Research Home

Dr. Robin Bond (formerly Schneider) currently teaches environmental and analytical chemistry at The Evergreen State College.

Dr. Bond’s research specialty is detecting, and measuring the kinetics of, highly reactive chemical species (especially reactive oxygen species). Here are my current projects. Students with bolded names have given presentations in a scientific venue.

HyPerICE: Hydrogen Peroxide in Cold Environments

Jupiter’s moon, Europa,  is a prime candidate for finding extraterrestrial life because of two factors. Firstly, it has a lot of water (potentially more than is found in Earth’s oceans). But life in its ocean could not be too much like that in terrestrial oceans, because the ocean is covered by 60 km of ice! Unlike marine microbes on Earth, the microbes at the base of a hypothetical Europan marine food chain could not rely on photosynthesis as an energy source. Instead, the source of their energy might be oxidation-reduction reactions spawned by the second factor that makes Europa of interest to astrobiologists: an abundant source of hydrogen peroxide.

The goal of this project is to examine hydrogen peroxide kinetics in a modeled Europan ocean and how halophilic psychrophiles (microbes that thrive in salty, cold environments) interact with hydrogen peroxide.

Current research students: P. Morris, C. Goodale
Past research students: J. Mirkovic, L. Palisoc.

Pilot Valley: Mars Analogue/ Perchlorate Project

This long-running, ongoing project is a collaboration with principal investigator Dr. Kennda Lynch. My past role has been providing support for geochemical analysis. However, the Bond lab is about to kick the participation up a notch and dive in a little more deeply! More info coming soon…

Non-Astrobiology Projects:

Community Toxics Project

This project is a collaboration with the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) and is funded by the EPA. Acrolein is a toxic, volatile organic compound and is a common product of combustion reactions. It is also notoriously hard to detect in a quantitative fashion. Our lab is trying to change that! We are also trying to find statistical relationships that link ambient environmental acrolein levels to easily measured tracers.

Current research students: A. Cutler, R. Schumaker


Currently Inactive Project: Gowanus Canal/Environmental Remediation
I will be revisiting the remedation project in a couple of years after writing an equipment grant!

It’s easy to predict how two chemicals will interact in a controlled laboratory setting. Environmental chemistry is a lot of fun precisely because there are hundreds of substances involved and it’s not always clear what is going to react with what.

This project examined redox cycling and metal mobility in a waterway contaminated with both toxic metals as well as recalcitrant organics—and, more importantly, what might happen when if the equilibrium were upset by trying to remediate the system. Our field site, the Gowanus Canal, is shown in the header picture above.

(Now that Dr. Bond is working on the opposite side of the country, she is looking for field sites that are more local. However, she hopes to be able to continue her work with the Gowanus Canal as it is considered the most polluted waterway in the USA.)

Past research students: T. Christensen, S. Johnson, A. Peck,  L. Diawara, N. Cacarmo-Ortiz