  • Bioconjugation


Professor Christina Bauer has been working in the field of polymers and nanotechnology for over 15 years. At the University of Arizona and Georgia Institute of Technology, she studied the synthesis and structure-assembly relationships of metal nanoparticles for two-photon microfabrication processes. After spending time at Ventana Medical Systems, Inc, where Bauer investigated the bioconjugation of metal and semiconductor nanoparticles (quantum dots) for use in tissue staining and fluorescence imaging for early breast cancer detection, she moved on to become a post-doctoral appointee at Sandia National Laboratories. Here, Bauer studied bio-inspired routes to the formation of silica nanoparticles in confined environments and the synthesis of novel fluorescent metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for optical and radiation sensing studies. The fields coalesced into a multi-disciplinary viewpoint of the scientific world that guides her today.

Bauer also had a variety of teaching experiences before coming to Whittier College, first serving as a guest lecturer at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. At UCLA, she was the recipient of an NSF (National Science Foundation) Discovery Corps Fellowship, entitled, “Nanomaterials: Bridging the Achievement Gap.” Here, Bauer continued research in fluorescent hybrid nanoparticle composites and the development and study of metal organic frameworks (MOFs). As part of this fellowship, demonstrations and lectures were developed and presented to community colleges and Los Angeles area high school teachers, and undergraduate transfer students from Santa Monica College were mentored. At this time, Bauer also taught General Chemistry for Chemistry and Engineering majors at UCLA. It was then that Bauer embraced just how much she enjoyed teaching and connecting the various disciplines.

Over the last 10+ years, Bauer’s interests have been moving towards sustainable energy topics. This is reflected in both research and courses focusing on alternative energy and biologically-relevant nanomaterials and nano-plastics. Focus is placed on understanding the phenomenon from an integrated science perspective and in search of potential solutions for pollution and responsible energy usage. She has designed integrated science laboratories with an environmental impact focus, while also working on inquiry and informal science education

Recent Publications

  1. “Polymer Nanocomposites for Ion Transport.” Bauer, C.A. (2021). In: Alston, M., Lambert, T.N. (eds) Energy-Sustainable Advanced Materials. Springer, Cham.
  2. “Rolling the Dice:  Modeling First- and Second- Order Reactions via Collision Theory Simulations in an Undergraduate Laboratory.” J. Iribe, M. Voegtle, T. Hamada, H. Kim, C. A. Bauer* J. Chem. Ed., 2020, 97, 3, 764–771.
  3. “Who Tagged the Bench?” L. Swanson, H. Vernon, C.A. Bauer, Science Teacher, 2018, 85 (5) pp 38-45.
  4. An Integrated, Multipart Experiment: Synthesis, Characterization, and Application of CdSe and CdS Quantum Dots for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells,” T. Hamada, H. Kim, M. Voegtle, M. Emrick, C.A. Bauer*, J. Chem. Educ., 2018, 95 (7), pp 1179–1186.
  5. “A Convenient, Bio-Inspired Approach to the Synthesis of Multi-Functional, Stable Fluorescent Silica Nanoparticles using Poly(ethylene-imine),” C.A. Bauer, * G. Chi, O.Q. Likens, S. E. Brown, Nanoscale, 2017: (9), p. 6509-6520.
  6. Control of Grafting Density and Distribution in Graft Polymers by Living Ring-Opening Metathesis Copolymerization” T-P. Lin, A. B. Chang, H-Y. Chen, A. L. Liberman-Martin, C. M. Bates,  M. J. Voegtle, C. A. Bauer, and R. H. Grubbs, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017: (139), p. 3896−3903.
  7. “Homo- and Heterometallic Luminescent 2-D Stilbene Metal-Organic Frameworks” C. A. Bauer*, S.C. Jones, T.L. Kinnibrugh, P. Tongwa, R.A. Farrell, A. Vakil, T.V. Timofeeva, V.N. Khrustalev, M.D. Allendorf, Dalton Trans., 2014: (43), p.2925-2935.
  8. Invited book chapter – “Luminescent Metal Organic Frameworks,” Metal-Organic Frameworks: Applications from Catalysis to Gas Storage, Wiley, Farrusseng, David (ed.), J.J. Perry IV, C.A. Bauer*, M.D. Allendorf*, 1st.Ed. - July 2011, Part V.