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Research in the Sivey Lab focuses on environmental organic chemistry and the chemistry of drinking water treatment. Specifically, the group examines halogenation kinetics involving aqueous disinfectants (including free chlorine and free bromine) as well as the generation of disinfection byproducts. The reactivity of biologically-important molecules (e.g., amino acids, pesticides, and “inert” agrochemical ingredients) toward chlorinating and brominating agents is also of interest.

News and Achievements

Summer 2021

— Group alumni Marella Schammel, Kayla Martin-Culet, and Garrett Taggart co-authored a paper examining the effects of organic compound structure on bromination kinetics, published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. Congratulations!

Andrew Psoras received a travel grant from the TU Graduate Student Association to support his trip to the ACS National Meeting in Atlanta later this summer. Congratulations, Andrew!

— Group members, alumni, collaborators, and friends gathered at Prof. Sivey’s home for our annual group party. Many thanks to everyone who traveled to join us!

— Group alum Matthew Broadwater graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Matthew now embarks on his next adventure in The Johns Hopkins Hospital Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership residency program. Congratulations, Matthew!

Gage Fogler and Ada Sivey join the group as high school summer researchers. Welcome!

May 2021

— Four members of the Sivey Lab graduated with their Bachelor of Science degrees. Congratulations Max Denn, Bryce Collingwood, Olivia Driessen, and Reginald Briscoe III on this significant achievement!  

Olivia Driessen successfully defended her honors thesis and was featured as a TU Momentum Maker. Congratulations, Olivia!

Tionna Harris was awarded a University System of Maryland LSAMP 2021 Summer Research Fellowship. Congratulations, Tionna!

— Group alum Garrett Alexander II will begin medical school at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine this fall. Garrett was also selected for the Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program. Congratulations, Garrett!

— The group is happy to welcome Kelsey Evans as a new undergraduate researcher. Welcome, Kelsey!

— Prof. Sivey was selected as the TU Honors College Professor of the Year for 2021.

April 2021

— Congratulations to Olivia Driessen, who was selected as the Spring 2021 commencement banner carrier for the Honors College. Great job!

— The group welcomes Tionna Harris as a new undergraduate researcher. Welcome, Tionna!

Olivia Driessen has accepted an offer of admission to the Ph.D. program in chemistry at the University of Toronto. Well done, Olivia!

Bryce Collingwood has accepted an offer of admission to the Ph.D. program in chemistry at Temple University. Congratulations, Bryce!

March 2021

— Congratulations to group member Olivia Driessen for being awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Excellent job!

— Congratulations to group member Andrew Psoras for receiving honorable mention recognition for his National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship application. Well done!

Max Denn has accepted an offer to join the M.S. in Forensic and Investigative Science program at the West Virginia University. Congratulations, Max!

February 2021

— The group welcomes Jacob Damrow as a new undergraduate researcher. Jacob is an environmental science major at TU with a concentration in environmental chemistry.

— Group member Thomas FitzGibbon was awarded a Raspet Summer Research Fellowship by the Department of Chemistry at TU. Congratulations, Thomas!

— Prof. Sivey delivered an invited seminar (online) for the Department of Chemistry at Whitman College.

January 2021

— Prof. Sivey hosted a virtual symposium entitled Preparing for Faculty Positions at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (Jan 13 – 15, 2021). An archived copy of the advertisement for this symposium is available here.

December 2020

Olivia Driessen was awarded a Research Impact Award from Towson University. The Research Impact Award is the most prestigious research honor bestowed on undergraduates at TU. Congratulations, Olivia!

November 2020

— A TU News article featured Prof. Sivey and discussed his receipt of a Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar-Award.

October 2020

— Prof. Sivey received a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award from The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Prof. Sivey is one of eight recipients of this national distinction that “honors young faculty in the chemical sciences who have created an outstanding independent body of scholarship and are deeply committed to education with undergraduates”.

— Congratulations to group members Bryce Collingwood, Max Denn, Olivia Driessen, and Hanna Hudson on being awarded undergraduate research grants from the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics at TU. Great job!

September 2020

— Group member Andrew Psoras and group alum Allison Ricko co-authored a paper exploring reductive transformations of dichloroacetamide safeners that was published in the journal Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts. Congratulations!

August 2020

— Prof. John Sivey and Prof. Keith Reber were awarded a new National Science Foundation grant entitled “Parabens as a Tool for Interrogating Halogenation in Environmental Systems: Products and Pathways”. This project is in collaboration with Prof. Dan McCurry’s lab at the University of Southern California.

