The University of Arizona SBRP welcomes back Timberley Roane, a UA SBRP alumna who completed her Ph.D. and EPA STAR fellowship at The University of Arizona in the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science in 1999. Dr. Roane studied metal toxicity and bioremediation while at the UA and returns during her sabbatical to work with the Arizona State Museum. Funded by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training which is a part of the National Park Service, Dr. Roane is investigating the use of mercury-resistant bacteria in order to remove mercury from museum-associated materials.
Mercury and other metal-based pesticides were used by early collectors for the preservation of cultural materials against insect damage. Dr. Roane is now characterizing the microbial flora associated with these mercury-treated items. The microbial ecology of museums environment is little understood and yet has great importance for the continued preservation of materials. As such, Dr. Roane hopes to learn more about the microorganisms inhabiting both mercury-treated and untreated materials.
Having just received tenure at the University of Colorado, Dr. Roane is grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the EPA STAR fellowship program and be back at The University of Arizona.