Melissa grew up on the beautiful island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean. She left home in the fall of 2007 to pursue studies in Professional Chemistry at Morgan State University (MSU) in Baltimore, MD from which she graduated with a Bachelors degree. Her research career began the summer after her freshman year when she worked at MSU with Dr. Yongchao Zhang developing a new way of making silver (Ag) nanoparticles in a chitosan medium. Chitosan regulated the size and prevented the aggregation of Ag particles; with the fabrication of these nanoparticles, electrochemical biosensors with increased sensitivity could be constructed. In 2009 Melissa spent the summer in Cape Cod and worked as a summer intern in the lab of Dr. Dan McCorkle at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. There she studied the impact of ocean acidification on larval shell formation of Argopectin irradians (bay scallop). The following summer she worked as researcher in the lab of Dr Jesse Kroll in Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. Her research focused on developing a novel laboratory method for the production of hydroxyl radicals from hydrogen peroxide, which can be used to oxidize organic compounds into secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). In the fall of 2009 she began working on a novel technique called Metal-Assisted and Microwave-Accelerated Evaporative Crystallization (MA-MAEC) under the guidance of Dr. Kadir Aslan till her graduation in May 2011. Melissa joined UF’s IDP in the fall of 2012, where she was the recipient of the UF Alumni Graduate Fellowship and UF Grinter Fellowship. Her current project focuses on drug inhibition studies with different CA isoforms. This Caribbean girl enjoys going to the beach with friends, reading, travelling and watching reality television.
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