My research interests are in the areas of geochemistry and promoting undergraduate research experiences. Specifically, the research aims to understand the interactions of toxic oxyanions, like arsenite and chromate, with mineral surfaces. Using techniques like attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, the goal is to understand how these redox active moieties transform on or near a surface, implicating their solubility in environmental waters. These systems can be simple, looking at adsorption on an iron oxide, or complex, working to understand photochemical reactions of iron oxides stored within protein cages. In all of these projects, undergraduates perform the majority of the research and are able to explore their interests while developing laboratory skills. Finally, I work to incorporate research methodology in the undergraduate laboratory courses I teach, hoping to give students a glimpse into the exciting world of research.
Reactivity of Binary Manganese Oxide Mixtures Towards Arsenite Removal: Evidence of Synergistic Effects
Song, B.; Cerkez, E. B.; Grandstaff, D. E.; Goodwin, C. M.; Kukulka, M. A.; Beebe Jr., T. P.; Kim, B.
Applied Geochemistry 2021, 130, 104939.
Effects of Ni Incorporation on the Reactivity and Stability of Hausmannite (Mn3O4): Environmental Implications for Mn, Ni, and As Solubility and Cycling
Song, B.; Cerkez, E. B.; Elzinga E. J.; Kim, B.
Chemical Geology 2020, 558, 119862.
Photochemistry of Ferritin Decorated with Plasmonic Gold Nanoparticles
Cerkez, E. B.; Dutton, G. K.; Ghidey, Y. G.; Kukulka, M. A.; Valentine, A. M.; Strongin, D. R.
Environmental Science:Nano 2019, 6, 85-93.
Coupled Redox Transformation of Chromate and Arsenite on Ferrihydrite
Cerkez, E. B.; Bhandari, N.; Reeder, R. J.; Strongin, D. R.
Environmental Science & Technology 2015, 49 (5), 2858-2866.