Alexander Laskin Research Group

People

The PI

Alexander Laskin

Professor of Analytical Chemistry
Ph.D. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1998
BRWN 5131B
alaskin@purdue.edu
(765) 494-5243

Bio and CV (PDF)



Graduate Students

Maria Misovich

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2022)

Email: mmisovic@purdue.edu

I am from Holland, Michigan. I got my bachelor's degree in chemistry at Michigan State University. While at MSU, I participated in research involving electrodialysis of salt solutions using polymer-coated membranes. I also participated in a summer REU at Southern Illinois University that involved electrodeposition of supercapacitor materials. I joined Dr. Laskin's group in fall 2017. My project involves analysis of iron-organic complexes by photolysis, UV-visible spectroscopy, high performance liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry. It has applications in atmospheric aerosol research.

AnaM_03-2019

Ana Morales

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2022)
(co-advised with Prof. P. Shepson)

Email: morale62@purdue.edu

Ana is from Severna Park, Maryland and received her B.S. in Chemistry from Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland in May 2017. Ana’s thesis work involves three main research topics: (1) the production and hydrolysis of organic nitrates formed from the OH-initiated oxidation of ocimene; (2) molecular-level characterization of the multi-phase photochemical reactions of Iron(III)-nitrocatechol mixtures in aqueous solutions; and (3) detailed chemical analysis of the multi-phase mixture produced during Cured-In-Place-Pipe installation procedures using mass spectrometry and spectromicroscopy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, hanging out with friends, and playing switch.

Jay M. Tomlin

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2022)
(co-advised with Prof. P. Shepson)

Email: tomlinj@purdue.edu

Jay was born and raised in Quezon City, Philippines and immigrated to the United States in 2010 where he began his path in the field of Chemistry with the help of his peers and mentors. He received his B.S. in Chemistry and minor in Physics from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey in May of 2017. His current doctoral work can be separated into two broad categories of utilizing analytical techniques to study climate relevant atmospheric processes: (1) aerosol-phase chemistry; (2) gas-phase chemistry.

The application of chemical imaging techniques to characterize the physical and chemical properties of individual atmospheric particles and understanding their origin, fate, and environmental impacts. His projects involve the analysis of field collected samples from LAG BAOMER 2018 measurement campaign in Israel, Aerosol and Cloud Experiments in the Eastern North Atlantic (ACE-ENA 2017/2018), Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ 2019), and many others. After field collection, he uses synchrotron light sources (large electron accelerators accessible at national laboratories) involving Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy coupled with Near Edge Absorption X-ray Spectra (STXM-NEXAFS) to study the chemical speciation and morphology of individual atmospheric particles. He also performs complementary analysis of particle elemental composition using a computer-controlled scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (CCSEM-EDX).

In addition to his work on spectromicroscopy techniques to analyze atmospheric particles, he also conducted multiple aircraft measurements to quantify urban greenhouse gases emissions through the mass balance approach across multiple U.S. cities including Indianapolis, New York City, Washington D.C, and Baltimore. He has also performed aircraft flux measurements of greenhouse gas exchange from local agricultures around Indianapolis to better understand the background contribution of CO2 uptake in an active biogenic layer. He has experience on inflight instrument operation on Picarro cavity ring down spectrometer, LGR NO2 analyzer, and measurements of high resolution 3D winds.

Christopher West

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2022)

