I'm a postdoctoral reearcher and working in Dr. Timothy Long's Center for Sustainable Macromolecular Material and Manufacturing, within the Biodesign Institute. Here, I work in the field of sustainable polymers and the creation of a circular economy as it relates to plastics, specifically on making medical or lab-based plastic items more sustainable. In the past, I worked on marine and aquatic microplastics which have emerged as a major source of concern within many ecosystems and environments. Their identification, fate, and impact are only now starting to be understood and we have developed several analytical tools to help improve upon this. We collaborated with ASU's Fulton School of Engineering on several projects pertaining to microplastics, as well as with many groups around the world. We have studied plastic pollution in several ways, ranging from contact lens pollution to creating a method to detect microplastics in our own tissues and organs.
I have also worked for several years on using non-invasive research methods to collect species health information. This includes fecal samples from wild species such as killer whales. Through this information, we can gather all kinds of knowledge pertaining to hormonal activity in the realm of stress, reproduction, and overall species health.
I have been a teacher for over eight years and actively participate in science outreach programs aimed at empowering budding scientists from elementary school to high school to ensure equal representation in STEM.
Sustainable polymers, recycling, microplastic pollution, Raman spectroscopy, public outreach, marine biology