From cooking to quantum dots

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Few faculty members span more STEM disciplines than Joanne Kehlbeck, professor of chemistry. Research in the Kehlbeck Lab falls into three major categories: chemical biology, chemical ecology and material science. Here’s a look at one of her more popular courses and some research collaborations:

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Chemistry Club members make liquid nitrogen ice cream.

Culinary chemistry: Students work in a fully equipped kitchen and in a traditional chemistry lab to explore the chemistry that makes meat tender and allows bread to rise.

Fruit flies and pheromones: Kehlbeck works with professor and evolutionary biologist Roman Yukilevich on research involving a species of the fruit fly, Drosophila athabasca, and how pheromones (chemicals produced by the body) affect their social and mating behavior.

Dots with strings attached: Kehlbeck is studying the properties of nano-tethered quantum dots (QDs) with Michael Hagerman, chemistry professor and co-director of Union’s nanoscience program. QDs are fluorescent nanoparticles of semiconducting materials that are used in emerging applications and research developments, ranging from enhanced LCD TVs and thin-film solar cells to high-speed data transfer and fluorescent labeling in biomedical applications.