UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine - Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology - Aquatic Health Program - UC Davis Pharmacology & Toxicology
I am currently entering my third year of graduate school in the Pharmacology & Toxicology program at UC Davis. My research looks at the impact of contaminants on phytoplankton and cyanobacteria in the San Francisco Estuary. As a part of the UC Davis Aquatic Health Program and a Delta Science Fellow, one of my goals is to contribute to the scientific knowledge on contaminants in California’s Bay-Delta system so that we can better manage our water resources for the future.
I’ve always wanted to combine my love for biology and chemistry, while also working on solving problems that impact human and environmental health. As an undergraduate at UC Davis, I first worked in an air quality research lab doing FTIR spectroscopy of particulate matter. I loved working with the instrument, and also getting to see the other equipment in the lab that analyzed chemical composition of what people were breathing from places all around the US. I also started to volunteer for a drought study looking at blooms of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in the San Francisco Estuary being run by the Aquatic Health Program and the Department of Water Resources. This led to my fascination with algae and their role in ecosystem health as climate changes and waterways become increasingly impacted by human activities. I graduated from UC Davis in 2016 with a B.S. in environmental toxicology with an emphasis in aquatic toxicology and environmental chemistry.
When I returned to graduate school at UC Davis, I was excited to continue helping with projects dealing with the health impacts of contaminants in aquatic ecosystems. As always, I also enjoyed lab work with a variety of equipment and procedures. I further developed my analytical chemistry skills in GC and LC systems, as well as got to return to FTIR spectroscopy doing analysis of plastic in recycled carpet material at UC Berkeley’s Advanced Light Source. I am grateful to be able to continue working on projects in environmental health.