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Leri Research Group

Students in Prof. Leri’s research group work on a variety of topics relating to environmental chemistry. Here are some photos of students in the group through the years, and below you can find some of their research presentations and awards.

Leri Research Group Summer 2017. Left to right: Rosie Wenrich, Marjan Khan, Coleman Spence.Leri Research Group Summer 2017. Left to right: Rosie Wenrich, Marjan Khan, Coleman Spence.

Leri Research Group 2015-17. Left to right: Emma Kamen, Rosie Wenrich, Prof. Leri.Leri Research Group 2015-17. Left to right: Emma Kamen, Rosie Wenrich, Prof. Leri.

Leri Research Group 2014-15. Left to right: Katie Ness, Beatriz Morocho, Rosie Wenrich, Marisa Dunigan. Not pictured: Austin Gellis.Leri Research Group 2014-15. Left to right: Katie Ness, Beatriz Morocho, Rosie Wenrich, Marisa Dunigan. Not pictured: Austin Gellis.

Leri Research Group 2013-14. Left to right: Marisa Dunigan, Alessandra Leri, Iris Platt, Katie Ness.Leri Research Group 2013-14. Left to right: Marisa Dunigan, Alessandra Leri, Iris Platt, Katie Ness.Leri Research Group 2012-13.  Kelsey Villafuerte and Ashley Pirovano.Leri Research Group 2012-13. Kelsey Villafuerte and Ashley Pirovano.
Leri Research Group 2011-12.  Left to right: Chrissy Galifianakis, Ashley Pirovano, Olivia Miller.Leri Research Group 2011-12. Left to right: Chrissy Galifianakis, Ashley Pirovano, Olivia Miller.Leri Research Group Summer 2011: A. Leri, A. Pirovano, G. Iliopoulos, L. Herren, C. GalifianakisLeri Research Group Summer 2011: A. Leri, A. Pirovano, G. Iliopoulos, L. Herren, C. GalifianakisLeri Research Group 2010-11.  Left to right: Laura Herren, Laura Anthony, Chrissy Galifianakis, Alessandra Leri.Leri Research Group 2010-11. Left to right: Laura Herren, Laura Anthony, Chrissy Galifianakis, Alessandra Leri.Leri Research Group 2009-2010. Clockwise from top left: A. Leri, L. Herren, L. Anthony, C. Galifianakis.Leri Research Group 2009-2010. Clockwise from top left: A. Leri, L. Herren, L. Anthony, C. Galifianakis.

