I am interested in dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition in coastal environments. As an undergraduate I studied the impacts of crude oil on coastal sandy environments and performed petroleum hydrocarbon analysis on tar ball samples from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. I researched the degradation rates of tar balls and the ecological effects of the buried oil remains. Since then I have developed a strong interest in how DOM composition changes throughout these environments due to natural or human impacts. My current research involves using a TOC analyzer, fluorescence spec, and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to understand DOM compositional patterns in natural waters.
After conducting research in the Spencer biogeochemistry laboratory as an undergraduate and taking part in a NSF funded international research experience for students at the Soil Cryology Laboratory in Pushchino, Russia I have developed a strong interest in the mobilization and fate of permafrost carbon. As such a large and vulnerable pool of carbon my research seeks to better assess how future thaw due to climate change will impact the global carbon cycle. To do this I’m currently working at sites in Siberia examining the drivers of what makes some of this ancient carbon so biologically labile. My research encompasses a suite of techniques including radiocarbon dating, compositional measurements (absorbance, fluorescence and FT-ICR MS) and incubation studies.