Nelle D’Aversa (M.A.M.A 2017) collaborates with URI and RWU engineers on interdisciplinary project

Nelle D’Aversa, M.A.M.A Candidate Expected Graduation: Spring 2017

MAF Master’s student Nelle D’Aversa is working with MAF Professor Tracey Dalton on a collaborative, interdisciplinary project to develop a nanoscale biosensor for monitoring water-borne contaminants in coastal environments. D’Aversa and Dalton are contributing a social science perspective to an interdisciplinary team of mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and marine policy scientists. This summer, Nelle is conducting interviews with individuals throughout RI who are involved in coastal monitoring to identify possible coastal applications for the nanoscale biosensor, to better understand the technological needs of coastal managers and researchers, and to gain insight on their attitudes and perceptions of technological innovations. Together, the team is working towards developing a low cost, handheld device that will detect specific algae species present in RI’s coastal waters.

The project is funded by the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (RI STAC) and will continue through 2017.