Our Scientists

The Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants (ALEC) is directed by Prof. Jon Chorover. Leif Abrell and Mary Kay Amistadi manage organic, and inorganic analyses, respectively. 

Jon Chorover Director, Interim Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Science; Interim Associate Vice President for Research, Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, University of Arizona
(PhD, Soil Chemistry, 1993) is Professor of Environmental Chemistry in the Department of Environmental Science at UA. He has authored over 180 publications on biogeochemical processes occurring in soil, sediment and water. Of particular interest are components and processes that influence the form and mobility of metals and organics in the Earth’s near-surface environment. He also has an appointment in Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences and Geosciences.

Mary Kay Amistadi Inorganic Analyses
Department of Environmental Science; (MS, Soil Chemistry, 1988) Mary Kay’s research has focused on developing instrumental methods for measuring various species of metals, metalloids and radionuclides using separation methods coupled to ICP-MS.

Leif Abrell Organic Analyses, Associate Research Professor
Departments of Environmental Science and Chemistry & Biochemistry; (PhD, Organic Chemistry, 1997) Leif has measured and detected biogenic organic compounds, like semiochemicals and secondary metabolites, in trace amounts from animals and plants using mass spectrometry and other organic spectroscopies for twenty years. He has studied how these chemicals interact in ecosystems like the North American Sonoran Desert, Biosphere 2, the Amazonian tropical forest, and in plant-insect relationships. He has also investigated chemical interactions amongst marine microorganism assemblies, mammalian ligand receptors, and in the interstellar media. Most recently he is developing methods for analysis of trace, organic contaminants in complex environmental matrices like wastewater.

Danielle Barrientes, Research Professional II
She received her Chemistry & Biochemistry degree from University of Arizona.

Ashlyn Zilch, Research Technician II
She received her Chemistry & Biochemistry degree from University of Arizona.