Chair / Professor, Chemistry
- Analytical Chemistry, Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, Atmospheric Chemistry and Particulate Matter, Renewable Materials
- Adjunct Professor, Chemical Engineering
My area of research is analytical chemistry (primarily chromatography & mass spectrometry) – specifically focusing on analysis of complex mixtures in real-world matrices. Our work focuses on method development and optimization, ensuring sensitivity and accounting for the contribution of matrix effects, as well as mechanistic aspects.
The developed analytical methods target:
- Biomass utilization and sustainable use (replacement of petrochemicals with renewable materials)
- Atmospheric chemistry, especially detailed speciation of organics within particular matter
- Characterization of biologically active species (relevant to medical applications).
I find exciting that these research areas, while being diverse and covering a wide range of applications, are intertwined. That is biomass processing, either natural or industrial, is one of the main sources of air particulate matter, at the same time particulate matter is known and has been investigated for detrimental health effects and, finally, plant components are often used as natural sources of medical drugs. Most recently, my research interests broadened from natural biopolymers (lignin) to polymeric materials in general.
As a result of this work, I have developed multiple interdisciplinary collaborations with engineers, chemists, physicists and toxicologists to look into various pertinent aspects and phenomena. The specific projects include triacylglyceride cracking, lignin biological and thermal transformation, and determination of chemical reactions leading to the secondary atmospheric aerosol formation.
2018 Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, UND
2015 UND Foundation/B.C. Gamble Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research or Creative Activity, and Service
2014 UND Foundation Thomas J. Clifford Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Research.
2013 ND Spirit Faculty Achievement Awards 2013 to recognize significant contributions by faculty in teaching, research and service, College of Arts & Sciences.
2010 ND Spirit Faculty Achievement Award in recognition of significant contributions in teaching, research, and service, College of Arts & Sciences.
2007 Nominated by Presidential Scholar(s) as a one of UND’s “faculty stars) (e.g., faculty who influenced students by her/his teaching.
2001 Award for outstanding presentation, AOCS 2001 Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1999 Best poster award at the Session Atmospheric Aerosols of the 6th Scientific Conference of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project, Bologna, Italy.
1996 Award from Czech Ministry of Education and Sport, “Talent 1996,” for work carried out during participation on the project “Biodegradation of PCBs by white rot fungi.”
Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, Analytical Chemistry B.S./M.S. 1994
Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, Analytical Chemistry Ph.D. 1997
University of Antwerp, Belgium, Mass Spectrometry of Aerosols, Postdoc 1998–1999
University of North Dakota (UND), EERC, Environmental Analysis, Postdoc 2000–2002