July 2020

— Group member Olivia Driessen is the recipient of a 2020 ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry Undergraduate Student Award. Great job, Olivia!

— The group welcomes Wasilat Dosunmu, who joins us this summer as a research intern. Welcome, Wasilat!

June 2020

— Group alumnus Mark Burton recently defended his PhD dissertation in physical chemistry (with an astrochemistry emphasis) at the University of Arizona. Mark will be joining the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA) as an optical spectroscopist. Many congratulations, Dr. Burton!

Dr. Mark Burton

— Prof. Sivey and collaborators from Villanova University published a paper examining the ability of black carbon to enhance transformation rates of dichloroacetamide safeners.

May 2020

— The group welcomes Andrew Psoras as a new graduate student in the Environmental Science MS program at TU. Welcome, Andrew!

Marella Schammel successfully defended her honors thesis entitled, “Investigating Electrophilic Aromatic Halogenation in Synthetic and in Natural Waters.” Congratulations!

— Prof. Sivey and collaborators from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Stanford University, and Johns Hopkins University published an article examining exotic electrophiles in chlorinated and chloraminated water in Environmental Science and Technology Letters. This paper was selected as an ACS Editors’ Choice article due to its potential for broad public interest.

April 2020

Matthew Broadwater (2017 TU Chemistry and Sivey Group alumnus) was elected to the National Executive Committee of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists as a National Member-at-Large. Congratulations, Matthew, on this impressive honor!

— Group members Marella Schammel, Olivia Driessen, and Thomas FitzGibbon presented their research at the (Online) Student Research and Creative Inquiry Forum as a part of Research Week at TU. Nice work!

Olivia Driessen was awarded a Raspet Summer Research Fellowship to support her continued research in the Sivey Lab during Summer 2020. Congratulations, Olivia!

Reginald Briscoe was selected to participate in the 2020 Summer Research Opportunities Program at the University of Iowa. Great job, Reggie!

March 2020

— Group member Marella Schammel has been awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. This highly prestigious fellowship is valued at $138,000 and will support three years of Marella’s graduate studies. Excellent job, Marella!

Marella Schammel has accepted an offer to join the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California as a PhD student. Congratulations!

Shipping to University of South California

February 2020

— Group alumnus Matthew Broadwater (PharmD candidate at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy) received an American Pharmacists Association National Student Leadership Award. Matthew is one of only four third-year PharmD students in the country selected for this honor. Matthew was also inducted into Phi Lambda Sigma, a prestigious national leadership society for student pharmacists demonstrating exceptional service and leadership abilities. Many congratulations, Matthew!

Matthew Broadwater


— Congratulations to group members Bryce Collingwood and Max Denn on their receipt of research grants from the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics at TU. Great job!

— Prof. Sivey delivered a sabbatical seminar at TU entitled “Sabbatical Adventures in Environmental Chemistry: From Bromine to Black Carbon.”

— The Sivey Research Group is now accepting applications from current high school students for a Summer 2020 Research Internship position. More details are available here.

January 2020

— The Sivey Group took advantage of the spring-like weather to snap a group photo.

From L to R:  Marella Schammel, Max Denn, Reginald Briscoe, Thomas FitzGibbon, Olivia Driessen, Bryce Collingwood, and Hanna Hudson


Reginald Briscoe joins the group as a new undergraduate researcher. Welcome, Reginald!

December 2019

— The group welcomes Hanna Hudson and Bryce Collingwood as new undergraduate researchers. Welcome!

— Group member Marella Schammel was selected by Towson University to receive a Research Impact Award. Congratulations!

November 2019

–The group’s recent paper describing applications of 1,3,5-trimethoxybenzene as a derivatizing agent of chlorinating and brominating species was featured on the cover of Analytical Methods.

Marella Schammel delivered an invited presentation at the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium in Houston, TX. Her talk received the “Outstanding Presentation in Chemical Transformations” award. Excellent job, Marella!

October 2019

Marella Schammel delivered a Raspet Summer Research Seminar to the Department of Chemistry. Well done, Marella!

Marella Schammel and Olivia Driessen were each awarded a research grant from the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics. Congratulations!

— Group members Olivia Driessen and Thomas FitzGibbon presented research posters at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Olivia was also the recipient of a 1st Place Poster Award. Great job all around!

— Group alumnus Mark Bickley was recognized as one of this year’s 20 Tigers in their 20s young alumni award recipients. Mark completed an honors thesis in the Sivey Lab in 2015. In May 2019, Mark completed his Pharm.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. We are proud of you, Mark!

