I grew up for the most part in Pennsylvania, completing my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at James Madison University in Virginia in May 2016. My undergraduate research as well as internships in Muenster, Germany and at Merck focused on organic chemistry within the pharmaceutical industry. After graduation, I took a year off, working as a hiking guide in Alaska and traveling through New Zealand. In August 2017, I moved to Fort Collins to continue exploring the mountains of Colorado but also to start working towards a Ph.D. in the field of biosensors applied to environmental problems.
Citrus Greening Project
Citrus greening disease is a disease severely affecting citrus trees all over the world. It is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid and results in infected trees and unripe oranges. If left untreated, it could severely impact the economy of Florida. Our goal is to examine land management practices and insecticide application in order to reduce spreading of the disease. My role in the project involves the development of an inexpensive and easy to use method to evaluate the spatial distribution of pesticides within the citrus trees to improve pest management decisions.
Water Quality Sensors
In collaboration with Dr. Chuck Henry in the Chemistry department, I am working on developing inexpensive sensors to evaluate water quality. These sensors are microfluidic paper-based devices (uPADs) that turn colors based on the analyte present. Currently, I am working on a device for the multiplex detection of heavy metals and a separate device for PFAS detection. These devices can be used to obtain real-time information about the identity and concentration of environmental contaminants present in water samples.
For more details about the research conducted in the Borch group please click here.
“Sensors for Detecting Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): A Critical Review of Development Challenges, Current Sensors, and Commercialization Obstacles” Menger, R.F., Funk, E., Henry, C.S., Borch, T. Chemical Engineering Journal, 2021, DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2021.129133
“Quantification of insecticide spatial distribution within individual citrus trees and efficacy through Asian citrus psyllid reductions under different application methods” Rehberg, R. A.; Trivedi, P.; Bahureksa, W.; Sharp, J. L.; Stokes, S. C.; Menger, R.F.; Borch, T. Pest Management Science. 2020, https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6195
“Fluorescent Dye Paper-Based Method for Assessment of Pesticide Coverage on leaves and Trees: A Citrus Grove Case Study” Menger, R.F., Bontha, M. Beveridge, J.R., Borch, T., Henry, C.S. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c01835
“Pump-Free Microfluidic Rapid Mixer Combined with a Paper-Based Channel” Jang, I., Carrao, D., Menger, R., de Oliveira A.R., Henry, C.S., ACS Sensors, 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.0c00937
“Sensitive distance-based paper-based quantification of mercury ions using carbon nanodots and heating-based preconcentration” Ninwong, B., Sangkaew, P., Hapa, P., Ratnarathorn, N., Menger, R.F., Henry, C.S., Dunchai, W. RSC Advances. 2020, 10, 9884.
“Beyond the Lateral Flow Assay: A Review of Paper-based Microfluidics” Carrell, C.S., Kava, A., Nguyen, M.P., Menger, R.F, Munshi, Z., Call, Z., Nussbaum, M., Henry, C.S. Microelectronic Engineering, 2019, 206, 45-54.
For more publications in the Borch group please click here.