The Aga Lab for Environmental Research and Testing (ALERT) was founded by Principal Investigator Dr. Diana Aga. ALERT’s scientists investigate the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment, such as persistent organic pollutants, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and engineered nanomaterials. Additionally, ALERT is involved in global monitoring of antibiotics in wastewater treatment plants and receiving waters, in an effort to track antibiotic resistance in the environment. ALERT also investigates the bioaccumulation and effects of chemical contaminants in humans, fish, and wildlife.
ALERT’s research extends beyond environmental contaminant detection and analysis to include remediation: scientists evaluate the efficiencies of various advanced biological, physical, and chemical treatment processes in removing pharmaceuticals, antimicrobials, and antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater treatment plants, and in agroecosystems. Scientists who train under Dr. Aga at ALERT learn from her expertise in developing trace analytical methods for organic and heavy metal contaminants in complex environmental matrices based on chromatography and mass spectrometry (MS), including non-target analysis and MS-based metabolomics and exposomics using gas chromatography (GC) or liquid chromatography (LC) with high resolution MS.