Samantha Parks, Ph.D.
Georgia State University
Samantha Parks’ academic interests are rooted in microbiology and microbial ecology. Specifically, she is interested in how microbial physiology correlates with niche. Her graduate work was with soil microbes and focused on biodegradation of nitroaromatic compounds. She currently uses Winogradsky columns to cultivate novel soil microbes and characterize the isolates, including their phylogeny and antimicrobial resistance profiles. Such work, done as a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) lab in the Biology Department, contributes to greater knowledge regarding antimicrobial compounds and their efficacy against locally-sourced bacteria.
Dr. Parks also conducts Discipline Based Educational Research (DBER) investigating student learning improvements, science literacy and STEM identity in both lecture and lab environments at Georgia State University. Using case studies in lecture and antimicrobial essential oils and spices from around the world, Parks incorporates diverse personal learning into lecture and lab. Investigations into best educational practices enable progressive change for academic improvement.