Dr. Prabhakar Sharma

Dr. Prabhakar Sharma

Assistant Professor

Dr Prabhakar Sharma has been teaching a number of courses (such as Earth & Environmental Sciences, Environmental Pollution, Environmental Hydrology, Contaminant Hydrology, Waste Management, Emerging Pollutants in the Environment, and Research Methodology) at Nalanda University. Earlier, he served at the Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden as an Assistant Professor. He was involved in teaching field and groundwater modelling related courses and performed research related to CO2 and nanomaterial transport and retention. He had also worked at University of Western Ontario (Canada) and Ålbog University (Denmark) as a full time researcher and pursued his PhD dissertation from Washington State University (USA).

Teaching and research experience

Dr Prabhakar Sharma had published more than 30 high impact peer-reviewed journal articles, supervised one PhD students and more than 25 Master’s dissertation. He applied various experimental, field, and modelling techniques on studying transport and mobilization of contaminants in soil and water. At Nalanda University, he developed an Environmental Laboratory to investigate nanoparticle transport and mobilization at various physical and chemical conditions of natural soil systems. Nalanda district, which is among the major producer of food grain in the state, is highly dependent on ground water for irrigation purposes but water scarcity and over reliance on groundwater is putting enormous stress on the groundwater aquifers in this region. In order to analyze the technical viability of artificial recharge to overcome the water scarcity issue, he has been preparing a hydro-geological mapping of this region to identify the aquifer characteristics and planning to conduct long term water quality monitoring of the recharged aquifers. Recently, he has received a prestigious grant from Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research to investigate the shallow subsurface mapping through geophysical fluid-logging in order to understand the water fluctuation and its availability for community, application of artificial aquifer recharge, and agriculture practices.

Research Interests

  • Transport and retention of engineered nanoparticles in porous media.
  • Transport and leakage of CO2 gas through heterogeneous subsurface system.
  • Flowing fluid electric conductivity logging of deep borehole.
  • Colloid and colloid-facilitated contaminant transport.

Professional Services & Extra-curricular Activities

  • Editors Citations for Excellence in Review Award for an excellent service as a reviewer in 2019, Vadose Zone Journal, Soil Science Society of America Journal, USA
  • Editorial Board Member for Current Nanomaterials, Frontiers in Environmental Science; Current World Environment.
  • Reviewer of several leading journal such as Environmental Science & Technology, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Water Research, Environmental Pollution, Journal of Hydrology, Water Resources Research, etc.

Selected publications 

  • Yang, W.; Bradford, S.; Wang, Y.; Sharma, P.; Shang, J.; Li, B. 2019. Transport of biochar colloids in saturated porous media in the presence of humic substances or proteins. Environ. Pollution 246:855–863.
  • Yang, W.; Shang, J.; Sharma, P.; Li, B.; Liu, K.; Flury, M. 2019. Colloidal stability and aggregation kinetics of biochar colloids: Effects of pyrolysis temperature, cation type, and humic acid concentrations. Sci. Total Environ. 658:1306–1315.
  • Wang, Z; Taylor, S.; Sharma, P.; Flury, M. 2018. Poor extraction efficiencies of plastic nano- and microbeads from biosolids and soil. PLOS ONE 13(11): e0208009.
  • Chen, C., J. Shang, X. Zheng, K. Zhao, C. Yan, P. Sharma, and K. Liu. 2018. Effect of physicochemical factors on transport and retention of graphene oxide in saturated media. Environ. Pollution 236:168-176.
  • Yang, W., Y. Wang, J. Shang, K. Liu, P. Sharma, J. Liu, and B. Li. 2017. Antagonistic effect of humic acid and naphthalene on biochar colloids transport in saturated porous media. Chemosphere 189:556-564.
  • Yang, W., Y. Wang, P. Sharma, B. Li, K. Liu, J. Liu, M. Flury, J. Shang. 2017. Inuence of naphthalene on transport and retention of biochar colloids through saturated porous media. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 530:146-154.
  • Hedayati, M., P. Sharma, D. Katyal, and F. Fagerlund. 2016. Transport and retention of carbon-based engineered and natural nanoparticles through saturated porous media. J. Nanoparticle Res. 18(3):1–11.
  • Sharma, P., C.F. Tsang, I.T. Kukkonen, and A. Niemi. 2016. Analysis of six-year fluid electric conductivity logs to evaluate the hydraulic structure of the deep drill hole at Outokumpu, Finland. Int. J. Earth Sci. 105:1549–1562.
  • Basirat, F., P. Sharma, F. Fagerlund, and A. Niemi. 2015. Experimental and modelling investigation of CO2 flow and transport in a coupled domain of porous media and free flow. Int. J. Greenhouse Gas Control. 42:461–470.
  • Sharma, P. and F. Fagerlund. 2015. Transport of surface-modified carbon nanotubes through a soil column. J. Vis. Exp. 98, doi:10.3791/52634.
  • Sharma, P., D. Bao, and F. Fagerlund. 2014. Deposition and mobilization of functionalized multiwall carbon nanotubes under varying porous media sizes and solution chemistry. Environ. Earth Sci. 72:3025–3035.
  • Kocur, C., A. Chowdhury, N. Sakulchaicharoen, H. Boparai, K. Weber, P. Sharma, M. Krol, L. Austrins, C. Peace, B. Sleep, D.M. O’Carroll. 2014. Characterization of nZVI mobility in a field scale test, Environ. Sci. Technol. 48:2862–2869.
  • Sharma, P. and T.G. Poulsen. 2009. Gas phase dispersion in compost as a function of different water contents and air flow rates, J. Contam. Hydrol. 107:101–107.
  • Sharma, P., M. Flury and J. Zhou. 2008. Detachment of colloids from a solid surface by a moving air-water interface, J. Colloid Interface Sci. 326:143–150.
  • Sharma, P., M. Flury, and E.D. Mattson. 2008. Studying colloid transport in porous media using a geocentrifuge, Water Resour. Res. 44, W07407, doi:10.1029/2007WR006456.

Courses taught

  • EES 105 A – Environmental Pollution
  • EES 203 A – Environmental Hydrology
  • EES 301 A – Contaminant Hydrology
  • EES 302 E – Emerging Pollutant in the soil Environment
  • EES 402 A – Waste Management


  • Ph.D. in Colloid Transport and Mobilization from Washington State University, USA 
  • M.Sc. in Water Resources Engineering and Management from Stuttgart University, Germany
  • M.Tech. in Aquacultural Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • B.Tech. in Agricultural Engineering from Rajendra Agricultural University, Pusa, Samastipur, Bihar

Current Project

Aquifer characterization, artificial recharge and reuse of suddenly available water in South Bihar

ASRA (Aquifer Storage & Recovery for Sustainable Agriculture) is an aquifer recharge project, funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Australia. The objective of this project is to test a model of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) technology using seasonal floodwaters in the region of South Bihar -a drought-prone region. This model aims to recharge the subsurface aquifers. The goal of the project is to provide the opportunity to farmers of the region to raise their incomes from agriculture and allied activities, through assured irrigation from the reuse of water stored beneath the surface during draught. The proposed work primarily involves aquifer mapping, assessment of social perception about technology adoption and study of environmental risks emerging due to groundwater depletion.

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