Margaret Siao, 2025


Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering (CBEE)

My research focuses on the detection and quantitation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Baltimore Harbor. PFAS are synthetic chemicals used in nonstick, waterproof, and stainproof consumer products. These chemicals cause adverse human health effects, including liver damage, disruption of reproductive and immune systems, and cancer. In the lab, I am developing new passive samplers that aid in measurement of ultra-trace levels of PFAS. With my partners at USGS and Blue Water Baltimore, I will deploy my passive samplers in Baltimore Harbor to determine which areas are most impacted by PFAS and inform community members about potential dangers in their local waters.
UMBC Mentor: Dr. Lee Blaney
Partner Mentor: Michelle Lorah (USGS)
Community Stakeholder: Barbara Johnson (Blue Water Baltimore)