2003 - Monica Mendez, University of Arizona
Superfund Research Program
The Superfund Research Program (SRP) is pleased to announce that Monica O. Mendez, Ph.D., was the recipient of the Sixth Annual Karen Wetterhahn Memorial Award. This year's award was presented to Mendez on November 11, 2003 at the SRP Annual Meeting at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
"Participation as an SBRP trainee has been invaluable to my career as a scientist. I have presented work at a regional and national SBRP meeting, and received excellent mentoring from my dissertation advisor and other SBRP scientists. Also, the Superfund Basic Research Program has provided me with an excellent opportunity to investigate phytoremediation, an emerging remediation technology. I will use my experience as an SBRP trainee to pursue research in phytoremediation of inorganic and organic contaminants, microbial community analysis for assessment of environmental quality, and beneficial plant-microbe associations for plant conservation and bioremediation."
The presentation was particularly special because Karen Wetterhahn, Ph.D, was the founding Program Director of Dartmouth College's SRP. James Wright, Ph.D., President of Dartmouth College, participated in the award presentation by commemorating Wetterhahn's contributions to Dartmouth College.
In 2007, Mendez graduated with a Ph.D. from the Soil, Water, and Environmental Program at the University of Arizona where she participated in interdisciplinary studies in plant physiology and microbiology. She earned the award based on her research excellence in her investigations of the microbial-plant interactions that accompany successful establishment of vegetation in harsh environments. Mendez' investigations of the use of revegetation with native plants to stabilize the metals in mine tailings could lead to a low cost and low maintenance remediation strategy applicable to the hundreds of thousands of abandoned mine sites in the arid southwestern United States.
Mendez was a lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio after she received her Ph.D. In 2009, she became an Assistant Professor of Environmental Biology in the Department of Biology and Chemistry at Texas A&M International University.
The NIEHS congratulates Mendez on her research accomplishments and wishes her continued success in her scientific career.