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#UrsinusSummer: Illuminating Scientific Research

Julia Dorscheimer ’19 and Reid Luksic ’19 have been spending their summer in a lab alongside their mentor, Ryan Walvoord, an assistant professor of chemistry. Their mission?  Hunt for triazines.



Faculty Mentor: Ryan Walvoord, Chemistry

Triazines can be harmful to the environment, animals and humans and are often found in herbicides and pesticides. To seek them out, the Summer Fellows are using photo-induced electron transfer (PET) quenching, which helps them detect specific molecular compounds. 

“It’s basically reacting an analyte with a chemical probe to be able to detect the change in optical properties,” Luksic says of the research technique. 

Using these fluorescent probes, the research partners detect the triazines. The pair got started in this research after both expressing an interest in organic chemistry in their classes and realizing they wanted to further their knowledge by doing research over the summer. It’s something they hope to continue during the fall semester.