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Jacqueline Gerson

Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Duke University

I am a PhD candidate in Ecology at Duke University and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow. Prior to beginning my PhD, I earned a Master's in Environmental Engineering Science at Syracuse University.

My research focuses on the impact of contaminants on the environment. Specifically, I examine mercury and selenium from mountaintop mining of coal in West Virginia and artisanal gold mining in Peru and Senegal. I seek to understand what happens to these pollutants once they enter the air, soil, and water and the implications this has for people and wildlife.

In addition to my research, I also co-founded and direct GALS (Girls on outdoor Adventure for Leadership and Science). This is a free two-week backpacking summer program for high school students identifying as female or gender non-conforming from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM to learn hands-on science from scientists at Duke University.


  • –present
    PhD student, Duke University


    Duke University, Ecology