Predoctoral Fellow 2011-2012, Institute for Environmental Science and Policy
I am a doctoral student in the Civil and Materials Engineering Department at University of Illinois at Chicago investigating sources of pollution in Chicago-land under Dr. Karl Rockne. My research ‘Sources of contaminants in the Chicago area of influence: a multi-media analysis’ is a source apportionment analysis identifying contamination sources and quantifying their contribution to specific sites with the goal of minimizing environmental contamination risk and supporting sustainable natural resource use. As an NSF IGERT fellow in the LEAP (Landscape, Ecological, and Anthropogenic Processes) program, I am interested in applications of source apportionment to gain emissions information and target sources with control measures, and to improve resource management strategies at the receptor by estimating contaminant bioavailability, identifying weathered, degraded, and new pollution, and recognizing local, regional, and global contributions. I use a variety of multivariate source apportionment methods including Positive Matrix Factorization and Principal Component Analysis to mathematically predict sources of contaminants based on concentrations measured at the site or receptor. By analyzing multiple environmental compartments including solid media, and a large number of pollutants like hydrophobic organic contaminants accumulated in the environment and biosphere, my results have aided safe reuse of dredged sediment and bio-solids for soil poor locations, assured concerned public of local air quality protection, and helped elucidate the role of contamination in environmental processes in Chicago-land.