Selected Recent Student Presentations

  • M. Dunigan, “Antioxidant Activity in Edible Brown Seaweeds” (2015), Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological and Chemical Sciences (URS-BCS), William Paterson University.  1st-place winner in Physiology category.
  • A. Gellis, “Analysis of Arabian Sea Deep-Water Sediment Trap Particulates via Microscopy and IR Spectroscopy” (2015), URS-BCS, William Paterson University. 
  • K. Ness, “Environmentally Friendly Alternatives to Chlorine Bleaching in Laundry Applications” (2015), URS-BCS, William Paterson University. 
  • R. Wenrich, “Organic and Inorganic Composition of Different Phytoplankton Species by FT-IR Analysis” (2015), URS-BCS, William Paterson University. 
  • M. Dunigan, “Antioxidants in Various Edible Seaweeds” (2015), Honors Day, Marymount Manhattan College.  Student-Faculty Collaboration Award winner.
  • M. Dunigan, “Confounds in the Thionin-Based Assay of Chlorination Activity in Common Greenshield Lichen” (2014), Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences (URS-CBS), University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC).  1st-place winner in Biological Sciences category.
  • K. Ness, “FT-IR and X-ray Spectroscopic Analysis of Crude Oil Composition” (2014), URS-CBS, UMBC.  
  • M. Dunigan, “Chlorination Activity in the Common Greenshield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata” (2014), URS-BCS, William Paterson University. 
  • K. Ness, “ATR-FTIR Analysis of Crude Oil Composition” (2014), URS-BCS, William Paterson University.  2nd-place winner in Environmental Science category.
  • I. Platt, “Changes in Organic Composition of Phytoplankton Detritus as a Result of Oxidative Degradation” (2014), URS-BCS, William Paterson University.  2nd-place winner in Biochemistry category.
  • A. Pirovano, “The Biogeochemical Chlorine Cycle in Forest Ecosystems” (2013), URS-BCS, William Paterson University.  1st-place winner in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior category.
  • A. Pirovano, “The Biogeochemical Chlorine Cycle in Forest Ecosystems” (2013), Experimental Biology Conference, Boston, MA. Winner of the 2013 Undergraduate Student Competitive Travel Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).
  • A. Pirovano, “The Biogeochemical Chlorine Cycle in Forest Ecosystems” (2013), Honors Day, Marymount Manhattan College.  Student-Faculty Collaboration Award winner.
  • A. Pirovano, “The Biogeochemical Chlorine Cycle in Forest Ecosystems” (2012), URS-CBS, UMBC.  1st-place winner in Chemical Sciences category.
  • C. Galifianakis, “Total Organochlorine in Consumer Hygiene Products” (2011), URS-BCS, William Paterson University. 
  • L. Herren, “Pathways to Natural Organochlorine Formation in Decaying Plant Material: A Novel Assay” (2011), URS-BCS, William Paterson University.  1st-place winner in Ecology and Evolution category.
  • L. Herren, “Pathways to Natural Organochlorine Formation in Decaying Plant Material: A Novel Assay” (2011), Honors Day, Marymount Manhattan College.  Student-Faculty Collaboration Award winner.
  • L. Herren, “Pathways to Natural Organochlorine Formation in Decaying Plant Material: A Novel Assay” (2011), Experimental Biology Conference, Washington, DC. 
  • L. Anthony, “Formation of Organochlorine By-products in Household Laundry” (2010), URS-CBS, UMBC.    
  • C. Galifianakis, “Total Organochlorine in Consumer Hygiene Products” (2010), URS-CBS, UMBC.  1st-place winner in Chemical Sciences category.
  • L. Herren, “Pathways to Natural Organochlorine Formation in Decaying Plant Material: A Novel Assay” (2010), URS-CBS, UMBC.  2nd-place winner in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology category.
  • L. Anthony, “Formation of Organochlorine By-products in Household Laundry” (2010), URS-BCS, William Paterson University.  2nd-place winner in General Chemistry category.
  • C. Galifianakis, “Total Organochlorine in Consumer Hygiene Products” (2010), URS-BCS, William Paterson University. 
  • L. Herren, “Pathways to Natural Organochlorine Formation in Decaying Plant Material: A Novel Assay” (2010), URS-BCS, William Paterson University.  1st-place winner in Ecology and Evolution category.
  • L. Herren, “Chloroperoxidase-like Activity in F. oxysporum, a Pathogenic Plant Fungus” (2010), Council on Undergraduate Research: Posters on the Hill, Washington, DC.  Selected as one of 75 undergraduate presenters out of 300 applicants.

