Professor, Department of Chemistry, Tufts University
As Co-PI, Dr. Robbat leads the cutting-edge GC-GC/MS analysis of volatile compounds that give tea its characteristic aroma and taste.
Dr. Robbat’s research interests include the development of innovative analytical instruments, methods, and data analysis software used to solve a wide range of environmental problems. This includes a subsurface sampling and analysis probe that detects pollutants without bringing soil or groundwater to the surface for analysis. This technology is used to rapidly characterize hazardous waste sites and to provide monitoring data during clean-up. Further, it’s conducted using two-dimensional gas and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-GC/MS and LC-LC/MS) to produce libraries of compounds in complex environmental samples. This technology has been used to probe plant metabolite profiles, to authenticate the quality of foods we eat and drink, and to provide forensic analyses of pollutants as crude oil and coal tar degrade in the environment.
Dr. Robbat is also working on a novel plant-based material that efficiently extracts crude oil and coal tar from contaminated soils, sands, and water as well as oil from tar sands used to produce energy.