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The main goal of my research is to advance the frontiers of analytical techniques for the determination of chemicals of environmental, forensic and toxicological importance, research with high intrinsic scientific merit and far-reaching societal impact. STEM students joining our efforts will participate on developing analytical methodology for monitoring polycyclic aromatic compounds in the Gulf of Mexico. On April 20th, 2010, while drilling at the coast of Louisiana – Mississippi an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig owned by Transocean and leased to British Petroleum (BP) caused by a blowout killed 11 crewmen and ignited a fireball visible from 40 miles (64 km) away. The resulting fire could not be extinguished and, on 22 April 2010, Deepwater Horizon sank, leaving the well gushing at the seabed and causing the largest oil spill in U.S. waters. Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, BP announced a commitment to fund an independent research program – namely, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative – designed to study the impact of the oil spill on the environment and public health in the Gulf of Mexico. Our research addresses one of the five research themes identified by the advisory board of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, which is the development of analytical methods for the detection and characterization of toxic chemicals resulting from the oil spill.