Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Director of Environmental Studies
I received an M. Chem degree in Chemistry from the University of Sussex, U.K. in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint program in 2006. After teaching Oceanography at Boston University for a year, I was awarded a Microbial Science Initiative postdoctoral fellowship in 2007 from Harvard University. I joined the faculty of the Chemistry department at Haverford College in July, 2009 and also contribute to the Tri-College Environmental Studies program. I enjoy working with students from all disciplines to enhance our understanding of the environment. I am particularly interested in using chemical and molecular biological approaches to examine the impact of human-derived chemicals on the World's Oceans.
My research interests are centered in the field of biogeochemistry, a multidisciplinary approach focused on understanding the chemical composition of the Earth’s biosphere. Within this broad area, my research examines the sources, sinks and cycling of organic matter. More specifically, I am interested in the persistence of human‐derived compounds in the marine environment (e.g. petroleum). My work seeks to examine how the chemical structure, physical associations and bioavailability of specific organic compounds determines their cycling and eventual fate.
My doctoral work at WHOI was advised by Dr. Timothy Eglinton and Dr. Christopher Reddy and examined the distribution, chemical associations and overall fate of marine, terrestrial and anthropogenic organic matter in marine sediments.
At Harvard University, with Dr. Peter Girguis in the department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and in collaboration with Clare Reimers at Oregon State University, I investigated how energy can be harnessed from the microbial metabolism of carbon in the ocean via microbial fuel cells placed in ocean sediments, hydrothermal vents and surface water plankton blooms.
At Haverford, our group utilizes geochemical and microbiological approaches to examine the cycling of natural and anthropogenic carbon compounds in the environment. Most recently we have been investigating the fate of petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.