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Lauren Liu to Present at National Research Conference

Lauren Liu, a Seaver College senior majoring in chemistry, has earned the chance to present her research on tropospheric smog at the National American Chemical Society (ACS) Conference in Indianapolis this March. Liu originally began studying this phenomenon while working alongside chemistry Professor Jane Gankse as an Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative (AYURI) Fellow.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to have the opportunity to present at the National ACS Conference this year,” says Liu. “This is my first time attending such a large-scale conference, and I feel so excited to be able to present the hard work I have done for over a year. I have been absolutely honored to work with Dr. Jane Ganske on this project and am eternally grateful to her for taking me under her wing and giving me a chance to perform some very interesting and fascinating chemistry.”

Liu’s research project entitled, Temporal analysis of the reactions between alkali halides and nitric acid implications for tropospheric smog chemistry, focuses on the effects of sea salts that are kicked up into the earth’s atmosphere by the ocean’s waves. Specifically, she studied how these salts interact with nitric acid, which is a pollutant of inland air. In evaluating this natural reaction, Liu hopes to shed light on topics such as smog and ozone production in the atmosphere – a research emphasis which she discovered while studying with Ganske.

“I was initially drawn to Dr. Ganske's research in my first year at Pepperdine when I heard her speak about her project,” explains Liu. “I had greatly enjoyed my environmental science class in high school and already had a strong interest in studying the atmosphere. When Dr. Ganske described her project to me, it sounded incredibly interesting and I immediately knew that I wanted to participate in it as it has such major real-life implications.”

By following this spark of curiosity, Liu has earned the chance to present her findings at the ACS Conference in Indianapolis. This national event brings together thousands of chemistry professionals looking to share ideas and scientific knowledge. In participating, Liu establishes herself as a young scholar in the field of chemistry. 

“I have always been so passionate about science and looked up to those who had the opportunity to present their research,” Liu says. “It is incredible to think that I am now the one who will present at such a prestigious conference.”