Rapid innovations in science and technology are increasing our knowledge of the interactions between food, water, energy and the environment. As researchers work to develop and improve models and understand these processes, they are increasingly faced with the routine and novel challenges of small molecule analysis. With these challenges come the need for better analytical capability and the expansion of analytical tools to address the new questions that innovative research creates. The research presented in this seminar will demonstrate how instrumental analysis can function as a nexus of food, water, energy and environmental research. This seminar will include the results of small molecules analysis from higher plants and algae, unconventional water and biofuel. Additionally, how resulting data from these experiments can be applied to unique challenges in the field will be addressed. In closing, we will see an example on how a model of an analytical nexus can be used to promote student recruitment to post baccalaureate STEM programs.
Omar is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State. He is known nationally and internationally for his collaborations in small biochemical analysis where his focus is largely on the metabolomic study of agronomic crops and microalgae for biofuel applications. At New Mexico State University, he has been an independently funded research scientist since his appointment in 2012, with funding from DOE, NIH, and NSF. He teaches both graduate students and undergraduates and his recent courses include: Environmental Sampling and Analysis, Instrumental Phytochemical Analysis and Undergraduate Senior Seminar. Omar has a diverse background that includes expertise in natural products isolation and identification, molecular biology techniques, lipid biochemistry and analytical chemistry. Omar completed a master’s degree at New Mexico State University in Agronomy as well a PhD in Plant & Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University.