Contact information: Phone: (870) 972 3215

News and happenings in Dr. Alis' Lab



April 1, 2021 : Kotaiba successfully defended his thesis! Congratulations to the the new PhD, and my first PhD student that I have advised.

March 31, 2021 : For his work and dedication , Kotaiba was selected as the Outstanding Graduate Researcher at ASTATE for 2021! Wow, what an achievement. Deserved award for his papers, presentation, and mentor ship that he has led in the 3 years he has been here. Congratulations! 

January 27, 2021: Kotaiba presented (virtually) his toxicity data at the 23rd annual Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference (ASWEC), that was help in Jonesboro. His poster was voted 3rd place best poster award for the conference. Congratulations!! 

January 12, 2021 : We welcome Dale Hartman to our laboratory. Dale is from South Africa, plays rugby for ASTATE, and will work on helping me get back to atmospheric research that has been on the back burner for a while. Welcome to the lab Dale!


September-Dec 2020 : Covid has minimized travel and research presentations, so we didn't travel to conferences as much. Research is still going on with a couple of zoom presentations that showcased our research.

August 17, 2020 : We welcome Jalisa Taylor into our research lab. Jalisa will investigate the relationships between air quality and health in the State of Arkansas for the past 20 years.

June 17, 2020 :  Kotaibas' paper has been published in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering (JECE). Congrats!

April-May, 2020 : COVID happened! 

March 22-28, 2020 : Jessica will present our research at the prestigious National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Bozeman, Montana. This conference has strict abstract acceptance requirements, and I am glad Jessicas' got accepted. This is my third student to be accepted! 

March 12, 2020  : Kotaiba will present his research at the 5TH Annual Regional Student Scholars Forum at the Louisiana State University, Shreveport (LSUS).

February 6, 2020 : Two of my students, and I, traveled to Washington DC for the annual Emerging Researchers National (ERN) conference. The conference brings together students who participate in programs funded by the NSF HRD Unit, for which ARK_LSAMP (I am coordinator for ASTATE) is part of. Jessica presented her research at the conference.

January 29, 2020 : Kotaiba presented his research at the 22nd Annual Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference and Expo held here in Jonesboro, AR. The conference brings together  scientists and the public to discuss  issue and trends in soil and water conservation.

January 21, 2020 : We have finally submitted our MRI (Major Research Infrastructure) grant to NSF for the acquisition of a state of the art NMR spectrometer. Looking forward to hear what the reviewers think about the application. All credit to Abrar Alam for leading on the project.

January 13, 2020 :  An NSF MRI grant was submitted to the NSF for the acquisition of a new LC-MS instrument for use at the Ecotox laboratory at ASTATE. As CO-PI of the grant, my role would be to use the instrument in my water contamination studies. I hope the reviewers agree with our proposal and its ideas. Credit to Dr. Boulding for leading the project.


December 18, 2019 : Kotaiba Abstract to the ACS Spring 2020 National conference has been accepted! He will be presenting an oral talk sometime in March 2020 in Philadelphia, PA.

December 13,2019 : Excited to be one of two ASTATE faculty picked to be part of a large Artificial Intelligence (AI) consortium that aims to utilize AI in research and development.

November 13, 2019 : Kotaiba (my PhD student) defended his proposal defense and passed with flying colors! Now  research picks up in earnest, as he aims to complete his research in one to 2 years. Congrats!

October 25, 2019 : Jessica presented her research at the Annual INBRE  conference in Fayetteville AR. The conference brings together graduate and undergraduate students from the State, to present research and learn about graduate research.

September 26, 2019 : I took two students to the National GEM "Grad Lab" conference in Knoxville TN. The Grad Lab "offers underrepresented students exposure to the benefits of research and technology careers in a highly interactive one-day event". Its helps juniors and seniors in their decision making when applying to graduate school, and the role of research in grad school.

