Our research centers around the development of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy, with the specific objective to address environmental problems at a molecular level. The ultimate goal of the research is to be able to provide quantitative and qualitative information that can be used to understand and model complex environmental problems at larger scales. Our research falls into 4 main areas:

    • The first examines the impact of exposure on organisms in-vivoThis type of experiment keep organisms alive in the instrument allowing for real-time monitoring of changes to metabolites.
    • The second strives to understand the biochemical response of living systems to their changing environment, with the eventual aim to “interpret” the metabolic fingerprint as an indicator of environmental stress and exposure.
    • The third area deals with the development of novel NMR based approaches and techniques for the study of complex multiphase samples and mixtures in general.
    • The final places specific emphasis on the structural categories of natural organic matter (NOM) in the environment, its role in the global carbon cycle, and in the association and transport of organic contaminants and heavy metals.

Current Projects include:

    • Development of novel multiphase NMR techniques to study the interactions and structural arrangement of liquids, gels, and solids in unaltered natural samples.
    • Development of novel hyphenated NMR systems to address complex mixtures (in collaboration with numerous major companies).
    • Development on in-vivo NMR Spectroscopy to detect, understand and explain environmental stress.
    • Understanding how the cycling of carbon in the environment influences global warming and contaminant transport.
    • Understanding how and why chemicals become sequestered in the environment and are hard to remediate.
    • The preservation of infectious pathogens in soils and sediments.
    • The use of biological probes to test the toxicity of an environment.
    • Investigations as to the structure of tannins and their role in environmental processes and potential drug.

In-Vivo NMR: Bridging the Gap Between Contamination and Environmental and Human Health

Present environmental policies are based largely on apical endpoints such as death and reproduction, but providing little information on sub-lethal impacts, toxic mechanisms, or synergistic effects. Exposure to low-level contaminant mixtures is the norm rather than the exception. The medical field recently identified environmental exposure as the predominant cause of many neuro-degenerative diseases including links to heavy metals and… Read More

Environmental Metabolomics

Often, numerous environmental contaminants are found at low levels which in isolation are non-lethal but combined exhibit toxicities that are difficult to evaluate. In the long term they may be very hazardous to animal, plant and human populations, as their affects are often only detected too late, and after physical symptoms become widespread. Our research… Read More

Novel NMR Approaches

Development of Analytical Technique In environmental and analytical chemistry dealing with very complex naturally occurring mixtures is unavoidable yet there are a lack of spectroscopic approaches available or in development that can provide crucial, molecular-level information desperately required to fully understand global environmental processes. Our research specifically focuses on the development of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)… Read More

Global Carbon Cycling

We are interested in practically all aspects of the global carbon cycle. However we are especially interested in Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) in the Environment. While this fraction represents only a few percent by weight of global carbon it is responsible for over 90% of the chemistry. DOM is ubiquitous in air, oceans, soils, and… Read More