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Jacqueline G

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at Duke University


biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, contamination/pollution, linking science with policy, science communication


I am a biogeochemist, which means that I am interested in the intersection between biology, geology, and chemistry. I study how elements (chemistry) derived from both natural (geology) and human-derived processes move through the environment - into soil, water, the atmosphere, plants, animals, and people (biology). My research has focused on mercury pollution from coal mining and artisanal gold mining. This involves field collection of soil, water, sediment, air, leaf, and insect samples, followed by analysis in the lab. I also try to connect my research to policy, by writing popular press articles and engaging with policymakers. When I am not engaging in science research, I love to be outside. I love hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. My dog (Gaia) loves to come along too! I can also be found curling up with a good novel or playing the harp.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Are my streams healthy?

Streams are important habitats for insects, invertebrates, and fish. In this project, you can look at the physical, biological, and/or chemical characteristics of local streams to see if they are healthy or polluted.

Not all soils are created equally

Some soils are rich in nutrients, some allow water to be retained, and some have thriving invertebrate communities. Different features (such as bedrock, tree cover, and more) can influence these soil characteristics. In this project, you can compare soils found in different locations to determine how various landscape features influence soil biogeochemistry.

Coding skills


Teaching experience

I have mentored undergraduate students in lab and fieldwork. I founded a program for high school females interested in STEM and mentor students through this program. I have participated in several online mentoring programs for high school students from around the world.


Work experience

University of California Berkeley (2020 - Current)


Colgate University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2011)
biochemistry, environmental studies
Syracuse University
MS Master of Science (2014)
environmental engineering
Duke University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy

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