Nicole Rinaldi, 2018, Geosciences

In my internship, I worked with Emma Kast, a graduate student in geosciences, to analyze the organic matter trapped in both fossil and modern shark teeth. This research provides important insights into how nitrogen cycles in the ocean and how it varies in time and location. My job was to take whole teeth and even whole jaws and break them down into powder, clean them by using various chemicals, and then weigh them into test tubes for analysis using mass spectrometry. I learned many skills useful for work in the lab, which will help me a lot in the upcoming years as I work on my junior project and senior thesis. This experience definitely helped shape my academic career. For my junior project, I will be working on a related study measuring the organic matter from collagen in cow teeth.