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Analyzing Antibiotics in the Environment

Diana Aga, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Chemistry, University at Buffalo

This presentation will focus on strategies in developing and optimizing trace analytical methods for antibiotics in soil, manure, wastewater, and other complex matrices using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Examples of unusual selection of conditions for an LC/MS/MS method that may seem counter intuitive, but nevertheless provide better analytical figures of merit that result in lower detection limits and better reproducibility, will be presented.

Diana Aga leads a team that studies how various contaminants affect the environment. Her lab investigates techniques for removing antibiotics from wastewater; how plants – especially food crops – take up pharmaceuticals and engineered nanomaterials; and how levels of veterinary antibiotics in manure decrease overtime through long-term storage of waste-disposal process like composting and anaerobic digestion. Aga also has extensive experience in analyzing persistent organic pollutants, such as polybrominated flame retardants (PBDEs), and how these compounds accumulate in the human body, Great Lakes fish and the environment.

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