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Alessandra Leri

  • Prof. Leri at the Musée Curie, Paris


Professor of Chemistry


Natural Sciences






Alessandra Leri teaches courses in organic chemistry, general chemistry, and environmental science. She originated a freshman seminar on the urban ecosystem and coordinates the program in Environmental Studies. Prof. Leri’s research interests include organic geochemistry, urban environmental science, and chemical education. Her work in organic geochemistry has helped to overturn the long-established paradigm of halogens as unreactive inorganic elements in terrestrial and marine environments.

Prof. Leri’s research group, composed entirely of MMC undergraduates, is actively working on a variety of projects, including bacterial analysis of NYC sidewalks and playground sandboxes, geochemistry of peat cores (which are important global reservoirs of carbon), and chemical composition of recyclable plastics. She has brought many students to the synchrotron facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island for experimental “beamtimes.” Her students have presented their results at various undergraduate research symposia and earned an impressive list of accolades.


Ph.D., Chemistry, Princeton University (NSF Graduate Research Fellow)

M.A., Italian, University of Virginia

B.S., Chemistry, magna cum laude, College of William and Mary

Recent Work

* denotes MMC undergraduate co-author


General Chemistry I-II and associated labs 

Organic Chemistry I-II and associated labs

Chemistry and the Environment

Energy and Climate Change

Environmental Science

Environmental Science with an Ethical Perspective

New York City: The Urban Ecosystem (freshman seminar)

Senior Seminar 

Professional Experience

Peer Reviewing

  • Journals: Biogeosciences, Chemosphere, Continental Shelf Research, Environmental Science and Technology, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Science of the Total Environment

  • Funding Agencies: Czech Science Foundation, Department of Energy-Biological and Environmental Research, National Science Foundation

  • Synchrotron Facilities:  Canadian Light Source, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light Source 

Recent Service to MMC

  • Coordinator, Environmental Studies Program, 2014-present
  • Departmental Website Coordinator, 2013-present
  • Liaison to the Environmental Consortium of Colleges and Universities, 2015-present
  • Member, Academic Standing Committee, 2010-present
  • Member, Barry Commoner Lecture Series Committee, 2010-present
  • Member, Committee on Promotion and Tenure, 2016-2018, 2019-2020
  • Member, Honors Day Committee, 2016-2018
  • Faculty Advisor, GoGreen Coalition, 2008-2009, 2014-2018
  • Faculty Advisor, Science Society, 2008-2011, 2014-2015, 2020-present


Carson Hall, Room 603