Alessandra Leri, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science
Ph.D., Chemistry, Princeton University, 2007
M.A., Italian, University of Virginia, 2002
B.S., Chemistry, College of William and Mary, 2000
Professor Leri is an environmental chemist who teaches courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and environmental science. Her work on natural organohalogen production has contributed to overturning the paradigmatic view of halogens as unreactive inorganic species in the environment. She maintains an active research laboratory with MMC undergraduates, conducting field studies and laboratory measurements to shed light on biological chlorination in forest ecosystems. She also studies organochlorine compounds in consumer products. Prof. Leri and her research students take frequent trips to Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island to perform X-ray absorption spectroscopic measurements at the National Synchrotron Light Source. She welcomes inquiries from students interested in molecular environmental science.
Achievements in Scholarship and Service
Science Faculty Awards
Funding will allow Dr. Leri to work on her current research project, Organochlorine in Personal Hygiene Products and Laundered Textiles. The project extends a method of analysis she developed for measuring organochlorine levels in soils and other environmental samples, as well as personal hygiene products and textiles. Based on the merit of a proposal Dr. Leri submitted to Brookhaven National Laboratory, she has been awarded “beam time” at the National Synchrotron Light Source over the next two years. With this project Dr. Leri plans to expose our students to a major research laboratory work environment to encourage them to pursue careers in scientific research.
"Quantification of Organochlorine Concentrations by X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy with Environmental and Public Health Applications," National Synchrotron Light Source Lunchtime Seminar, Brookhaven National Laboratory, October 2, 2009.
"Making Data Come to Life: Environmental Science Meets Digital Media," with Rebecca Mushtare. Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities: Teaching and Learning the Hudson Valley: Capacity Building for Place-Based Education, Vassar College, November 13, 2009.
“Halogen Cycling in Terrestrial and Marine Systems,” School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Fall Seminar Series, Queens College, December 7, 2009, Hosted by Greg O’Mullan.
“Natural Organochlorine Turnover in Terrestrial Ecosystems," Lunch Bunch Seminar, CaryInstitute of Ecosystem Studies, April 7, 2010, Hosted by Alan Berkowitz.
Other Professional Activities
Co-moderator (with Rebecca Mushtare), Environmental Science and Digital Media session at the Sixth Annual Meeting and Conference of the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities (“Teaching and Learning the Hudson Valley: Building Capacity for Place-Based Education”), Vassar College, November 13, 2009.
Participant, “Energy and the Environment,” New York University Faculty Resource Network Winter Seminar, University of the Sacred Heart, PR, January 11-15, 2010.
Faculty Advisor, Science Society.
Member, Committee on Faculty Development.
Member, Middle States Subcommittee on "The Curriculum and Co-Curriculum."
Member, Committee on Campus Security
Experimental X-ray Beamtime proposal: Total Organochlorine Concentrations in Bleached Fabric and Sanitary Products, National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2009-2011.
$900, National Synchrotron Light Source Faculty-Student Research Support Program Award, 2009
Faculty-Student Collaborations *denotes MMC undergraduate
With Laura Herren*, “Chloroperoxidase-like Activity in F. Oxysporum, a Pathogenic Plant Fungus,” Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, October 10, 2009.
With Laura Herren*, “Chloroperoxidase-like Activity in F. Oxysporum, a Pathogenic Plant Fungus,” Council on Undergraduate Research: Posters on the Hill, Washington, DC, April 13, 2010.
With Laura Anthony*, “Formation of Organochlorine By-products in Household Laundry,” Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological and Chemical Sciences, William Paterson University, April 17, 2010. 2nd-place winner in the General Chemistry category.
With Laura Herren*, “Pathways to Natural Organochlorine Formation in Decaying Plant Material: A Novel Assay,” Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological and Chemical Sciences, William Paterson University, April 17, 2010. 1st-place winner in the Ecology and Evolution category.
With Christina Galifianakis*, “Total Organochlorine in Consumer Hygiene Products,” Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological & Chemical Sciences, William Paterson Univ., April 17, 2010.
Science Faculty Awards
2007-2008 Achievements in Scholarships and Service
2008-2009 Achievements in Scholarships and Service
2009-2010 Achievements in Scholarships and Service