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Khara Grieger

Assistant Professor

Extension Specialist

Environmental Health & Risk Assessment


Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

M.S. in Plant Biology and Ecology, Michigan State University

B.Sc. in Zoology from Michigan State University


Dr. Khara Grieger is currently an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Environmental Health & Risk Assessment. Her research focuses on best practices for risk assessment, risk management, and stakeholder engagement related to the governing of emerging risks and new technologies. For example, she is currently the Project Director for a USDA/NIFA-funded grant that investigates the societal implications of nanomaterials used in food and agricultural sectors. She is also the PI of a grant that aims to grow the field of risk science in the Research Triangle Park area of NC, through funding provided by the Society for Risk Analysis. Further, she is a Co-PI in a NC State-funded GRIP4PSI grant that develops new technologies for use in the sweetpotato industry in North Carolina (Williams = PI) in which she leads the stakeholder engagement efforts, and Co-PI on a NSF-funded grant that focuses on governance of climate management technologies (Borsuk = PI). She is also involved in the NSF-funded Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN) housed at NC State University (Jones = PI), a member of the Center for Human Health and Environment (Smart = PI), and Executive Committee Member in the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center at NC State. In addition to research, Dr. Grieger also serves as an external advisory board member for a large European project focused on risk governance (RiskGONE), is the US Co-Chair for a US-EU Risk Management & Control Community of Research (COR) focused on nanomaterial risks, and an External Advisory Board member for the Town of Cary, NC.

Prior to joining Applied Ecology, she served as a Senior Research Scholar in the GES Center from March 2019 through June 2020.  She also was a Senior Environmental Research Scientist at RTI International in the Health and Environmental Risk Analysis program (2012-2019), a Duke University Scholar (2017-2018), and Adjunct Professor at Meredith College (2014).

Grants & Projects

  • Grieger, K.D. (PI). Social Implication and Best Practices for Responsible Innovation of Nanotechnology in Food and Agriculture. USDA/NIFA. Funded, $499,856. July 2019-July 2021
  • Grieger, K.D. (PI). Society for Risk Analysis Strategic Plant Initiative. SRA. Funded, $20,000. September 2019 – February 2021 Grieger, K.D. (Co-PI).
  • Improving Crop Productivity and Value Through Heterogeneous Data Integration, Analytics, and Decision Support Platforms. Game-Changing Research Incentive Program. NC State University. Funded, $550,000 (Williams = PI). February 2020 – June 2023.
  • Grieger, K.D. (team member). Implications of Solar Radiation Management for Strategic Behavior and Climate Governance. NSF. Funded, $565,872 (PI=Borsuk). April 2020-March 2023.
  • Grieger, K.D. (team member). Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network. NSF. Funded $5.5M (Jones = PI). 2014-2020.
  • Grieger, K.D. (Co-PI). Game-Changing Research Incentive Program. NC State University – RTI International. Funded, $650,000 (Jones = PI). 2016-2019


  • 2018, Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN) Collaborative Award
  • 2018, HOT paper selection for Environmental Science: Nano
  • 2017, American Society of Civil Engineers State-of-the-Art Civil Engineering Award
  • 2013-2017, Highly Published Author Award, RTI International
  • 2014, 2017, Highly Cited Author Award, RTI International
  • 2014, Professional Development Award, RTI International
  • 2013, Early Career Award, RTI International
  • 2011, Best Young Scientist Prize, Integ-Risk and Society for Risk Analysis

Selected Publications

Zhi, Y., Zhang, C., Hjorth, R., Baun, A., Duckworth, O., Call, D., Knappe, D., Jones, J., Grieger, K. Emerging Lanthanum (III)-containing Materials for Phosphate Removal from Water: A Review towards Future Developments. Environment International, 145: 106115.

Huang, Y., Li, W., Gao, J., Wang, F., Yang, W., Han, L., Lin, D., Min, B., Zhi, Y., Grieger, K., Yao, J. Effect of microplastics on ecosystem function: Microbial nitrogen removal mediated by benthic macroinvertebrates. Science of the Total Environment,

Saia, S., Nelson, N., Huseth, A., Grieger, K., Reich, B., Transitioning Machine Learning from Theory to Practice in Natural Resource Management. Ecological Modeling, 435: 109257.

Kuzma, J., Grieger, K.D., Cummings, C.L., Brown, Z. S. 2020. Pandemics Call for Systems Approaches to Research and Funding. Issues in Science and Technology, May 4, 2020. Available:

Grieger, K., Jones, J.L., Hansen, S.F., Hendren, C.O., Jensen, K.A., Kuzma, J., Baun, A. 2019. What are the Key Best Practices from Nanomaterial Risk Analysis That May Be Relevant for Other Emerging Technologies? Nature Nanotechnology, 14, 998–1001, doi:10.1038/s41565-019-0572-1.

Porcari, A., Borsella, E., Benighaus, C., Grieger, K., Isigonis, P., Chakravarty, S., Kines, P., Jensen, K.A. 2019. From Risk Perception to Risk Governance in Nanotechnology: A Multi-Stakeholder Study. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 21(11), 1-19.

Grieger, K., Felgenhauer, T., Renn, O., Wiener, J., Borsuk. 2019. Emerging Risk Governance for Stratospheric Aerosol Injection as a Climate Management Technology. Environmental System and Decisions, 39(4), 371-382.

Isigonis, P., Hristozov, D., Benighaus, C., Giubilato, E., Grieger, K., Pizzol, L., Semenzin, E., Linkov, I., Zabeo, A., Marcomini, A. 2019. Risk Governance of Nanomaterials: Review of Criteria and Tools for Risk Communication, Evaluation, and Mitigation. Nanomaterials, 9(696), doi:10.3390/nano9050696

Mortensen, N.P., Johnson, L., Grieger, K., Fennell, T.R. 2019. Biological Interactions between Nanomaterials and Placental Development and Function Following Oral Exposure. Reproductive Toxicology

Grieger, K., Bossa, N., Levis, J., von Borries, K., Strader, P., Cuchicara, M., Hendren, C.O., Hansen, S.F., Jones, J. 2018. Application and Testing of Risk Screening Tools for Nanomaterial Risk Analysis. Environmental Science: Nano, 5:1844-1858.

Hjorth, R., Holden, P.A., Hansen, S.F., Colman, B.P., Grieger, K., Hendren, C.O. 2017. The Role of Alternative Testing Strategies in Environmental Risk Assessment of Engineered Nanomaterials. Environmental Science: Nano, 4:292-301


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