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Dr. Cielito Tammy King

Dr. Cielito Tammy King
Professor of Chemical Sciences
Mohler-Faria Science and Mathematics Center, Room 405

BS, University of the Philippines
PhD, University of Cincinnati

Dr. King's research involves the detection and quantification of trace-levels of environmental contaminants and pollutants. Recent projects include the isolation and identification of microplastics in beach sediment and marine animals, and the study of the extent of contamination of soil with arsenic leaching from in-service pressure treated lumber such as play structures, picnic tables, decks and fences. A majority of microplastics come from the breakdown of larger plastic materials and are considered an emerging contaminant with the potential to negatively impact marine animals and human health. They have been discovered in the guts of fish and have shown by some studies to cause muscular and reproductive damage. In addition, due to their hydrophobic nature, microplastics have the potential to attract organic pollutants in water. Isolation and detection of microplastics from marine environments and animals are particularly challenging because there is no standard method that exists to date. Dr. King's research group is looking into a combination of techniques such as detection via fluorescence with Nile Red, imaging with IR microscopy followed by identification using FTIR spectroscopy.

Area of Expertise

Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemical Analysis