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Research interests: plastic pollution, contaminant transport, physical oceanography Methods and techniques: Raman and FTIR spectroscopy, matrix cleanup, global oceanic modelling, QA/QC, analytical chemistry, polymer chemistry Current work: sources, fate, and transport of plastic pollution
The physical and chemical properties of microplastics and their environmental distributions may provide clues about their sources and inform their fate. We demonstrate the value of extensive monitoring of microplastics in an urban bay, San Francisco Bay. Surface water, fish, sediment, stormwater runoff, and treated wastewater were sampled across th...
Stormwater runoff has been suggested to be a significant pathway of microplastics to aquatic habitats; yet, few studies have quantified microplastics in stormwater. Here, we quantify and characterize urban stormwater runoff from 12 watersheds surrounding San Francisco Bay for anthropogenic debris, including microplastics. Depth-integrated samples w...
To inform mitigation strategies and understand how microplastics affect wildlife, research is focused on understanding the sources, pathways and occurrence of microplastics in the environment and in wildlife. This entails counting and characterizing microplastics in nature, which is a labor‐intensive process, particularly given the range of particl...
Microfibers, characterized as small fibers shed from textiles that are less than 5mm in size, are a prominent contaminant in the environment. Thus, it is important that we have methods to accurately quantify and characterize them, including in water, sediment, wildlife, seafood and drinking water samples. Unfortunately, their small size and the pre...
A multiyear water quality performance study of a bioretention rain garden located along a major urban transit corridor east of San Francisco Bay was conducted to assess the efficacy of bioretention rain gardens to remove pollutants. Based on data collected in three years between 2012 and 2017, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and suspended sediment...
I designed a novel method for the identification of microfibers in the environment. The method consists of two pathways that utilizes polymer-dye associations, density tests, surface morphology, and fluorescence staining.
Spatial and temporal trends in a carbon dioxide tracer in the Greater Toronto Area reveal trends in emissions and insights into the GHG emission inventory for the area.
Climate change is a major issue of our generation that requires searching beyond the individual actions of composting, recycling, and reducing water use to exploring unconventional social and political solutions. One course of action of interest is understanding the relationship between the educational systems of countries in developed nations and...
To make progress in understanding the origin of life, we require a deeper understanding of abiotic organic synthesis in geological systems. One way to obtain new information is to explore environments on the modern Earth that contain evidence of abiotic organic synthesis. Hydrothermal vents can serve as analogues of early Earth environments, and th...
The increasing presence of plastic pollution in marine ecosystems has become a major concern. In the environment, plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces of microplastics. Methods of microplastic recovery are needed to reduce the dangers they can pose to a variety of organisms. An elutriation device was manufactured and optimized to ach...
Policy documents, technical reports, pieces of legislation, viewpoints, and framework documents I have worked on to raise awareness of and inform policy regarding the issues of plastic pollution and climate change.