PhD, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2022
Analytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, liquid chromatography.
Over the past several decades there have been increasing reports detecting pharmaceuticals, personal care products, antibiotics, insecticides, pesticides, and other industrial chemicals—collectively known as chemicals of emerging concern (CECs)—in surface waters, sediment, and aquatic life across the globe. Some CECs are known bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms and disrupt endocrine function even at trace levels (µg/L or ng/L). Our lab is interested in measuring the environmental concentration of CECs as well as tracking their time-resolved concentration changes. To this end we use solid phase microextraction (SPME) to extract and preconcentrate CECs from environmental surface water samples. SPME fibers are then used to introduce samples to gas and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometers for identification and quantification.