Honors & Awards

  • Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health & London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (2022-2024)
  • EDGE-STEM Fellowship, Stanford University (2016)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Global Health Postdoctoral Affiliate, Center for Innovation in Global Health (CIGH) (2022 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, ESS-PHD (2022)
  • B.A., Bowdoin College, Earth and Oceanographic Science (2016)
  • B.A., Bowdoin College, Chemistry (2016)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Molecular insights and impacts of wildfire-induced soil chemical changes NATURE REVIEWS EARTH & ENVIRONMENT Lopez, A., Avila, C. E., Vanderroest, J. P., Roth, H. K., Fendorf, S., Borch, T. 2024
  • Metal toxin threat in wildland fires determined by geology and fire severity. Nature communications Lopez, A. M., Pacheco, J. L., Fendorf, S. 2023; 14 (1): 8007


    Accentuated by climate change, catastrophic wildfires are a growing, distributed global public health risk from inhalation of smoke and dust. Underrecognized, however, are the health threats arising from fire-altered toxic metals natural to soils and plants. Here, we demonstrate that high temperatures during California wildfires catalyzed widespread transformation of chromium to its carcinogenic form in soil and ash, as hexavalent chromium, particularly in areas with metal-rich geologies (e.g., serpentinite). In wildfire ash, we observed dangerous levels (327-13,100 µg kg-1) of reactive hexavalent chromium in wind-dispersible particulates. Relatively dry post-fire weather contributed to the persistence of elevated hexavalent chromium in surficial soil layers for up to ten months post-fire. The geographic distribution of metal-rich soils and fire incidents illustrate the broad global threat of wildfire smoke- and dust-born metals to populations. Our findings provide new insights into why wildfire smoke exposure appears to be more hazardous to humans than pollution from other sources.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-43101-9

    View details for PubMedID 38086795

    View details for PubMedCentralID 7812759

  • Assessing Analytical Methods for the Rapid Detection of Lead Adulteration in the Global Spice Market. Environmental science & technology Lopez, A. M., Nicolini, C. M., Aeppli, M., Luby, S. P., Fendorf, S., Forsyth, J. E. 2022


    Lead adulteration of spices, primarily via Pb chromate compounds, has been documented globally as a growing public health concern. Currently, Pb detection in spices relies primarily on expensive and time-consuming laboratory analyses. Advancing rapid Pb detection methods, inclusive of their accuracy and precision, would improve field assessments by food safety inspectors, stakeholders, and the public in the hope of reducing Pb exposure risks at its source. Here, we present two field procedures for Pb detection: portable X-ray fluorescence analysis (pXRF) and a simple colorimetric test. We assess their efficacy to detect Pb and its chemical form in seven spice types, including powders, spice-salt mixtures, and dried roots, compared to the proven laboratory technique, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Lead concentrations measured using pXRF and ICP-MS were within 5% of each other for spice powders and 24% for dried roots. By pXRF, spice samples were analyzed within collection plastic bags without preparation, resulting in a detection limit of 2 mg Pb/kg for spice powders, which is comparable to national food standards. The colorimetric test utilized here targets hexavalent chromium, making the method selective to Pb chromate adulteration assuming that this is its dominant source in spices. Color development, and thus detection, was observed when Pb concentrations exceeded approximately 5-70 mg/kg in dried turmeric roots and 1000 mg/kg in spice powders; however, it was ineffective for the spice-salt mixture. We show that pXRF analysis and a colorimetric assay provide information that may improve field decisions about Pb adulteration in a range of spice types, helping to minimize Pb exposure.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.2c03241

    View details for PubMedID 36343212

  • Perchlorate and Agriculture on Mars SOIL SYSTEMS Oze, C., Beisel, J., Dabsys, E., Dall, J., North, G., Scott, A., Lopez, A., Holmes, R., Fendorf, S. 2021; 5 (3)
  • Soil and Aquifer Properties Combine as Predictors of Groundwater Uranium Concentrations within the Central Valley, California Environmental Science & Technology Lopez, A. M., Wells, A., Fendorf, S. 2020: 10

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.0c05591

  • Protecting Groundwater Quality in California: Management Considerations for Avoiding Naturally Occurring and Emerging Contaminants Fakhreddine, S., Sherris, A., Lopez, A. M., Wells, A., Holmes, R., Nico, P., Bruton, T., Fendorf, S., Babbitt, C. Environmental Defense Fund. 2019 40