September 5, 2019 :  We welcome the new cohort for our ARK_LSAMP program. The program is entering its 11th year, and its role in increasing underrepresented minority in STEM continues to be as vital as ever.

August 1,2019 : The Bridging the Divide summer research symposium ended today. The Vice Chancellor of Research and I  made the closing remarks on the end of the program symposium. Lots of great research was done. Looking forward to next summer.

July 26, 2019 : Presentation for the ACS seed program happened today and Jamila got to present her data. Its the final day of the program until next summer, we are sad to see her leave, but we  hope her experiences here have prepared well for her future. All the best for your future Jamila!

July 09,2019 : I was invited to give a talk at UAPB to the LSAMP summer institute to another group of incoming College freshman students. My talk was mainly to talk about the hurdles minorities face in academia and steps to overcome these hurdles for a successful academic career.

June 03, 2019 : We welcome Jamila Branch from Nettleton High School to our lab, She is part of the ACS SEED grant that was approved in March. Jamila will spend the next 8 weeks in my lab looking at new pathways to explain the formation of acid rain in the atmosphere. Welcome Jamila!

May 28, 2019 :  The Bridging the Divide Summer research program is set to start. All the best to the students as they embark on the 8 week summer research experience.

May 15-16, 2019 : Jessica will be presenting a poster at the 2019 Arkansas NSF ESPSCoR Annual meeting in Little Rock AR.

May 01, 2019 : The Bridge the Divide program (NSF grant # 1348389) has accepted 4 students for 8 week summer research experience here at ASTATE. The program offers research, mentorship, and outreach activities to these students throughout the summer as they prepare for STEM graduate careers.

April 16, 2019 : Jordan presented his poster at the annual Create@Astate research symposium here on Campus. His research was about the catalytic conversion of 4-nitrophenol into 2,4-Dinitrophenol using GC-MS. Jordan is also graduating this semester and we will miss his work ethic and lab contributions.

April 12-13 2019 : 5 students from our LSAMP minority program attended the 2019 ARK_LSAMP Spring Research conference in Little Rock AR. There were poster presentations and a key note speaker, who talked about the benefits of undergraduate research and applications to graduate school.

March 04, 2019: Our application for the American Chemical Society Project SEED was accepted! These grants create sites that provide scholarships to economically disadvantaged high school students to perform summer research with a Faculty member in a local University. ASTATE is only the second site in the State of Arkansas, and we are proud to have brought this opportunity to the Northeast Arkansas.


December 08, 2018 : Jesse Brown has graduated! Congratulations on your graduation, your service to the ACS student club, and being a very important contribution member to my research. We will miss you as you move on in your career.

December 07, 2018 : Kotaiba performed his qualifying exams today and he passed! He gets to continue his PhD in the environmental science program here at ASTATE.

November 14-17, 2018: Samantha Gibson (summer research intern) presented her summer research at the 2018 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Indianapolis, IN.

November 07, 2018 : I have accepted to take over the NSF grant # 1348389 "Bridging the Divide" from Dr. Srivatsan, who has to take a leave due to medical leave. The program provides opportunity for under-presented minorities to perform research in the summer under a research mentor. Looking forward to continue the great works that has been done by all previous administrations.

November 07, 2018 : Kotaiba presented his research at the 2018 Southwest Regional ACS meeting in Little Rock, AR. This went well, the next plan is to present in a National meeting.

October 19, 2018 : I was invited to speak at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS) Science Seminar series. I presented my work on contaminant analysis, and also spoke about increasing a diverse representation in STEM field.

August 30, 2018 : Samantha has completed her summer internship and will go back to UAPB to continue her undergraduate research. Samantha has been the model student, with great work done in a short amount of work. We look forward to help her present her work in the future.

June 01, 2018 : Our paper in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering has been accepted! This showcases the work Kristiana ( and others)  has been doing on the removal of contaminants from model waste water. Congrats to all that were involved.

