DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Alexis Wormington, a University of North Texas junior studying biology, has received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Greater Research Opportunities undergraduate fellowship to further her research on how titanium dioxide nanoparticles affect aquatic ecosystems.
"Titanium dioxide can be found in sunscreens, cosmetics, paints and a number of everyday products," Wormington said. "I'm interested in finding out how sunlight and various concentrations of ultraviolet radiation change the toxicity of these nanoparticles in aquatic ecosystems."
Wormington is one of only about 30 undergraduate students in the U.S. chosen for the fellowships. She will earn $20,700 in academic support per year for two years to cover tuition and research supplies, and work as a paid intern for the U.S. EPA during the summer of 2015.
UNT Associate Professor of Biology Aaron Roberts, who also researches aquatic toxicology, advises Wormington's research.
"Research on the potential environmental impacts of nanoparticles is a significant topic both in the United States as well as internationally," Roberts said.
Wormington plans to become a toxicologist after earning a Ph.D. in the future. Her long-term research goal is to study various toxicology issues in several countries.