Growth Rates and Persistence of Fecal Bacteria in Natural Waters
Fast pH and O2 Sensor Development for Mesophotic Coral Platform
Water Quality Analysis via Satellite
Long-Term Water Quality Sampling on the Hudson River
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01

Research Interests

Mathematical models, in conjunction with high precision empirical data, can elucidate underlying patterns or mechanisms in microbial ecology.

Theoretical ecology can be used to explain microbial community organization and evolution, such as in the stratified layers of stromatolites, the oldest representation of microbial communities. In my current work, I am exploring how microbial models can be linked to fluid dynamics to predict the mortality and transport of fecal indicator bacteria in the Hudson River.

Mathematical models and remote sensing both offer cost effective methods for analyzing water quality. As a Future Investigator in Earth & Space Science & Technology (FINESST) grant recipient from NASA, I am studying optical properties throughout the Hudson River Estuary to support my future use of reflectance data captured by Landsat and Sentinel-2A/B satellites to predict fecal bacteria persistence patterns. In the Hudson River, fecal indicator bacteria concentrations are highly correlated to particle concentrations and a notable fraction of these bacteria are attached to particles. Research from my first chapter of my dissertation shows how being attached to particles increases the survival of fecal bacteria significantly. Because persistence is primarily dominated by light exposure, I am combining long-term data on water quality and optical parameters (like turbidity, secchi depth, light extinction), satellite data, and mathematical models to better predict water quality in various urban, coastal regions.

Inequality in human health and environmental exposure among racial and/or ethnic minorities and low socioeconomic status individuals is also a passion of mine in independent research. I have been studying and communicating the disproportionate effects of SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 on these groups since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more information about my research projects or other scientific involvement, please see my page or check out my science and education themed .


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Education

PhD '21 | Earth and Environmental Science | Columbia University & Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory

focus: Environmental Microbiology & Oceanography

M.A. '16 | Ecology & Evolutionary Biology | Princeton University

focus: Mathematical Biology

S.M. '14 | Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

focus: Biogeochemistry

S.B. '14 | Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences | Massachusetts Institue of Technology

focus: Geochemistry



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03

Outreach & Activism

As an earth scientist, I think it is crucial to explore the links between environmental justice and social justice. Unfortunately, it is often society's most vulnerable people who are significantly affected by environmental pollution.
New York City is full of volunteer opportunities, especially focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A few activities I am involved in include the Lamont Doherty Open House , AMNH Space-Earth Day , and Secondary School Field Research Program.

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Social Media Science

As someone who is committed to environmental and social justice issues, I strive to make more scientific information available to the public.

Often times, it is hard for the public to access information about recent scientific insights, both due to a lack of access to subscription-requiring journals and/or the language that is used within the article. On my blog, I present recent research and casual literature reviews, so people can have a more direct connection with current science. Additionally, I occassionally include other pieces about topics like social sciences, inclusivity/diversity in STEM education, science in current events, and spotlights on my research activities.

On Twitter, I take a different approach, sharing a wide-variety of scientific studies and articles about science, inequality, and/or diversity and inclusion. If you would like to stay informed via my blog or Twitter, please consider following me!



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About Me

As a PhD student at Columbia University and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, I study the dynamics of aquatic and marine microbes through empirical research, satellite data analysis, and the creation of mathematical models. My main project is on microbial water quality in the Hudson River and how the long-term ecological data from this region can be used to make a predictive model of water quality for other urban, coastal water bodies. Overall, I am interested in improving our understanding of how the complex interactions of microbes manifest in larger scale environmental conditions, in addition to linking these discoveries to practical applications.

I believe that environmental justice and social justice are tightly linked and am excited to be working in a field where I can make these connections and apply them my research. I firmly believe that it is in bringing together diverse groups of people that we are able to find new insights into classic fields of scientific inquiry.

For further information, please see my resume.

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