Dr. Kris Wammer has received the University of St. Thomas 2014 Undergraduate Research Award for Faculty. This award is given annually to one faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to supporting undergraduate research and faculty-student collaboration.
Wammer, Chemistry Department, College of Arts and Sciences, is interested in the chemical and microbiological processes that affect the fate of organic contaminants in the environment. Students in her lab are involved in several projects — all of which study potential impacts of biologically active organic compounds, such as pharmaceuticals, in natural waters. One project examines the influence of exposure to low-level concentrations of antibiotics on resistance levels in environmental bacteria. This project is in collaboration with research groups from Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota and has a significant field-based component.
Another project is focused on understanding the environmental photochemical degradation of veterinary steroids. This work is being done in collaboration with researchers at the University of Iowa, the University of Nevada Reno and Duke University.
In addition, students are studying the impacts of drinking water treatment, in particular ozonation, on macrolide antibiotics to determine if treatment results in potentially harmful byproducts.