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Photograph of Raychelle Burks

Raychelle Burks Associate Professor Chemistry

Degrees
PhD, Chemistry, University of Nebraska - Lincoln;
MFS, Forensic Science, Nebraska Wesleyan University;
BS, Chemistry, Northern Iowa University

Bio
After working in a crime lab, Dr. Burks returned to academia, teaching, and forensic science research. An analytical chemist, she enjoys the challenge developing detection methods for a wide-variety of compounds. Her research team is focused on the development of colorimetric and luminescent sensor arrays for the detection of analytes of mainly forensic and national security interests with accompanying image and chemometric analysis. To maximize the portability of their analytical systems, Dr. Burks' team uses laptops, tablets, and smartphones for image collection and data processing. Beyond forensics and national security, there are a variety of fields where low cost and reliable rapid screening methods are needed. Dr. Burks collaborates with colleagues in a variety of fields in furtherance to provide application-specific sensing systems employing portable, imaging-based detection. Beyond the lab, Dr. Burks is a popular science communicator, appearing on TV, in podcasts, at large genre cons such as DragonCon and GeekGirlCon. She also writes a science-meets-true crime column called “Trace Analysis” for Chemistry World, the magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She is a member of a number of local, national, and international committees, task forces, and projects focused on social justice and STEM.
See Also
Department of Chemistry
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Teaching

Spring 2024

  • CHEM-250 Criminalistics, Crime & Soc

  • CHEM-251 Criminalistics/Crime & Soc Lab

  • CHEM-251 Criminalistics/Crime & Soc Lab