Tucker Lab Research

Kevin’s research focuses on research at the nexus of food, energy, and water. Specifically there are projects concerned with the fermentation process of corn to ethanol, the quality of soil and its affect on agriculture, and on pollution in bodies of water. We focus on the detection of pharmaceutical and personal care products and other contaminants of emerging concern within local and regional waterways and the surrounding soil systems including agricultural fields. These compounds include from drugs including antibiotics and endocrine disruptors, soaps, cosmetics and agricultural products. The environmental effects of many of these compounds and the concentrations at which these effects begin to be observed is currently not well known or regulated. Through environmental investigations and laboratory modeling, our research aims (1) to determine the environmental levels of various compounds and the geographical relationship between those levels, (2) to elucidate the critical concentration level at which biological and ecological effects begin to take effect for various compounds, and (3) to understand the biological effect of the compounds on various model organisms using environmental samples and models. Additionally in collaboration with NCERC, my lab develops methods for the analysis of biofuel and biofeed related products that are produced during the corn-to-ethanol process. Students in my lab will learn a variety of techniques including solid-phase extraction, mass spectrometry, and environmental sampling.