Photo of Debra GarveyPhD Candidate – Started Fall 2013

Hometown: St. Thomas, UST

Advisor/Lab: Joel Pedersen

Research Interests:
Investigating bacterial mediated transformations of next-generation battery cathode materials.

Undergraduate Work

University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas (2004-2011)
Bachelors of Science: Chemistry (2011)

Hobbies: Fitness, music, and art (sketching with different media)

Why I Joined METC: Born on an island, there is a strong connection to the environment. The beaches, mountainous lands, the sea and the air all within grasp. It is very important to me to keep it preserved, hence my interest in an environmental related career. When I first arrived to Madison, I joined the Pharmaceutical Science program but found that it was not my passion. Learning about METC from a fellow lab-mate helped me to pursue a career path I shall truly enjoy.

Research Interest: Determine the extent to which selected next generation battery cathode materials are transformed by processes mediated by bacteria. The environmental behavior of most of the complex nanomaterials used or under consideration for use in rechargeable battery cathodes has not been explored. Materials currently of interest include lithiated and delithiated CoO2, lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC), lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA), and lithium vanadium phosphate (LVP). Basic information about the dissolution of these materials under environmentally relevant conditions is mostly lacking. Bacterially mediated processes of interest include the promotion of dissolution by siderophores (biogenic chelating ligands used to increase bioavailablity of metals), redox transformation mediated by diffusible electron shuttles (e.g., flavins, quinones), and direct electron transfer via outer membrane cytochromes. Currently investigating dissolution of these materials under environmentally relevant solution conditions. These measurements are being done by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). In addition, studying the transformation and dissolution of these materials mediated by bacterial siderophores, diffusible electron shuttles, and outer membrane cytochromes. Furthermore, in as much as the processes studied contribute to adverse effects of these material on bacteria, there will be further experiments investigating the transformation of redesigned battery cathode materials.

Awards: Advanced Opportunity Fellowship (AOF) SciMed GRS 2012