David C. Podgorski

Assistant Professor

B.S. Gardner-Webb University

Ph.D. Florida State University

David received his B.S. in Chemistry from Gardner-Webb University in 2007. His Ph.D. research was on the separation and selective ionization of under-characterized fractions of natural organic matter, advised by Dr. William T. Cooper at Florida State University. After defending in 2011, he completed an 18-month postdoc with Dr. Alan G. Marshall at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. He then stayed on with Dr. Marshall as a Research Scientist for five more years. He studied both petroleum and environmental chemistry during my time in the Marshall Group from 2011-2017. David began as an Assistant Professor at the University of New Orleans Department of Chemistry and Pontchartrain Institute of Environmental Sciences. He has an appointment as an Affiliate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Alaska Anchorage. David’s main areas of research are related to the fate of water-soluble hydrocarbon oxidation products in aquatic ecosystems and more recently, the behavior of asphaltenes in the petrochemical process. I am always looking for new collaborations, so please feel free to contact me. 

Maxwell Harsha

Graduate Student, Ph.D., Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI) Graduate Research Fellow

B.S. Loyola University Chicago

Maxwell is originally from Northwest Indiana. After receiving his B.S. in Biochemistry from Loyola University Chicago, he worked in industry at an analytical food testing company. Maxwell gained research experience in the area of synthetic organic chemistry while he was an undergraduate. After he gained some industrial analytical chemistry skills, he aspired to continue his education through a graduate program in chemistry. Maxwell came to the University of New Orleans in August 2020 to start his graduate education. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Environmental Analytical Chemistry. Maxwell is interested in understanding the complex relationships of the environment through the lens of analytical chemistry.  

Eduardo E. Turcios Valle

Graduate Student, Ph.D., Charles and Sally O’Connor Graduate Chemistry Fellow

B.A. Augustana University

Born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Eduardo ventured to the Great Plains of the United States in 2015 to complete his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry and Psychology at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. During his time there, he further honed his skills by working as a biomedical research intern and as a laboratory assistant in the blood bank, histology department, and morgue of a leading healthcare company in the Midwest.

In 2022, driven by his passion for the environment, Eduardo embarked on a journey to obtain his Ph.D. in Environmental Analytical Chemistry. His research focuses on understanding photochemically and microbially attenuated petroleum-derived dissolved organic matter in natural water sources.

Yuri Kurerov

Graduate Student, Ph.D., Eurofins Doctoral Research Fellow

B.S. Gardner-Webb University

Yuri is originally from St. Petersburg, Russia where he went completed nursing school at the Pavlov First State Medical University of St. Petersburg in 2015. That same year, he was accepted into the biology program at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. Yuri relocated to the United States to get his second undergraduate degree in biology with a chemistry minor. During his education at Gardner-Webb, he found his passion while working with analytical instrumentation. This passion led him to pursue a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry. In May 2019, Yuri started the doctorate program as a member of Dr. Podgorski’s research group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of New Orleans. His initial work focused on helping collaborators develop methods to quantify persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in environmental matrices. Yuri currently develops methods for banned substances such as hormones in foodstuffs at Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratory (ECAL) under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah King.

Chadiska Pascal

Graduate Student, Ph.D.

B.S. Grambling State University.

Chadiska is a native of Dominica, an island affectionately known as the Nature Isle of the Caribbean. In 2021, She attained her bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry at Grambling State University (GSU). During her undergraduate studies at GSU, she became passionate about the notion of improving the lives of individuals through the development of pharmaceutical drugs. It is this passion that influenced her decision to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of New Orleans where she is currently an Environmental Analytical Chemistry Ph.D. student. 

Hanieh Ranijbar

Graduate Student, Ph.D.

B.S. Amirkabir University of Technology

Hanieh was born in Tehran, Iran. She received her bachelor’s degree in Polymer Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology (Polytechnic of Tehran). During her bachelor’s, she synthesized polymers that can be applied in the human body, based on PEG-PCL and nanoparticles of CNW, MWCNT, and Graphene. The aim of her research work was to develop materials used for advanced technologies. The environment has always been her concern, so she decided to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Chemistry, and she started her program in the Fall of 2022 at the University of New Orleans under the supervision of Dr. David Podgorski. She is currently working on water contamination.

Alumni (Current Information)

Jonathan Long, M.Sc.(Eurofins); Morris Bonton III, M.S. (Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratory); Rana Ghannam, Undergraduate Tolmas Scholar, M.S.; Katherine Humpal, Undergraduate Tolmas Scholar (Ph.D. Program, UNO) Matthew Shields, Undergraduate Tolmas Scholar (M.D.); Terrell Shields, Undergraduate Tolmas Scholar (Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratory); Minh-Ahn Tran, Undergraduate (U.S. Department of Agriculture), C. Nacaya Brown (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Visiting International Scientists

Solène Gervais, École nationale supérieure d’ingénieurs de Caen & Centre de Recherche (National Graduate School of Engineering & Research Center)Lise Chapolon, Instituts universitaires de technologie – Université de Lyon1 (University Institutes of Technology – University of Lyon 1)