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Katherine Watson

Research Specialist

Virginia Military Institute (VMI), 2018
B.S. Chemistry (minors in Physics and Chemistry Research)
University of Florida, 2021
Graduate Certificate in Forensic Toxicology

Phone: (615) 322-7415
Fax: (615) 778-1414
Location: Cool Springs Innovation Park

Mailing Address:
Vanderbilt University/WCNDD
Cool Springs Innovation Park
393 Nichol Mill Lane, Suite 201
Franklin, TN 37067

Biosketch and Research Interests

From 2010-2014, Katherine was heavily involved in the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) program, a Vanderbilt high school outreach program. Her initial exposure to scientific research through the SSMV sparked her interest in a career in science. Through the SSMV, she did an impactful research project on whether the blood content of bones could be used to date them. It was presented to, and published by the Tennessee Junior Academy of Science in 2013. She also had a year-long internship in a Vanderbilt civil and environmental engineering lab doing research on the effect nanomaterials would have upon inevitable release into the environment in 2013.

From 2014 to 2018, Katherine attended the Virginia Military Institute and graduated with a B.S. in chemistry and minors in both physics and chemistry research. During the summer of 2015, she worked with Dr. Daniel Pharr in his analytical chemistry lab where they researched an alternative method of detecting and quantifying selenium (this research was published in the Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research in 2018). During the summer of 2016, she had an internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in a chemical sciences division lab, working with Dr. Brent Dial researching chemical technologies like graphene paints, nanoparticle inks, and hydrophobic coatings.

Katherine worked in Dr. Pharr’s lab again for her senior thesis research, where she did preliminary investigation into whether surfactants could be used in place of organic solvents in the detection and quantitation of various aqueous metals using UV-Visible Spectroscopy. The objective was to develop a more “green” method of detecting and quantifying metal contaminants in the environment.

Katherine’s future plans include attending graduate school.

Selected Publications

Watson, K.J.; Cochrane, S. ‘Testing the Effectiveness of Luminol in the Dating of Skeletal Remains’ Handbook and Proceedings of the Tennessee Junior Academy of Science (2013); 113-121.

Pharr, D.Y.; Clark, P.E.; Glomb, M.J.; Habersang, D.M.; Watson, K.J.; Dilley, R.S. ‘The Analysis of Selenium in Triton X-100 Surfactant’ Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research (2018); 17(3): 77-85.