Trainee Update: Camila Madeira

Camila Madeira, a UA graduate student and SRP trainee working under the direction of mentor Jim Field, has always been passionate about bioremediation.

“It’s something that connects biology, chemistry, engineering, so I saw it as a very good opportunity to learn,” Madeira said. “It’s very multidisciplinary and I feel like it’s rewarding to be doing this kind of work.”

Madeira’s work with the insensitive munition compound NTO (5-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-3-one) and its reduced metabolite ATO (3-amino-1, 2, 4-triazol-5-one) has led her to publish in several journals over the past year. She co-authored a publication in Environmental Science & Technology (Olivares et al., 2017) and was first author in a second publication in Chemosphere (Madeira et al., 2017). Most recently, she published a manuscript entitled “Ecotoxicity of the insensitive munitions compound 3-nitro-1, 2, 4-triazol-5-one (NTO) and its reduced metabolite 3-amino-1, 2, 4-triazol-5-one (ATO)” in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.

“I think now, we understand a lot more about the fate and the toxicity of compounds in the soil, so we are looking for which specific microbes are able to degrade the compound so once we have that information, then we could work to enhance the remediation in the natural environment,” Madeira said.

In addition her publications, the UA SRP congratulates Madeira on winning a first place 2017 scholarship from the Southern Arizona Environmental Management Society, and on the award of a highly competitive scholarship from the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development that will cover all her tuition, fees and stipends during her doctoral studies.

“When I finish my PhD, I want to be a professor and I also want to keep doing research,” Madeira said. “I’m not sure if I want to keep working with explosives anymore, because I’m from Brazil and I think I will go back to Brazil when I graduate, and explosives are not a big concern for us there, but I could apply similar methods to other compounds like pesticides.”