Note: Adelene completed her PhD in December 2022. The following text is preserved for documentation purposes.
Dual PhD (Cotutelle) researcher at the University of Luxembourg and Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena since March 2019.
I grew up in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, studied Chemistry at Wellesley College, MA, USA, and obtained a MSc. in Environmental Sciences at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, focusing on Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics. My Master’s thesis used statistical models to predict pesticide biodegradation using European Food Safety Authority data. I was awarded the Gulick Fund Scholarship and the ETH Master’s Scholarship for my studies in the US and Switzerland respectively.
In my PhD, I develop open cheminformatics and computational methods to identify unknown chemicals detected in the environment. I’ve worked with Swiss and Luxembourgish authorities to help identify chemical pollutants detected in environmental water samples measured using Liquid Chromatography-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry. Working with open environmental chemistry data, such as those from the NORMAN Network, is critical to our efforts.
My current interests are in tackling the most challenging of environmental unknowns – substances of Unknown or Variable composition, Complex reaction products, or Biological materials (UVCBs), including compounds forming homologous series such as surfactants and PFAS. I am developing cheminformatics methods to help identify UVCBs in environmental samples.
Besides my studies and PhD research, I have contributed technical expertise to multiple international projects related to sustainability, chemicals, and waste, most recently to UN Environment’s Global Chemicals Outlook II report and Assessment Report on Issues of Concern. I also co-led a report on Solid Waste Management in Small Island Developing States, following fieldwork in the Seychelles.
I blog at Green Cheminformatics about various cheminformatics hacks related to environmental research.
I love to eat, swim, bike, and play classical guitar. In the mornings, you’ll find me at the wet market; in the evenings, you’ll find me at the concert hall.