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Current Professional and Scholarly Interests

My expertise lies in the field of Organic Geochemistry. One goal of our research group is to address questions about the composition of organic matter in coastal systems. Throughout geologic time, the transfer of carbon from the atmosphere to the geosphere by organic matter fixation has played a significant role in atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen levels, and hence, has affected the Earth’s climate. A main route of transfer of carbon from the atmosphere to the geosphere is by river discharge of terrestrial organic matter to coastal systems. So, we try to better understand the composition, flux, and fate of the types of organic molecules transported by rivers and buried in coastal environments.

We are also interested in investigating the fate and transport of organic contaminants in the ecosystem. Many of the organic contaminants we investigate are endocrine disruptors or toxic and hence their presence in the environment constitutes an ecological risk. Our research group tries to figure out where such chemicals come from and how long they persist in the environment. With that information, environmental resource managers can properly evaluate how to deal with these deleterious chemicals.