Kristin Lammers (right) is thankful for her background in both biology and chemistry. As a graduate student, she coauthored a paper that compared chemical changes in leaf litter collected from New Jersey's Pinelands National Reserve.

“The interdisciplinary focus, along with my background, illustrated how important every branch in science is to current research,” says Kristin, who received her bachelor’s degree in biology and her master’s degree in chemistry from Rutgers–Camden.

Kristin’s research was a collaborative effort with Dr. John Dighton, professor of biology and director of Rutgers’ Pinelands Field Station, and Dr. Georgia Arbuckle-Keil, professor of chemistry.

“The leaf litter samples were heated to various temperatures in order to study the changes that occur when wildfires or control burns happen,” explains Dr. Arbuckle-Keil. Prescribed burning, she continues, reduces the hazardous accumulations of forest fuels and helps
prevent wildfires.

For this important research, Kristin received an award from the Society of Applied Spectroscopy. But she also discovered a clear vision for her future. “My graduate school experience tremendously helped shape my future in research and teaching,” says Kristin.

She is now pursuing her PhD degree in chemistry at Temple University and would like to become a professor.