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Michael J. Barcelona
Ph.D., University of Puerto Rico

Professor | Department of Chemistry
Science and Value, Research Ethics, Philosophy of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry
3442 Wood Hall

website | interview | michael [dot] barcelona [at] wmich [dot] edu

HPS Research Interests
Organic compounds in the aquatic environment play significant roles in the ecology of various habitats. Dissolved compounds either produced in or released to aquatic ecosystems provide substrates for microbial populations in open waters as well as critical hydrogeologic systems (i.e. sediments, ground water/surface water interfaces, aquifers). In addition to acting as substrates for primary producers, organic compounds can also act as inhibitors or potent toxins. The comprehensive investigation of separation, analysis and mechanistic interpretation of organic interactions in living systems is the overall thrust of our research. Recent work has focused on the use of microbial membrane constituents (i.e. phospholipid-linked fatty acids) to evaluate adaptation responses and the identification of pivotal inorganic (Fe isotope) and organic (metabolites of biodegradation processes) species in contaminated and engineered subsurface environments. Both laboratory and field experimental results have been integrated to improve understanding of these complex environments.

HPS Teaching Interests
Currently teach an advanced (5000 Level) course titled “Ethical Chemical Practice” which incorporates chemical literature searching, laboratory safety and ethical analyses and responsible scientific practice. Upper-level undergraduate majors and graduate students are introduced to methods of ethical problem recognition and resolution. Case-studies of career, professional and student ethical dilemma are analyzed and discussed from a variety of value systems. The emphasis is on preparing students for the pressures to succeed and encourage responsible behavior towards the earth, colleagues, and the values of science.

HPS Representative Publications

  WMU History & Philosophy of Science | Copyright 2006