Email: west158@purdue.edu

Chris is from Queens, NY. He received his B.S. in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry from Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC in May of 2016. Christopher joined the A. Laskin group in November 2017 to pursue an interest in the analytical and physical chemistry of atmospheric aerosols and brown carbon (BrC). His research is focused on the analytical separation and molecular characterization of complex atmospheric and environmental mixtures. His past and present projects include: 1) LC-PDA-HRMS analysis of BrC generated in the combustion of surrogate fossil fuel, 2) molecular-level characterization and chemical imaging of the multi-phase photochemical reactions of Iron(III)-organics in aqueous solutions, 3) separation and molecular characterization of isomeric compounds in aerosols via ion mobility spectrometry- mass spectrometry (IMS-MS) and hyphenated LC-PDA-HRMS approaches, and 4) molecular characterization/screening of household dust materials implicated in newborn-infant dust ingestion via thermal DART-HRMS. Chris recently interned with the U.S Navy at the Naval Air Warfare Station Weapon`s Division (NAWCWD) in China Lake, CA developing ambient ionization (i.e. DART) mass spectrometry methods for environmental screening of legacy PFAS in waste systems. Chris enjoys long-distance swimming, scuba diving, and watching football during his down time.

Kevin Jankowski

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2023)

Email: jankows0@purdue.edu

Kevin is from Frederick, Maryland and received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg Maryland in 2018. Kevin’s work primarily involves two topic areas: (1) chemical imaging to determine physical and chemical properties and (2) observations of ice nucleating events of atmospheric particles. Chemical imaging is performed via Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy coupled with Near Edge Absorption X-ray Spectra (STXM-NEXAFS), and computer-controlled scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (CCSEM-EDX). These techniques were performed on a variety of field campaigns such as Aerosol and Cloud Experiments in the Eastern North Atlantic (ACE-ENA), Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ) and LAG BAOMER in Israel. Ice nucleation is achieved using a custom-made setup that allows for real time observation of particles undergoing ice formation at supercooled temperatures. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, going out for a round of golf, and exploring new wines.

Kyla Siemens

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2023)

Email: ksiemens@purdue.edu

Kyla is from Winnipeg, MB, Canada and received her BSc. from Jacksonville University, FL, with a major in Chemistry and minors in Applied Mathematics and Business Management. She joined the Alexander Laskin group in 2018 to pursue her PhD in Analytical Chemistry. Her graduate work focuses on the molecular characterization of atmospheric organic aerosols, specifically brown carbon components, primarily using HPLC-PDA-HRMS analysis. Kyla's thesis projects investigate:

1) Chemical composition and optical properties of organic light-absorbing components known as brown carbon (BrC) chromophores, formed in a proxy of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosol.

2) Chemical characterization of molecular components of organic aerosol by multi-modal mass spectrometry techniques to distinguish primary and secondary organic aerosol components. Organic aerosol from wildfires in northwestern US were analyzed during the Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ) campaign as a case study of this novel technique.

3) Molecular characterization of organic aerosols produced from laboratory burning of peat, sage, grass, and ponderosa pine fuels.

In her free time Kyla likes to hike, run, garden, crochet, and cook.

Felipe Rivera-Adorno

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2024)

Email: friveraa@purdue.edu

Felipe is from Bayamon, Puerto Rico and received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus in May 2019. As a student in UPR he worked in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosol Research laboratory, where he studied the impact of backup power generators emissions on air quality during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. He now pursues a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University, where he joined Dr. Alexander Laskin’s group in November 2019. Felipe will be working on the application of spectromicroscopy techniques (SEM and STXM) to study physical properties (i.e. viscosity and diffusivity) of atmospheric aerosols, and analyze its relationship with their chemical composition.

Diego Calderon-Arrieta

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2025)

Email: calderod@purdue.edu

Diego is from Mobile, AL, where he received his B.Sc. in Chemistry at University of South Alabama in Summer 2020. As a student there, he worked on evaluating artificial sweetener contamination in Mobile Bay, a major estuary of the Gulf of Mexico. He grew fascinated by chemistry for its applications in environmental health, public health, and what role it can play in resolving environmental pollution issues. He joined Dr. Alexander Laskin’s group in November 2020, where he investigates the photolytic behavior of brown carbon chromophores emitted from biomass burning events. In his free time, Diego likes to go hiking, read, and play video games.

