• Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.S. University of North Carolina, Wilmington
  • B.S. Washington and Lee University


Since the beginning of my graduate career in 1993, my research interests have focused on developing methods to understand the chemistry of gases and particulates in the atmosphere and to inform their role in public health. Until 2011, this work took the form of environmental monitoring of pollutant gases, including NOx and O3, in the local community and laboratory studies of the heterogeneous chemistry of primary and secondary organic aerosols with O3. 

In 2011, a colleague asked what my thoughts were on the perception that waterpipe tobacco smoke (WTS) is safer than cigarette smoke because it is bubbled through water. This simple question marked the beginning of what has become the focus of my research program.


Once I focused my atmospheric particulate knowledge and experimental skills on waterpipe, I began serving as a consultant on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant focused on capacity building in tobacco cessation research in Romania. Since 2012, collaborators, students and myself have presented our findings at regional, national and international meetings including the American Association for Aerosol Research and The Society for Nicotine and Tobacco Research. As a result of these presentations, I was invited to participate in the First International Conference on Waterpipe Research. 

Students in my research laboratory have looked broadly at chemical composition of WTS, and now are focusing on development of methods for characterization, analysis and investigation of different constituents of WTS. These chemical characterization studies are paired with analysis of the physical properties of WTS as a function of waterpipe configuration. Learn more about our waterpipe tobacco research.

We currently have three manuscripts nearing completion on this work. In 2016, Biology Professor Karen Bernd and I were awarded an NIH Research Project Grant to support our work in investigating the physical and chemical properties of WTS and their biotoxicity. 

I have received support for my work from the National Institutes of Health; National Science Foundation; American Chemical Society; Petroleum Research Fund; Research Corporation; the Association of Colleges of the South; and the Merck Foundation.


My teaching experience includes courses on Community Air Quality, Environmental Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry, Chemical Equilibrium, Chemistry of Hookah Smoke and Instrumental Analysis.

CHE 107 Chemistry of the Environment
CHE 220 Introduction to Analytical Chemistry
CHE 320 Experimental Analytical Chemistry
CHE 321 Topics in Analytical Chemistry
CHE 325 Group Investigation in Analytical Chemistry