Dr. Patrick Tomco

Our next Chemistry Seminar will be this Friday at 3 p.m. via Zoom.

Dr. Patrick Tomco will be presenting his piece on “Petroleum-derived dissolved organic matter from oil spill cleanup at high latitudes: formation, photo-oxidation, and ecotoxicological effects.”

Dr. Tomco is an Assistant Professor and ASET Lab Coordinator in the Department of Chemistry from the University of Anchorage Alaska.

Oil and gas drilling have been occurring in Alaska since the 1950s, and additional lease sales are planned for Cook Inlet and the Beaufort Sea. As regions in the Arctic become ice-free, offshore drilling in that area is expected to increase. As petroleum development increases, so does the risk of another major oil spill. Oil spills can have a devastating effect on the marine environment, and dispersants, chemical herders, and in-situ burning are supposed to mitigate that effect. Despite some of the benefits, this technique appears to have on oil spill mitigation, opinions on the utilization of these strategies are polarized, and the issue requires careful consideration and study. This talk will focus on several recent investigations aimed at characterizing hydrocarbon-derived dissolved organic matter (DOMHC), photochemical products of DOMHC, photo-modified DOMHC bioavailability, and resulting toxicity potential of DOMHC to Arctic marine aquatic life (mussels, Mytilus trossulus). Characterization methods include Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), fluorescence excitation emission matrices (EEMs), toxicity biomarkers, 16S rRNA sequencing, and NMR-based metabolomics. 

Patrick Tomco, Ph.D is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Chair of the Alaska ACS Local Section, and manager of the Applied Science Engineering and Technology (ASET) laboratory.