To help improve understanding of environmental contamination in water resources and design remediation strategies, Florida International University has launched the Center for Aquatic Chemistry and the Environment with a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology program.
FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work faculty member and chair of the department of environmental & occupational health, Dr. Marcus Cooke is part of the team behind the recent launch of this new center at FIU.
“Ultimately, the health of the environment and ecosystems impact human health,” said Dr. Marcus Cooke, researcher, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at Stempel. “To my knowledge, this proposal is the first of its kind to span from the evaluation and modeling of contaminants, up to examining the molecular toxicity mechanisms in species in close proximity to humans.”
The Center for Aquatic Chemistry and the Environment brings together students and researchers from the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, College of Engineering & Computing and the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work to tackle the challenges wrought by environmental contamination. Center researchers will focus on three key issues: 1) Developing innovative methods for detecting environmental contaminants and pollutants, 2) Determining the fate and transport of environmental contaminants, 3) Analyzing huge data sets to create predictive models for future environmental contamination and design remediation strategies.
Leveraging expertise in chemistry, biogeochemistry, hydrology, genomics, ecology, public health, ecotoxicology, computer science and engineering, researchers in the center plan to develop and implement an innovative research and education program for FIU students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.