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Annie Bourbonnais is leading the Marine Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory at USC.  

Current members
Archana Venkatachari

Archana obtained her B.Sc. with a triple major in Chemistry, Environmental Science and Zoology from Bangalore University, India. She went on to study Ocean Studies and Marine Biology in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and graduated in 2020 from Pondicherry University, India. In her master’s she studied the diel vertical migration of zooplankton in the South Andaman sea. She will be starting her doctoral studies under Dr. Bourbonnais in spring 2021. She will be analyzing nutrients and stable isotopes of nitrogen species for a project using computational methods and big data science to better predict harmful algal blooms in Lake Wateree and lake Murray in South Carolina. She is very thrilled to work on this project and is electrified to work in the Bourbonnais lab. 

Birch Maxwell Lazo-Murphy

Birch graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering in May of 2021. During his time at Syracuse, he worked for three years in Dr. Charles T. Driscoll’s biogeochemistry laboratory researching long term Hg and MeHg trends in a remote Adirondack watershed. In the latter half of his tenure, he began to analyze the relationship between Hg species, DOC, and fractional components of DOM. He has partaken in sampling trips and has presented his research at the annual New York Water Environment Association conference. He will bring both analytical and collaborative expertise to the University of South Carolina in the Fall of 2021 where he will work jointly in the Bourbonnais and Peng laboratories. He will be pursuing a PhD in Marine Science.

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Darcy Perin

Darcy was an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina, and completed a B.Sc. in Marine Science with a minor in geography. During her internship in the Bourbonnais lab, she was introduced to different chemical methods to analyze nutrients and stable isotopes of nitrogen species in marine environments. She used a membrane inlet mass spectrometer to measure dissolved gases in seawater collected in the Arctic and Southern Oceans. She participated to two major research expeditions onboard the R/V Sally Ride. After working as the laboratory manager for the Bourbonnais Lab, she is now completing a M.Sc. looking at the effect of vegetation for nitrogen removal in stormwater control measures in Horry County, South Carolina. 

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Maggie Gaspar

Maggie Gaspar was an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina, and completed her B.S. in Marine Science. Coming to school with an Associates of Social Science degree, she is also completing an accelerated masters degree. As an undergraduate, Maggie participated to one research cruise in the oxygen deficient zone off Mexico onboard the R/V Sally Ride , helped conduct research in local lakes, and helped other graduate students analyze samples. She was absolutely ecstatic to use this learning experience to begin a research project of her own. She is now working on nitrous oxide cycling off Mexico using stable isotopic data, with expected graduation in summer 2023. 

Maggie Gordon

Maggie is a senior undergraduate at the University of South Carolina majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Chemistry and Spanish. Over the summer after her freshman year, Maggie worked as a research assistant on multiple projects in the University of Tennessee’s Water Resources Engineering program. Maggie plans on continuing to work in research throughout undergrad, then attending graduate school for microbiology and pursuing a research career in environmental microbiology. She is very excited to be working with the Bourbonnais lab!

Elise Lumsden

Elise is an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina, pursuing a B.Sc in Marine Science with a minor in public health. She plans to graduate in 2023 and hopes to pursue an accelerated master’s degree in physical or chemical oceanography. She will concentrate her profession towards the issue of climate change as this is something she is passionate about. Elise is currently interning in a research lab, under Dr. Bourbonnais. Through her internship, she has been introduced to different chemical methods used to analyze the nutrient concentrations and the nitrogen isotopic composition of nitrogen species sampled from the Western Arctic. In her free time, she enjoys working out, volunteering, snowboarding, and spending time with friends and family. She is very excited to be exposed to research early on and cannot wait for the professional and academic opportunities that lie ahead.

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Grace Hurley

Grace Hurley is a senior undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina majoring in Marine Science and concentrating in biological oceanography. After graduating in 2023, she plans to pursue her DVM at a prospective veterinary school. She is currently interested in pursuing a concentration in mixed animal practice or emergency veterinary medicine but is excited to see where veterinary school takes her. This is Grace’s second semester working in Dr. Bourbonnais’ lab. During this time, she has learned a lot about different chemical methods and worked closely with Ph.D. student, Archana Venkatachari, on her doctoral study. Grace has learned how to monitor both the nutrient analyzer and the mass spectrometer and how to compose a standard operating procedure. Grace is happy to be back working with the Bourbonnais lab!

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Ella Levicki

Ella is a junior undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina pursuing a degree in marine science. Over the summer of her junior year, she worked in Bourbonnais’ lab learning how to perform different chemical processes using a nutrient analyzer. Ella also received field experience while retrieving water samples in a lake affected by harmful algal blooms in local South Carolina (Lake Wateree). She is currently doing an independent study with Professor Bourbonnais. Ella hopes to go to graduate school and pursue a career focused on conservation in either chemical or biological oceanography.

Elise Lumsden

Elise is an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina, pursuing a B.Sc in Marine Science with a minor in public health. She plans to graduate in 2023 and hopes to pursue an accelerated master’s degree in physical or chemical oceanography. She will concentrate her profession towards the issue of climate change as this is something she is passionate about. Elise is currently interning in a research lab, under Dr. Bourbonnais. Through her internship, she has been introduced to different chemical methods used to analyze the nutrient concentrations and the nitrogen isotopic composition of nitrogen species sampled from the Western Arctic. In her free time, she enjoys working out, volunteering, snowboarding, and spending time with friends and family. She is very excited to be exposed to research early on and cannot wait for the professional and academic opportunities that lie ahead.

