Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science

First Advisor's Name

Piero R. Gardinali

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Rudolf Jaffe

Third Advisor's Name

Jose R. Almirall

Date of Defense



A comprehensive forensic investigation of sensitive ecosystems in the Everglades Area is presented. Assessing the background levels of contamination in these ecosystems represents a vital resource to build up forensic evidence required to enforce future environmental crimes within the studied areas. This investigation presents the development and validation of a fractionation and isolation method for two families of herbicides commonly applied in the vicinity of the study area, including phenoxy acids like 2,4-D, MCPA, and silvex; as well as the most common triazine-based herbicides like atrazine, prometyne, simazine and related metabolites like DIA and DEA. Accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) and solid phase extraction (SPE) were used to isolate the analytes from abiotic matrices containing large amounts of organic material. Atmospheric-pressure ionization (API) with electrospray ionization in negative mode (ESP-), and Chemical Ionization in the positive mode (APCI+) were used to perform the characterization of the herbicides of interest.




Degree Discipline: Forensic Science



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