Kaylin Xu ’22



Project Title

Assessing Exposure of Children to Waterborne Pollutants Using Their Deciduous Teeth

I worked on a project investigating the usage of children’s deciduous teeth as biomarkers for indicating exposure to waterborne pollutants. As the project was in its infancy, I helped develop the research question, as well as compile and present various literature on the project. I conducted in vitro lab simulations synthesizing carbonated hydroxyapatite in the presence of various contaminants to assess the level of substitution of contaminants such as arsenic and lead in the dentin of teeth. I learned about and used ICP-mass spectrometry to evaluate my liquid samples. I also worked with the X-ray microprobe in the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron in Chicago to generate XRF maps and XANES data of my solid samples. I learned valuable skills in designing a research project and working within a natural sciences research group. I also gained an appreciation for the flexibility of academic research and gradudate school and for the usefulness of coding in research. I greatly enjoyed the research process and am considering conducting independent work within the field of environmental geochemistry, as well as applying to graduate school in the future.

Internship Year


Project Category

Water and Health


Myneni Group, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University - Chicago, Illinois; Princeton, New Jersey


Satish Myneni, Professor of Geosciences