April 30, 2018 : We welcome Samantha Gibson from UAPB. She is a summer intern here to perform research in our lab under the "Bridge the Divide" program. This is an 8 week summer research internship here at ASTATE.

April 09, 2018 : I was invited to speak at Hendrix College in Conway Arkansas as part of their Fall speaker series. It was also nice to reconnect with my former colleague Dr. Courtney Hatch who is a faculty member there. It was a great talk, with lots of great questions,  we have to extend a few minutes to be able to complete all the discussion. Wouldn't mind giving a talk again there.

March 22, 2018 : We were at the 255th National ACS meeting in New Orleans. Kristiana presented again (orally) and got very impressive reviews.

February 22-25, 2018: Kristiana did an oral presentation at the AAAS ERN conference in Washington DC. For someone who was presenting orally for the first time, she handled it like a pro! Congrats!

January 20, 2018 :  Kristiana poster has been accepted to be shown at the STEM Posters at Capital Hill, in Little Rock AR in Feb 14, 2018. This is where local legislators meet students in STEM field and talk about how the legislators decisions impact their education.

January 18, 2018  : We welcome Kotaiba Abugazleh into our research group. Kotaiba will perform his research under my supervision towards his PhD in environmental Science at ASTATE. My first PhD student, exciting times ahead!

January 17, 2018 :  Kristiana will present an Oral talk at the 255th ACS National Meeting to be help in New Orleans, LA in March 22, 2018. Congrats for the accepted abstract!


November 30, 2017 : Kristianas' abstract for an oral presentation was accepted at the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference to be held in Washington DC,  Feb 22-Feb 24, 2018. Congratulations!

November 16, 2017 : Congratulations to ACS student club at ASTATE for receiving an honorable mention of the top ACS student clubs in the Country. We have come along way from the demise of the club, lets' keep going!

October 27-28, 2017 : Jesse presented his research at the regional Annual INBRE conference in Fayetteville, AR. He mentioned that it was a long trip (4 hrs), but it was worth it.  Next meeting, regional ACS! 

August 21 2017 : New semester! Here we go! We also welcome Jordan Fryman into our research lab. Jordan will be studying biomass burning chemistry using the GC-MS that we have just acquired in our department. Welcome Jordan!

July 9-11, 2017 : I was invited to attend the 6th Annual Commercialization Retreat at the Winfred Rockefeller Institute (WRI) at Petit Jean, AR. The Purpose of the retreat "is to bring faculty from Arkansas research university to discuss the commercialization of research and build ties among Arkansas researchers".  It was great to hear how to move research from basic science to a commercial application, from experts from around the US. Great 3 days to spend at WRI!

July 05, 2017 : I was invited to give a talk at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff about the need for diversity in the STEM field. Lots of questions were asked on how to improve diversity, and I hope the students and faculty benefited from some of the suggestions I provided.

May 12, 2017 : We say goodbye to Mollie, she is graduating with a double degree and was also the treasurer to the student ACS club for which I am the adviser. We will miss Mollie for her enthusiasm in her research and education. We wish her all the best as she continues in her pharmacy career.

April 14, 2017 : I took 12 students to the annual Arkansas STEM LSAMP conference in Little Rock, AR. We got to learn about mentoring, networking and graduate opportunities available to undergraduate students. Very beneficial!

April 08, 2017 : Kristiana presented her research at the annual NCUR meeting that was held in Memphis TN. She did such as good job, she got offers from graduate faculty who would like to work with her! Way to go!

March 02-05, 2017 : I will be taking 2 students to the 2017 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) conference in STEM in Washington DC. The conference aim to "help undergraduate and graduate students to enhance their science communication skills and to better understand how to prepare for science careers in a global workforce".  I think this is important part of their growth as scientists, so I am hoping they come back from the meeting ready to improve their credentials [...basically work some more, :-)]

Jan 23 2017 : Congratulations to Kristiana for being accepted to present at the National Council on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) annual meeting. This is a prestigious invitation only meeting for undergraduate researchers, so we are excited that Kristiana was invited. She will be presenting her work in Memphis, TN on April 08 2017. Congrats!


