Areas of Expertise: Forensic science, analytical chemistry, pop culture chemsitry
St. Edward's University
Raychelle Burks, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. An analytical chemist with crime lab experience, Dr. Burks is focused on creating low-cost colorimetric sensors for detecting chemicals of forensic interest including explosives and illicit drugs. Dr. Burks' group utilizes smart phones, along with image analysis, to maximize the field readiness of developed sensor systems for potential use by crime scene analysts, law enforcement and military personnel.
Dr. Burks earned her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa, her M.S. in forensic science from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. After working in a crime lab for two years, Dr. Burks returned to academia first as an adjunct, then as a postdoctoral research associate at Doane College and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln's Center for Nanohybrid Functional Materials.
Outside of academia, Dr. Burks is a passionate educator in both formal and informal settings. An active science communicator, she serves on the advisory board of Chemical & Engineering News and UnDark Magazine. She is a member of the American Academy of University Women, the Society for the Advancement of Chicano/Latino and Native Americans in Science, National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the National Association of Science Writers.