Anna Robuck focuses on a family of contaminants called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances substances (PFASs). Robuck is a PhD candidate in Chemical Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography and a NOAA Nancy Foster Scholar working with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Robuck is also a trainee in the STEEP Superfund Research Program at URI. Her current research draws upon environmental organic chemistry, ecology, and public health topics, exploring how PFASs distribute in marine surface water and warm-blooded vertebrates compared to legacy pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
After completing her PhD, Robuck plans to establish an interdisciplinary research program exploring chemical impacts within the public—ecological health framework, to best inform regulation and remediation efforts. Robuck’s current research and planned professional trajectory revolve around improving our scientific, regulatory, and cultural relationship with PFASs and chemical pollution at large, to bring about a more precautionary and cohesive approach to chemical contaminants.
Prior to enrolling at URI-GSO, Robuck studied coastal water quality and stormwater impacts while pursuing a Masters in Marine Science at University of North Carolina Wilmington, working as a research technician supporting water quality monitoring programs in Wilmington NC and an intern with City of Wilmington NC Stormwater Services. She also earned a BS in Marine Biology and Chemistry at UNCW. Her prior work and academic experience viscerally demonstrated the connection between ecosystem health and human uses; as a result, Robuck recognizes the interconnectivity of human and natural systems and the imperative to address chemical and other pollution impacts across both realms proportionately.
Beyond laboratory and field work, Robuck has a passion for communication and community. She acts as the editor-in-chief for oceanbites.org, a long-running scientific blog that translates timely ocean science research into jargon-less summaries for the general public. She also serves on the national steering committee for the Society for Women in Marine Science; this organization celebrates and supports women in marine science across the globe. In her free time, she reads voraciously, enjoys running and surfing, and is a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator in Rhode Island.
Fellow at a Glance
University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography
Engineering, Chemistry, Toxicology