Denali Morkis

Denali Morkis

Masters Student


Professional Links




I grew up on the west coast of Michigan with a propensity for backpacking around the country, which allowed me to experience first-hand diverse ecosystems seemingly far from any human development. The transitioning landscapes I witnessed ever-changing around me, home and abroad, drove my interest towards environmental sustainability and the chemistry that underlies all the processes and interactions. I completed my bachelor’s degree in environmental science at Central Michigan University, with two research projects focusing on the annual changes in Great Lakes coastal vegetation, and the geochemistry of secondary pollutants originating from historic gold mining practices in the subarctic.

My current work in Thomas Borch’s group is rooted in improving characterization of organophosphate transformations catalyzed by surface interactions with laboratory-synthesized birnessite (𝛿-MnO2). P-cycling in soils is vital in agricultural settings and when determining soil quality and health, and the ability of inorganic metal-oxides to control metabolite breakdown comes to a forefront in understanding how organic compounds decaying in soils can be naturally recycled into nutrient-rich plots without continuous fertilizer inputs.

In my free time I enjoy backpacking and hiking, playing guitar, reading and writing environmental literature, cooking extravaganzas, and casually learning more about plant IDs in wetlands.

Feel free to reach out for any reason.