— The group published a paper in Analytical Methods describing applications of 1,3,5-trimethoxybenzene as a derivatizing agent of chlorinating and brominating species. Congratulations to group alumnus Ryan Dias and current group member Marella Schammel on their co-authorship of this paper. Prof. Keith Reber also served as a co-author. Great job!

August 2019

— The group welcomes Max Denn as a new undergraduate researcher. Welcome, Max!

— Prof. Sivey delivered the keynote address at the TU Honors College Orientation book discussion of What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

July 2019

— Prof. Sivey presented an invited lecture on the group’s bromine studies at the Gordon Research Conference on Water Disinfection, Byproducts and Health.

— Prof. Sivey was an invited panelist at a career development panel at the Gordon Research Seminar on Water Disinfection, Byproducts and Health at Mount Holyoke College.

Image result for gordon research seminar

Mark Niedzwiecki successfully defended his honors thesis. Excellent job, Mark!

— Prof. Sivey traveled to the University of Iowa to meet with collaborators associated with the herbicide safener project sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

June 2019

— Prof. Sivey delivered the keynote address at the 100th Commencement Ceremony at Merrill High School (his alma mater), in Merrill, Michigan.

May 2019

Mark Niedzwiecki participated in the Spring 2019 Commencement ceremony celebrating the completion of his Bachelor of Science degree. Congratulations, Mark!

Mark Niedzwiecki and Prof. Sivey at the Spring 2019 TU Commencement.


— In collaboration with researchers at the University of Buffalo, Prof. Sivey co-authored a publication investigating the photolysis of an herbicide + safener mixture on simulated soil surfaces.

— Prof. Sivey co-authored a paper examining photochemical transformations of dichloroacetamide safeners. Collaborators at the University of Iowa were the lead investigators on this project.

— Prof. Sivey is a co-principal investigator on a grant awarded by the Towson University School of Emerging Technologies. The project team includes Prof. Keith Reber (principal investigator) and Prof. Carsten Prasse (collaborator at Johns Hopkins University). The project will examine the design and performance of a new class of corrosion inhibitors suitable for highly oxidative systems.

— Group member Marella Schammel was featured in a Towson University article to recognize her receiving the Barry Goldwater Scholarship. The Goldwater Scholarship is viewed as the most prestigious undergraduate STEM scholarship in the USA. Congratulations, Marella!

Barry Goldwater

April 2019

Thomas FitzGibbon received the 2019 ACS Analytical Division Award in Analytical Chemistry. Excellent job, Thomas!

Marella Schammel was selected as a 2019 Raspet Summer Research Fellowship winner. Congratulations, Marella!

— Two papers from the Sivey group were selected for inclusion in the “Best Papers of 2018” collection by the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Environmental Science family of journals. Towson University featured this recognition in a news story.

The selected papers were:

  • Lau, S. S.; Dias, R. P.; Martin-Culet, K. R.; Race, N. A.; Schammel, M. H.; Reber, K. P.; Roberts, A. L.; Sivey, J. D.* 1,3,5-Trimethoxybenzene (TMB) as a new quencher for preserving redox-labile disinfection byproducts and for quantifying free chlorine and free bromine. Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. 20184, 926-941. Link to article.

Graphical abstract: 1,3,5-Trimethoxybenzene (TMB) as a new quencher for preserving redox-labile disinfection byproducts and for quantifying free chlorine and free bromine

  • Broadwater, M. A.; Swanson, T. L.; Sivey, J. D.* Emerging investigators series: comparing the inherent reactivity of often-overlooked aqueous chlorinating and brominating agents toward salicylic acid. Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol. 20184, 369-384. Link to article.

Graphical abstract: Emerging investigators series: comparing the inherent reactivity of often-overlooked aqueous chlorinating and brominating agents toward salicylic acid

— Lab members joined Prof. Sivey in delivering our annual outreach program entitled, The Mathematics of Color and Light, at General John Stricker Middle School in Baltimore County, MD.

— Members of the Sivey Lab and the Reber Lab made time for some sight-seeing in addition to presenting their research at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Orlando, FL.

Marella Schammel, Justin Kim, Mark Niedzwiecki, and Ian Gilbert at Epcot.
.Mark Niedzwiecki (left) and Marella Schammel (right) presenting research posters at ACS Orlando.
Justin Kim, Ian Gilbert, Marella Schammel, and Mark Niedzwiecki at ACS Orlando.

February 2019

Marella Schammel received the Greater Washington Institute of Chemists Student Award, which recognizes Marella’s outstanding scholastic achievements and professional growth in chemistry. Congratulations!

January 2019

Thomas FitzGibbon joins the group as a new undergraduate researcher. Welcome!

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