Biology Major Speaks at Environmental Health Conference

November 20, 2017
  • Biology major Coleman Spence '18
    Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
Senior Coleman Spence presented his work on bacterial contamination of the East River at St. Francis College.

On Saturday, November 18, 2017, Coleman Spence, a senior Biology major, delivered an oral presentation at the Environmental Health and Health of the Environment Conference at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. The conference brought together attendees from colleges throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Coleman’s talk on “Enterococcus Contamination of New York City’s East River from Combined Sewage Overflow” focused on work he has been conducting with Prof. Alessandra Leri since June. Coleman has been sampling the East River at five locations from East 71st St. to East 63rd St. under different weather conditions. He has found spikes in Enterococcus, a fecal bacterium, on wet weather days, particularly downstream of the high-output 63rd St. combined sewage overflow pipe. He is currently measuring concentrations of the nutrients nitrate and phosphate in the East River as part of his senior thesis in Biology, which he will defend in May.

Prof. Leri also presented a talk at the conference on “Organohalogens in Edible Brown Seaweeds,” work that she conducted with Biology alumnae Marisa Dunigan ’15 and Rosie Wenrich ’17.