Team Chemistry

The Chemistry Team in the Urban Ecosystems stream have been conducting “canned” experiments. These experiments have procedures that already written out for students to follow, and are designed to help us become familiar with the instruments that we will use later for our independent research. My team conducted two canned experiments. One of these was designed to find the amount of caffeine in two different samples of coffee using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. It was important for us to become familiar with this instrument so that we can use it to determine the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Waller Creek. The second experiment measured the amount of capsaicin in hot sauce using High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Capsaicins are the chemicals in  peppers that make them spicy or hot.


Now that we have conducted these experiments, we are ready to go through training to be able to use these instruments on our own to conduct our independent research. Our research ideas include measuring the amounts of PAHs in urban and rural areas of Waller Creek and measuring antibiotics in Waller Creek. These research ideas will help improve the environment in and around Waller Creek. In order to keep the public informed on what our stream is doing, we have made an Instagram account. To be updated more regularly with cute pictures, follow @urbanecosystemsut on Instagram!

Maggie Simmons
Team Chemistry
Urban Ecosystems Stream

Urban Ecosystems Instagram account

Our new Urban Ecosystmes Instagram account