December 02 2016 : Kristiana has been awarded a travel award to attend the 2017 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) conference in STEM that is held annually in Washington DC. Very few of these awards are offered and we are happy that Kristiana was chosen to receive one of them. Saves me money too!

October 21, 2016 : Congratulations to Kristiana for receiving the 2017 STEM minority grant from Arkansas Space Grant Consortium (ASGC). The award will provide a stipend for her as she continues research in my lab and provide funds to purchase supplies for our laboratory. Now that's what I call a win-win grant.

September 29-Oct 2, 2016 : 6 of my students and I attended the National GEM conference at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, TN. The GEM consortium brings together qualified students from underrepresented communities with the goal of increasing their numbers in graduate school. Several government laboratories, leading corporations and several top universities all came together to offer advice on how to apply and successfully achieve internships and scholarships to these companies.

August 22, 2016 : We welcome Molly Wolfe and Jesse Brown to our lab. Mollie will support Aaliyah with her IC studies on aerosols, and Jesse will rebuild our flow systems to use with hygroscopic studies of aerosols. Welcome to the lab!

August 04, 2016 : Brittany gave her final talk from her work during the summer internship at ASTATE. She got excellent reviews of her work and she answered questions like a pro! Looking forward to see her become an excellent scientist. We will surely miss her as she returns back to PSC.

July 18, 2016 : I was invited to give a talk at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) on STEM opportunities/careers to a group of incoming freshmen students.

June 02, 2016 :  We welcome Brittany Lognion from Philander Smith College (PSC) into our 8 week summer research program. She comes as part of the Bridge the Divide program that I am participating in. Brittany will be performing research on the uptake of organic contaminants on the surface of clay-like materials .  Welcome to the group!   

May 03, 2016 : Our manuscript submitted to the Journal of Physical Chemistry A3 has been accepted!! Congrats to Bryant for another manuscript being published as first author.

April 14, 2016 : Our manuscript to the Arkansas Aerospace Proceedings has been accepted and published. The paper was on the difference in aerosol chemical composition between a rural and an urban town. Congrats to Bryant, Jerry and Kiara on the publication.

April 06, 2016 : Kristiana presented our new data on the adsorption of an endocrine disruptor on the surface of goethite at the CreAte@ASTATE symposium here on campus.


November 06, 2015 : Kristiana Watson presented her data (poster) at the Southeast/Southwest (SE/SW) American Chemical Society (ACS) regional meeting (2015 SERMACS-SWRM) in Memphis TN.

September 07, 2015 : We welcome Aaliyah Green in the laboratory. She will be working to study how we can use an AFM acquired from an MRI grant, to study atmospheric aerosol shape before and after reactions.

August 19, 2015 : Our manuscript entitled "Investigating the Effects of Radiation on Seed Germination and Growth", has been accepted at the Journal of Arkansas Academy of Science (JAAS). Congrats to all involved.

June 05, 2015 : Our paper "Effect of relative humidity on HCl formation from the reaction of H2SO4 and HNO3 on NaCl particles" in the journal Reaction Kinetics, Mechanism and Catalysis was published online! Congrats to Bryant and Kiara!

May 08, 2015 : Bryant graduated from ASTATE with a MS in Chemistry! Congrats Bryant! He has been an awesome grad student for my lab and I am going to miss him. He leaves my lab with lots of mini grants in his name, two published articles and two articles submitted ( from my lab only) and other submitted in collaboration with Dr. Kennon. All in all, I would call his grad career an outstanding success. We wish him well whenever he goes.

May 05, 2015 : I am pleased to announce that I have been granted tenure and also was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor! Thanks to all the students who have been part of my junior tenure here at ASU, looking forward to the next few years as I plan on becoming full professor.

August 17 2009: First day as a new Assistant Professor at the Chemistry and Physics Department at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro.