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Wednesday, April 17th
8:15 AM

The Effects of Sublethal Concentrations of Nanoparticles on E.coli Cells in Simulated Environmental Conditions

Nandini Budithi '25, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

8:15 AM - 8:30 AM

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are widely used across commercial sectors, yet their effects on environmental systems have not been examined thoroughly, especially at environmentally relevant concentrations. They are known to be harmful at lethal doses, but their effects on natural environmental systems at sublethal doses, the examples primarily seen in real life, have only recently been studied. Previous studies have shown ... Read More

8:35 AM

Examining the Feasibility of Manganese Oxide Sorbents for Cobalt and Nickel Recovery

Ian Chung '25, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

8:35 AM - 8:50 AM

Technological advancements in batteries and electric cars have increased global demand for critical metals like cobalt and nickel. These metals are essential to these emerging technologies’ functions; however, the majority of these technologies are disposed of with minimal effort to reuse or recycle their components. These metals are also subject to unstable supply chains and problematic mining processes, and so ... Read More

8:55 AM

Analysis of Nachusa Grasslands Restoration Progress through Geochemical Data

Katherine Ge '25, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Josefh Hernandez '25, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

8:55 AM - 9:10 AM

Prairie restoration is an important strategy to recover biodiversity and ecosystem services, especially in the North American Midwest where many prairie sites have been destroyed or degraded due primarily to intensive agriculture. Restored prairies have microbial diversity and soil organic carbon (SOC) that serves as a carbon storage, absorbing the carbon in the atmosphere and decreasing CO2 levels. Analyzing the ... Read More

Evaluating the Recycling Practices of Leading E-Cigarette Companies: A Focus on Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco

Shivan Chirumamilla '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

8:55 AM - 9:10 AM

This study investigates the recycling practices of Philip Morris International (PMI) and British American Tobacco Company (BAT) in relation to their e-cigarette products, IQOS and VUSE, respectively. The research assesses the effectiveness of the companies' recycling programs by examining factors such as progress towards stated goals, user accessibility and awareness, and their impact on reducing waste. Despite the implementation of ... Read More

9:20 AM

Temporal Dynamics of Water Stable Aggregates and Carbon Sequestration in Continuous Corn and Corn-Soybean Rotation Systems in Illinois

Joshua Lee '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

9:20 AM - 9:35 AM

Aggregates are an important indicator of soil fertility, playing a crucial role in stabilizing soil structure and sequestering soil organic carbon (SOC). Research indicates that factors such as crop rotation and cultivation years can impact aggregate stability and SOC sequestration. However, there has been a lack of information on how these factors could influence the stability and SOC concentration of ... Read More

9:40 AM

Effects of Sunscreen Chemicals on Freshwater Algae

Aleksandra Duda '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Myra Mensah '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Eliana Nungaray '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Gwen Olney '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

9:40 AM - 9:55 AM

An estimated 229.76 tons of sunscreens are used annually. While the active ingredients in sunscreens are effective in blocking harmful UV irradiation, they have recently been found to be harmful to coral reefs. Sunscreen active ingredients are released into bodies of water via direct human contact, runoff from beach sand, and effluent from wastewater treatment facilities. These chemicals have been ... Read More

Mathematical Modeling of the Optimal Light Wavelength for Increasing Biomass and Cell Size of Chlorella Vulgaris as a Basis for Enhancing Biofuel Production

Sidharth Brahmandam, RISE Program

9:40 AM - 9:55 AM

The pressing need for eco-friendly fuel sources due to limited fossil fuels and rising population elucidates microalgae including Chlorella vulgaris (C. vulgaris) as a sustainable biofuel. Yet, high production costs hinder their commercial viability, which can be addressed by optimized lighting. However, a gap exists concerning the optimal wavelength of light to enhance biomass growth and cell size in C. ... Read More

10:45 AM

Permafrost Thaw in Relation to the Varied Photosynthetic Pathways and Abundance of Chlorophytum Comosum, Sedum Angelina, and Senecio Cineraria to Limit Thermokarst Action

Ashrith Valluri, IMSA RISE

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

The purpose of this research was twofold: 1) t investigate if plants that used varied photosynthetic pathways (C3 or CAM) decrease permafrost thaw amount and subsequent CO2 accumulation and 2) ascertain if plant abundance has any additive impact Plants were selected from CAM and C3 groups due to their variations in methods of CO2 fixation. This experiment addressed a gap ... Read More