Melissa Nikkhah

In 2013, I gained a BSc(Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Surrey. My interest in environmental sciences grew when undertaking an optional environmental chemistry module. This led me to complete a placement which focused on environmental remediation and a Global Graduate Award in sustainability. After finishing my degree, I then successfully obtained funding for a summer project from the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Opportunities Programme at the University of Surrey, where I conducted research into metal organic frameworks, that were able to remove metal and organic contaminants from water, using Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry and UV-Vis Spectroscopy.

My research interests lie in analytical chemistry used in environmental contexts. I am now undertaking a PhD in Earth Sciences, which is jointly based at Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre and the University of Glasgow, BECS group. My PhD focuses on quantifying and chemically characterising Black Carbon in particulate matter (PM), in urban environments. My project aims to are to i) determine the abundance of Black Carbon in Glasgow as a major UK urban centre, ii)  collect PM and chemically characterise samples using Hydropyrolysis, Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry and Radiocarbon Dating for source apportionment and to gain an understanding of other compounds associated to the PM that are detrimental to human health.