Curriculum Vitae

CURRENT POSITION

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland, WA

 

EDUCATION

2015 Ph.D., Analytical, Atmospheric, and Environmental Chemistry

University of Colorado Boulder, CO

2005 B.A., Natural Sciences

New College of Florida Sarasota, FL

 

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

2015-2017 Postdoctoral Research Associate

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland, WA

  • Used coupled sampling by laser ablation with aerosol mass spectrometry for highly spatially resolved analysis of soils
  • Systematized data analysis procedures
  • Modified data analysis software to increase specificity of results

2010-2012 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow &
2007-2015 Graduate Research Assistant

University of Colorado Boulder, CO

  • Elucidated reaction mechanisms responsible for planetary haze formation
  • Developed data analytic methods for mass spectrometry
  • Modified existing hardware to produce aerosol analogs at a range of pressures
  • Used aerosol mass spectrometry to analyze photochemical hazes made in simulated planetary atmospheres

2007 Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos, NM

  • Fabricated and tested silica films as substrates for surface-assisted laser desorption mass spectrometry
  • Performed near-infrared spectroscopy of ruthenium-centered compounds
  • Performed Langmuir-Blodgett studies of phenylene ethynylene oligomers

2004 NSF-REU International Exchange Scholar

École Normale Supérieure de Cachan Cachan, France

  • Performed synthesis and purification of di-substituted tetrazines

2004-2005 Undergraduate Research Assistant

New College of Florida Sarasota, FL

  • Determined the critical micelle concentration of a charged polymer-surfactant mixture

 

GRANTS, SCHOLARSHIPS, & AWARDS

2013 Best Talk, Student Seminar Series Fall Competition

CIRES Graduate Student Association University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

2013 George C. Reid Endowed Scholarship Fund Award (First Recipient)

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

2012 NASA Astrobiology Institute Scholar

10th International School of Astrobiology Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, Santander, Spain

2009-2012 NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship ($90k/3 yrs.)

University of Colorado Boulder, CO

2008 Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

2004 NSF International Research Experiences for Undergraduates Grant

École Normale Supérieure de Cachan Cachan, France

2003 Student Research and Travel Grant

New College of Florida Sarasota, FL

1999-2003 Florida Academic and Medallion Scholarship

Bright Futures Scholarship Program Florida, USA

LEADERSHIP & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

2013-2014 Contributor and Performer, Space in Your Face

Blue Marble Space Institute of Science Denver, CO

2011-2013 Co-Chair, CIRES Graduate Student Association

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Boulder, CO

2007 Fundraiser, Team-in-Training ($1,600)

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Santa Fe, NM

2005-2006 Vice Chair, LANL Student Association

Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos, NM

2005-2006 Student Member-at-Large, LANL Student Programs Advisory Committee

Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos, NM

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2007-2015 (Intermittent) Graduate Teaching Assistant

University of Colorado Boulder, CO

  • General Chemistry I & II Laboratories
  • Environmental Chemistry Laboratory

2004 Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

New College of Florida Sarasota, FL

  • Chemical Principles Laboratory
  • “Chemistry of Color” Duke TIP Scholars Weekend

2002-2004 Science Museum Explainer

Gulf Coast Wonder and Imagination Zone (G-WIZ) Sarasota, FL

 

SKILLS

Laboratory

Aerosol mass spectrometry,  MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry, Scanning mobility particle sizing (SMPS), Langmuir-Blodgett surface measurement, Evaporation-induced self-assembly, Electrostatic self-assembly, Dip coating, Spin coating, Organic synthesis and purification, Column chromatography, Thin layer chromatography (TLC), Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Steady-state fluorimetry, Ultraviolet-visible-near infrared absorption spectroscopy (UV-Vis-NIR), Single-wavelength nulling ellipsometry, Scanning wavelength nulling ellipsometry, Static and dynamic contact angle determination, Surface tensiometry

Computing

Igor Pro (expert), R, LaTeX/BibTeX, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, EndNote, Microsoft Office.  Affinity towards programming and statistics, including the use of bilinear factorization (specifically, positive matrix factorization).

