"My decision to apply to the Scholars program was mainly driven by my desire to further pursue research in water chemistry. Previous research experience coupled with course work guided me toward the water chemistry field, and the Scholars program provided a great opportunity to further explore this research. Through the Scholars program I am hoping to gain further insight into the field of Environmental Engineering, as well as learn of new research opportunities and gain laboratory experience. My goals of contributing new knowledge to the scientific community and furthering my knowledge of Environmental Engineering drive my research."
My primary research interests include water chemistry, with a focus on the Everglades and phosphorus removal, as well as investigations of phosphorus removal using ion exchange resins.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Malcom Pirnie, Inc. Scholarship (2011)
- Snelling Scholarship (2010)
- Florida Bright Futures (2008)
- Broward County Athletic Scholar
Hobbies and Interests
- Running, yoga, and volleyball.
Innovative Phosphorus Removal and Recovery Strategies
The Florida Everglades has been an ecosystem of concern for more than a century. Initially an ecosystem evolved around phosphorus as a limiting factor, anthropogenic applications of phosphorus have created environmental challenges. Phosphorous-containing organic chemicals are widely used in agricultural and residential fertilizers, cattle feed and pesticides. With the application of organic phosphorous compounds through agriculture, wastewater treatment and various other anthropogenic pathways, they are released into the environment. Phosphorous is a limiting factor in eutrophication and increases turbidity and consequently decreases photosynthesis, increases malodors and reduces dissolved oxygen via algal blooms resulting in the death of water bodies. The Everglades has experienced a shift from native vegetation to invasive species, specifically the undesirable excessive growth of cattails over previously abundant sawgrass. On this basis, there is an urgent need for innovative treatment approaches for the removal of organic and inorganic phosphorus from the Everglades. The overall goal of this work is to evaluate the effectiveness of converting dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) to the more readily treatable orthophosphate (PO4) in model waters through the addition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) coupled with UV exposure. The specific objectives of this work are: (1) to evaluate the changes in DOP and PO4 concentrations after treatment with UV/H2O2; (2) to evaluate the effectiveness of UV/H2O2 for removal of natural organic matter (NOM); (3) to evaluate the effect of alkalinity, Cl-, Br-, I- and NO3- on the efficiency of transforming DOP to PO4; (4) to determine the most economical UV exposure time and H2O2 dose to transform DOP to PO4.