A bit about me.
Hello, I'm Kelly Truax and I currently work as a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. I finished my M.S. in Earth and Planetary Sciences in the Fall of 2020 and am now working towards a Ph.D. that expands upon the research conducted during my masters. I have experience in a variety of fields and use all of these to tackle complex and multidisciplinary projects. Presently, my work combines environmental monitoring techniques of heavy metals in mosses with non-destructive laser induced fluorescence (LIF) to help develop an in-situ methodology for detecting contamination in biota. We use LIF to observe changes in moss due to introduction of metals like Cu, Zn, and Pb. Images of this fluorescence are then captured and processed to compare to more traditional techniques in chemical analysis and absorption spectroscopy. The end goal is a field applicable technique that is cost effective, lowers needed labor, and limits destruction of the habitat. Future work will explore specific changes in chlorophyll, mixtures of metals and stressors, and other vegetation.
If any of that seems interesting to you, or promotes more questions than answers, then please peruse the links below to my research, CV, publications, and media. Thanks for stopping by!