Emily Halpern

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2025)

Email: ehalpern@purdue.edu

Emily is from Lansdale, PA and received a dual B.S. degree in Chemistry and Forensic and Investigative Science from West Virginia University in May 2020. In August 2020, Emily joined the A. Laskin group. Her research centers on molecular characterization of complex and industrially relevant samples in the pursuit of sustainability. Emily projects include: (1) the pressure-based fractionation and structural determination of bio-oil fuel surrogates using aerosol technology and targeted reactive analysis and (2) the high-throughput DART-HRMS Screening of waste plastics contaminants and composition.

Brianna Peterson

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2026)

Email: peter734@purdue.edu

Brianna is most recently from Gillette, Wyoming and graduated with her B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from the College of William & Mary in May 2021. At William & Mary, Brianna completed research studying the impact of environmental factors on cloning in sea star larvae, before deciding chemistry was her true passion, and did a year of studying charge transfer complexes through laser spectroscopy and computational chemistry methods. Brianna is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at Purdue University and joined Dr. Alexander Laskin’s lab in November 2021. When not in the lab, she can probably be found working on a crafting project.

Steven Sharpe

Graduate Student (expected graduation 2026)

Email: sharpe22@purdue.edu

Steven is from Grinnell, IA and received a B.A. from Grinnell College where he double majored in Chemistry and Anthropology. During his undergraduate education, Steven characterized silicon-based electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries with electrochemical impedance and diffusion NMR with Professor Leslie Lyons. In Fall 2021, Steven started his PhD in Analytical Chemistry at Purdue University in Alex Laskin’s lab where he researches the atmospheric chemistry of aerosols.


Visitors

Pooja Chaudhary

Visiting Scholar from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali, SAS Nagar, Punjab, India. (12 month term)

Email: ph18078@iisermohali.ac.in

Pooja is from the village of Malewal Kandi in Punjab, India. She received her master’s in Environmental Sciences from Panjab University, Chandigarh, and is currently a graduate student under the supervision of Dr. Baerbel Sinha at IISER Mohali. She joined the Alexander Laskin research group in January 2022 for the tenure of 12 months. She has built a grided open waste burning emission inventory for India (OWBEII) for the year 2020. She has joined Alex Laskin group to work on the project ‘Investigation of Environmental Impact of Brown Carbon over the Indo-Gangetic plain’. She enjoys talking to people, learning different cultures and swimming!!


Undergraduate Students

Baylee Clore

Email: bclore@purdue.edu

Baylee is an undergraduate student from Phoenix, Arizona, majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Forensic Science. She plans to further study Forensic Toxicology while obtaining her Masters degree. She is currently working with Kyla Siemens and Pooja Chandhary in the lab. She is a part of the choral group, the Purduettes, on campus in her free time. She loves to sing, dance, paint, and write songs!

Shelby Huston

Email: huston10@purdue.edu

Shelby is an undergraduate student from Indianapolis, Indiana pursuing a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Art History with a minor in Spanish. She plans to continue her education in pursuit of a graduate degree in Art Conservation or Conservation Science and potentially begin her own research within Dr. Laskin's group. She is currently working with Brianna Peterson and Ana Morales involving the analysis of micro- and nanoplastic particles discovered in urban emissions. At Purdue, Shelby is the Co-President of the Art History Student Organization and a group leader for Brain Exercise Initiative. She likes spending her free time with friends, visiting museums, learning languages, and playing soccer.

Killian MacFeely

Email: kmacfeel@purdue.edu

Killian is from Cedar Lake, Indiana, and is currently pursuing a B.Sc. in Chemistry with the intent to continue onward to graduate school. He intends to study environmental chemistry with a focus on renewable energy and sustainable materials. He has most recently contributed to Jay Tomlin and Felipe Rivera-Adorno's work on the chemical imaging of biomass burning samples from Washington University in St. Louis. Some of his hobbies include hiking, teaching, and playing tabletop role playing games.

Erick Morgan

Email: morga208@purdue.edu

Erick is a senior undergraduate chemistry major. He works with Felipe and Jay, focusing on the visualization of atmospheric aerosols.

