Postdoctoral Research Fellow/PRISM Mentor
Areas of Expertise: Analytical and environmental chemistry
My journey in becoming a scientist started in high school when I volunteered at local Home Health Hospital assisting men, women, and children suffering with HIV/AIDS. I became interested in understanding how a virus could trigger a systematic mechanism, leading to damage or even death. I majored in biochemistry at Xavier University of Louisiana in order to understand the complex mechanisms of biological organisms. My goal was to one-day help to find a cure for deadly pathogens that affect humanity.
A key experience in my life, which altered my research career objectives, was the 2010 Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill that occurred on the United States Gulf Coast. As a native of the Louisiana Gulf Coast, my community received significant damage from several disasters. I decided to pursue research that could potentially aid in the recovery and remediation of this region and focused one area of my dissertation work at the University of Mississippi on investigating the impact of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. I utilized my knowledge of mercury speciation in water to investigate the impact of the oil spill on the speciation of mercury in the Mississippi Coast waters and also its effect on the seasonal hypoxia events in the Gulf waters. My work yielded a much needed speciation profile of mercury in the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently, I am continuing my research on the biogeochemical cycling of mercury by serving as a Postdoctoral Research Mentor for PRISM in Dr. Anthony Carpi’s laboratory in the Department of Sciences. My work in his lab includes studying the mechanisms of reduction and subsequent emission of mercury from environmental surfaces such as soils. Through my work, I endeavor to solve environmental problems through analytical chemistry and inspire young scientist curiosity in environmental research.