Ashley Pavia ’21, a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies, spent her summer doing marine chemistry research as part of the prestigious Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer program at Texas A&M University. The REU program, Observing the Ocean, is a highly competitive fellowship sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Ashley conducted research in the biogeochemistry of coastal environments with Dr. Yina Liu. Her project was entitled “Method development for the simultaneous extraction of emerging contaminants and dissolved organic matter in seawater.” The experience included shipboard sampling and mastery of complex lab techniques.
Ashley was a rare freshman in the program; nevertheless, she won the top prize for her final research presentation, which she delivered in a lecture hall before a panel of Texas A&M professors. The prize is a travel award to present at ASLO 2019, the major international meeting in ocean sciences, which will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this February.
Dr. Liu, Ashley’s summer research mentor, said, “She did a fabulous job in conveying complex chemistry information to a general audience. Given all I do is organic chemistry, and she has not taken any organic chemistry yet, this is extremely impressive…I am very excited for her progress and hope that her passion for science will only grow in her studies at MMC.” Ashley will continue her work in ocean sciences at MMC as part of Dr. Alessandra Leri’s environmental chemistry lab.
Please join the Department of Natural Sciences in congratulating Ashley Pavia!