Alison Reed

Email: reed326@purdue.edu

I am an undergraduate student from Indianapolis, Indiana currently attending Purdue as a Chemistry major with a minor in German. I plan to study environmental chemistry in the future and begin my own research soon at the Alex Laskin lab group. I currently work with Ana Morales on her work focusing on the photolysis and hydrolysis of Brown Carbon and Brown Carbon-Iron complexes. In my spare time, I enjoy baking, swimming, and painting!

Ryan Walter

Email: rtwalter@purdue.edu

Ryan is from Zionsville, Indiana. He is a sophomore and is majoring in Chemistry in the College of Science. He joined Dr. Laskin’s group in January 2022. Currently, he is paired with Maria Misovich and is working on looking at how nitro-substituted aromatics change when exposed to sunlight. In his free time, he likes to play basketball, run, and listen to music. 


Alumni

Dr. Anusha Hettiyadura (postdoc 2018 - 2021 at Purdue), presently Senior Research Scientist, LabCorp Drug Development Company, Madison, WI.

 

Yue Zhou (visiting scholar 2019 - 2021 at Purdue), presently PhD candidate, College of Atmospheric Sciences at Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China.

 

Dr. Jianzhong Xu (visiting scholar 2018 - 2019 at Purdue), presently Senior Research Scientist, State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China.

 

Dr. Wenjun Zhang (visiting scholar 2018 - 2019 at Purdue), presently Professor at College of Environment, Hohai University, Nanjing, China.

 

Dr. Daniel Veghte (postdoc 2016 – 2018 at PNNL), presently staff scientist and manager of the SEM facility at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Dr. Swarup China (postdoc 2015 – 2018 at PNNL), presently Staff Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

Dr. Peng Lin (postdoc 2014 – 2018 at PNNL/Purdue), presently Research Scientist at California Air Resources Board (CARB), El Monte.

Dr. Bingbing Wang, (postdoc 2012-2014 at PNNL), presently Professor at Xiamen University, China

Dr. Tran Nguyen (grad student 2008-2012 from UCI, co-advised with Prof. S. Nizkorodov), presently Assistant Professor at University of California, Davis

Dr. Adam Bateman (grad student 2007-2011 from UCI, co-advised with Prof. S. Nizkorodov), presently Scientist at Lam Research Corporation, Inc.

Dr. Jeremy Cain (grad student 2007-2011 from USC, co-advised with Prof. Hai Wang), presently Research Scientist at the University of Dayton Research Institute, Ohio

Dr. Patrick J. Roach (postdoc 2009-2010, co-advised with Dr. J. Laskin at PNNL), presently Research Scientist at Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., California

Dr. Xin Yang (postdoc 2007 at PNNL), presently Professor at Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Dr. Yong Liu (postdoc 2005-2008 at PNNL), presently Associate Professor at University of Colorado, Denver.

Dr. Yury Desyaterik (postdoc 2005-2008 at PNNL), presently Research Staff at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

 

Undergraduate Alumni

 Name Class AY Fall Spring  Summer
  Darmody, Andrew  2023 AAE 2020/21 CHM 499 CHM 499 RA-NSF
2019/20   CHM 499  
  Graber, Matthew  2022 EAPS 2020/21 EAPS 497 EAPS 497  
2019/20   EAPS 497  
  Garcia, Valeria  2022 EAPS 2020/21 EAPS 497    
2019/20 EAPS 497 EAPS 497  
2018/19   EAPS 497  
  Eastock, Taylor  2021 CHM
 Lafayette College, PA
2020/21     RA-REU
  Blakeslee, Robert  2021 CHM 2020/21 CHM 499 CHM 499  
  Ryan, Jack  2021 CHM 2020/21 CHM 499 CHM 499  
2019/20   CHM 499 RA-Honors
  Varas, Matthew  2021 CHM 2020/21 CHM 499 CHM 499  
2019/20   CHM 499  
  Linn, Brittany  2021 CHM 2019/20 CHM 499    
2018/19   CHM 499