Lab Alumni
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Holly Westbrook

Holly graduated from University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Marine Science with a minor in Chemistry in May of 2017. After graduation, she began working in Dr. Julie Granger's lab as a research technician where she researched the δ  O to δ  N relationship during nitrate consumption in different aquatic environments, and maintained in situ equipment in a local cove, and assisted in sampling trips in the Pawcatuck River over the summer of 2017. She also participated in the  GO-SHIP line IO7N cruise, running closed cell alkalinity titrations and collecting samples for University of Miami RSMAS. During her undergraduate studies she participated in a SEA Semester, which was a transatlantic crossing focusing on climate change and the global carbon cycle, as well as an independent study about organic alkalinity in wetlands. Under Dr. Bourbonnais, her research will focus on nitrous oxide in the water column and sediment in the Arctic.

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Jaquan High

Jaquan is an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina, currently pursuing a B.S. in Geology with a concentration in Environmental Science. After graduating in 2021, he plans to pursue a PhD in Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry. In the summer of 2021, Jaquan completed a 10-week research internship with NOAA and the Padilla Bay NERR testing a new method of snail sampling and studying animal-sediment interacts that occur in Padilla Bay, WA. His work with Dr. Bourbonnais will be a continuum of this research, while also gaining an invaluable experience working with particular lab equipment and learning how to navigate through academia.

Adriana Webb

Adriana is a current undergraduate senior at the University of South Carolina, pursuing a B.S. in Marine Science with emphasis on chemical and biological oceanography. She is currently applying to graduate schools to obtain a M.S. in marine science and possibly a Ph.D., where she is looking to study phytoplankton, their influence on chemistry as well as ecological roles in the marine environment. She is currently working in the Bourbonnais lab, as well as the lab of Professor Jay Pinckney, to provide any needed assistance and to learn more about freshwater phytoplankton in local lakes, using her previous lab and field work experience from classes at UofSC. Adriana is excited to be working with both professors and looks forward to Spring 2021, where she will continue to learn more about freshwater phytoplankton blooms and conduct her own research comparing freshwater and saltwater phytoplankton from the North-Inlet estuary.  

Miles Hampton

Miles is a senior undergraduate with the University of South Carolina, pursuing a B.S in Marine Science with a concentration in Chemical Oceanography. He plans to graduate in May of 2021 and continue his educational career through pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography. During the summer of 2018, he traveled to Iceland for a maymester and learned about sustainability. During his junior year, Miles worked alongside Dr. Jerry Hilbish and helped conduct research into ecological responses to climate change and physiological properties of diverging populations. Because of his interest into chemical oceanography, his main roles this year will be calibrating YSI sensors, participate to sampling events in lakes, and analyzing nutrient concentrations for samples collected in Lake Murray and Wateree (SC) as part of a project monitoring cyanobacterial algal blooms. 

Olivia Szot

Olivia is an undergraduate junior at the University of South Carolina. She is majoring in Marine Science with a minor in Computer Science. After graduating in 2022, Olivia plans on continuing her education by attending graduate school and perusing her Ph.D. in chemical or physical oceanography. She is interested in climate change and ocean pollution, focusing on how microplastics affect the chemistry of the ocean. Olivia is currently learning different chemistry techniques to measure nutrient concentrations and the nitrogen isotopic composition of nitrogen species. She enjoys volunteering, traveling, and spending time with her dog at beach. Olivia is very excited to be gaining hands-on experience and working in the Bourbonnais lab.

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Hunter Damron

Hunter is pursuing a B.S.C.S. with a double major in computer science and mathematics from the University of South Carolina Honors College. After graduating in 2021, he plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program for theoretical computer science or discrete mathematics. Hunter is currently an undergraduate researcher in the Autonomous Field Robotics Lab (AFRL) under Dr. Ioannis Rekleitis working on a hierarchical state estimation technique for an underwater robot. Because of his experience in robotics, he will help Dr. Bourbonnais install and calibrate an autosampler for use in her research.

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Julia Raab

Julia graduated from GEOMAR and Kiel University with a M.S. in Biological Oceanography in May of 2019. In her master thesis she focused on the N2O-cycling in the Benguela Upwelling System. Under the supervision of Prof. Bange and Dr. Damian L. Arévalo-Martínez at GEOMAR, Julia learned how to measure dissolved gases in discrete seawater samples with a chromatography-ECD/FID system, gained experience on research vessels and worked as a public speaker on environmental outreach events.

She worked one year as a research assistant in the Bourbonnais Lab and helped develop a sampling program to study cyanobacterial algal blooms in Lakes Murray and Wateree (SC). 

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Olivia Melissa Shugart

Melissa is an undergraduate student in the University of South Carolina Honor's College pursuing a double major in Chemistry and Spanish. After graduating in 2022, she plans to pursue her Ph.D. in chemical oceanography. In the summer of 2019, Melissa completed a 10-week research internship at Texas A&M University where she worked under Dr. Shari Yvon-Lewis studying the concentrations of nitrous oxide in the water column along the Texas-Louisiana continental shelf. Because of her prior experience with and interest in marine nitrous oxide, she assisted the Bourbonnais lab in analyzing nitrous oxide and stable nitrogen isotopes of samples taken from prior cruises. She worked on a project investigating nitrous oxide dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico. After an excursion working as a laboratory research assistant for the Bourbonnais, she now moved on to work as a chemist in the industry.