Faces of MMC

  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/816-devin-columbus-"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/src_region/156,70,452,366/6607_devin.rev.1472490807.jpg" alt="Devin Columbus " title="Devin Columbus " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “As a bio major at MMC, I was continuously challenged and encouraged by my faculty and peers. Whether I was studying, conducting research, or discussing random scientific topics after class, the bio department was like a second home throughout my college years.  The skills and knowledge I gained during this time continue to filter into my daily professional life, and the relationships I fostered remain invaluable.”</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/816-devin-columbus-">Devin Columbus </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2009, Major in <a href="/departments/natural-sciences/major-biology.php">Biology</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/815-emerson-khost-"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/src_region/144,106,767,729/6530_emerson.rev.1472490807.jpg" alt="Emerson Khost " title="Emerson Khost " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “When I was at Marymount, I worked in Dr. Aguanno’s lab for three years, during which time I designed experiments for the lab’s research project, assembled formal scientific posters presenting my data, and attended numerous professional meetings at the national level. It took me a long time to realize how unusual it was as an undergrad to have so much agency in my research, and it gave me a tremendous advantage in making the transition to grad school.”</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/815-emerson-khost-">Emerson Khost </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2013, Major in <a href="/departments/natural-sciences/major-biology.php">Biology</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/817-elizabeth-perez-"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/src_region/90,77,338,325/6538_elizabeth.rev.1472490807.jpg" alt="Elizabeth Perez " title="Elizabeth Perez " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> The successes I have experienced as a researcher since completing my biology degree at MMC in 2006 were the direct result of dedicated professors and outstanding mentorship.</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/817-elizabeth-perez-">Elizabeth Perez </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2006, Major in <a href="/departments/natural-sciences/major-biology.php">Biology</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/953-ashley-michele-pirovano"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/src_region/0,0,1349,1650/7849_pirovano.rev.1472490808.jpg" alt="Ashley Michele Pirovano" title="Ashley Michele Pirovano" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “The small class sizes and individual attention are really unique to MMC. Not only does this foster a great learning environment, but it also allows for a personal connection with the professors.”  –Ashley Pirovano, B.S. in Biology, 2013</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/953-ashley-michele-pirovano">Ashley Michele Pirovano</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2013, Major in Biology</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1540-victoria-mcilrath-"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/src_region/137,0,1917,1780/12683_drexel_photo.rev.1458251526.jpg" alt="Victoria McIlrath " title="Victoria McIlrath " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> Currently in graduate school, I am enrolled in a rigorous class in which students present published scientific literature. Because of <a href="https://www.mmm.edu/live/profiles/88-ann-aguanno" target="_blank">Dr. Ann Aguanno</a>’s senior seminar class that I completed at MMC, I have the knowledge and skill set required to understand, communicate and present the ideas and data of primary literature. My current success is a product of the exceptional teaching and guidance offered by MMC’s teaching faculty.</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1540-victoria-mcilrath-">Victoria McIlrath </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2015, Major in Biology</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1729-alice-trye"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/src_region/1,72,393,463/13853_alice.rev.1473748058.jpg" alt="Alice Trye" title="Alice Trye" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><div><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;">MMC Biology alumna Alice Trye will be attending Rutgers New Jersey Medical School starting August 2017 as part of the class of 2021. She currently works at NYU Langone Medical Center as a research associate in the Department of Pediatrics.</span></div><div><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"> </span></div><div><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;">“MMC Biology prepared me for graduate medical education with its rigorous curriculum and supportive faculty. I would not have made it this far without the education I received in the small classes. My research experience set me apart from other applicants when I was applying for jobs and med school. I look forward to continuing my journey to becoming a physician.”</span></div><div><div/></div></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1729-alice-trye">Alice Trye</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2015, Bachelor of Science in Biology</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/814-zach-barbati-"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/src_region/146,0,747,601/6728_zach.rev.1472490807.jpg" alt="Zach Barbati " title="Zach Barbati " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “My experience at Marymount Manhattan College challenged me not only to study the basic sciences in a typical linear sequence, but rather to integrate coursework in sociology, language, and philosophy into the Biology major courses. Furthermore, I felt challenged by my mentors to continually revisit foundational concepts in advanced classes, so as to reinforce key concepts that are important for developing a strong foundation in the biological sciences.”</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/814-zach-barbati-">Zach Barbati </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2010, Major in <a href="/departments/natural-sciences/major-biology.php">Biology</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1407-raymond-romano-"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/11232_romano_raymond_1508-01.rev.1472490806.jpg" alt="Raymond Romano " title="Raymond Romano " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p><em>“Few of my graduate student colleagues can say they had such a fruitful undergraduate experience compared to me. While at MMC, I was able to present seven scientific posters at regional and national conferences. I had the opportunity to participate in two academic talks, and I was also co-author of one publication on organ donation. Since leaving MMC, I have used the skills daily that were taught to me by MMC faculty, ranging from time-management, to critical thinking, and applying concepts of physiology.” </em></p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1407-raymond-romano-">Raymond Romano </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2011, Major in Biology</p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/818-kirtan-kaur-"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/src_region/16,91,1440,1516/7408_6032_kaur.rev.1472490808.jpg" alt="Kirtan Kaur " title="Kirtan Kaur " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> Today as I sit in my graduate level classes and begin my thesis research, I look back and realize how fortunate I am to have picked MMC for my biology degree.  I owe it to extraordinary faculty at MMC that have given me a strong foundation in science through patient, challenging, one-on-one teaching that I would not have found anywhere else!  MMC is a great college to attend if you want to experience rigor, opportunities and a small, close-knit science community.</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/818-kirtan-kaur-">Kirtan Kaur </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2012, Major in <a href="/departments/natural-sciences/major-biology.php">Biology</a> with Minor in <a href="/departments/natural-sciences/major-environmental-studies.php" target="_blank">Environmental Studies</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/885-olympia-gaglioti-"><img src="/live/image/gid/108/width/215/src_region/0,20,237,257/6597_olympia.rev.1472490807.jpg" alt="Olympia Gaglioti " title="Olympia Gaglioti " class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “The rigorous curriculum taught me how to study and manage my time. The small class sizes allowed me to know my professors as people, not just educators, so much so that one interviewer commented that my letter of recommendation was one of the best they’ve ever read.”</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/885-olympia-gaglioti-">Olympia Gaglioti </a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2012, Major in <a href="/departments/natural-sciences/major-biology.php">Biology</a></p></div>