Language

English (native), French (proficient), Brazilian Portuguese (beginning conversational)

 

PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES

  • Hicks, R.K., Newburn, M.K., Canagaratna, M.R., Jayne, J.T., Williams, L.R., Worsnop, D.R., and Alexander, M.L. Laser Ablation Aerosol Mass Spectrometry.  Submitted.
  • Hicks, R.K., Day D.A., Jimenez, J.L., and Tolbert, M.A. (2016).  Follow the Carbon:  Isotopic Labeling Studies of Early Earth Aerosol.  Astrobiology, 16(11): 822-830. doi:10.1089/ast.2015.1436  (This paper was given a high-impact designation by the journal.)
  • Hicks, R.K., Day, D.A., Jimenez, J.L., and Tolbert, M.A. (2015).  Elemental Analysis of Complex Organic Aerosol Using Isotopic Labeling and Unit-Resolution Mass Spectrometry.  Analytical Chemistry, 87(5): 2741–2747. doi:10.1021/ac504014g
  • Yoon, Y.H., Horst, S.M., Hicks, R.K., Li, R., de Gouw, J.A., and Tolbert, M.A. (2014).  The Role of Benzene Photolysis in Titan Haze Formation.  Icarus, 233: 233–241. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2014.02.006
  • Dattelbaum, A.M., Hicks, R.K., Shelley, J., Koppisch, A.T., and Iyer, S. (2008).  Surface assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry on patterned nanoporous silica thin films.  Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 114(1–3): 193–200. doi:10.1016/j.micromeso.2008.01.004
  • O’Connell, M.J., Chang, C.K., Li, W., Hicks, R.K., Doorn, S.K., and Wang, H.L. (2007).  Polyelectrolyte platform for sensitive detection of biological analytes via reversible fluorescence quenching.  Polymer, 48(26): 7582–7589. doi:10.1016/j.polymer.2007.10.036
  • Tang, Z., Hicks, R.K., Magyar, R.J., Tretiak, S., Gao, Y., and Wang, H.L. (2006).  Synthesis and Characterization of Amphiphilic Phenylene Ethynylene Oligomers and Their Langmuir-Blodgett Films.  Langmuir, 22(21): 8813–8820. doi:10.1021/la060914k

 

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

  • Hicks, R.K.*, Canagaratna, M.R., Jayne, J.T., Williams, L.R., Newburn, M.K., Worsnop, D.R., and Alexander, M.L.  Rapid High Spatial Resolution Chemical Characterization of Soil Structure to Illuminate Nutrient Distribution Mechanisms Related to Carbon Cycling Using Laser Ablation Aerosol Mass Spectrometry. Poster presentation delivered at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 2015; B23E-0642. Abstract
  • Hicks, R.K.*, Day, D.A., Mojzsis, S.J., Jimenez, J.L., and Tolbert, M.A. Follow the Carbon: Laboratory Studies of 13C-Labeled Early Earth Haze Analogs. Oral presentation delivered at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 2013; P23G-03. Abstract
  • Hicks, R.K.*, Trainer, M.G., Jimenez, J.L., Yung, Y.L., Toon, O.B., and Tolbert, M.A. A Termolecular Reaction Mechanism for Nitrogen Incorporation in Aerosol Produced by Far UV Irradiation of CH4-N2 Atmospheres. Oral presentation delivered at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 2012; P12B-08. Abstract
  • Yoon, Y.H.*, Horst, S.M., Hicks, R.K., Li, R., de Gouw, J.A., and Tolbert, M.A. The Role of Benzene Photolysis in Titan Haze Formation. Poster presentation delivered at the 246th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Indianapolis, IN, September 2013; 230. Abstract
  • Iyer, S.*, Hicks, R.K., Madrid, S.J., and Dattelbaum, A.M. Effects of Nanoporous Thin Film Parameters on LDI-MS Performance.  Poster presentation delivered at the 54th annual American Society for Mass Spectrometry Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, Seattle, WA, May 2006; WP 243. Citation
  • Hicks, R.K.*, Madrid, S.J., Dattelbaum, A.M. and Iyer, S. Effects of Nanoporous Thin Film Parameters on LDI-MS Performance. Poster presentation delivered at NSTI Nanotech, Boston, MA, May 2006. Abstract
  • Kirchen, J.A.*, Hicks, R.K., Chiarelli, P.A., and Johal, M.S. Electrostatically driven critical aggregation behavior in layer-by-layer complexes of an ionic surfactant and an oppositely charged polyelectrolyte. Poster presentation delivered at the 231st ACS National Meeting, Atlanta, GA March 2006; 170. Abstract
  • Hicks, R. K.*, El-Khouri, R.J., and Johal, M.S.  Futher Investigations in Fine-Tuning the Wetting Behavior of Polyelectrolyte Films with Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate. Poster presentation deliverd at the 55th Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Atlanta, GA, November 2003; 909.