Spring 2024

Gerardo Gamez, Ph.D.

Gerardo Gamez was born and raised in Mexico. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), USA, summa cum laude & with Departmental Honors in Chemistry, where he performed research with Prof. Dr. Jorge Gardea-Torresdey in the area of environmental chemistry pertaining to the use of plant tissues to filter aqueous media from heavy metal contamination. He also performed his Master of Science Thesis work in the Gardea-Torresdey group in which he developed methods to recover noble metals from aqueous media and new processes to produce noble metal nanoparticles. He obtained his PhD in Analytical Chemistry at Indiana University-Bloomington, USA, with Prof. Dr. Gary M. Hieftje, where he employed laser and optical emission diagnostic techniques in fundamental studies of plasmas used in analytical spectrochemistry. During this time he obtained the American Chemical Society-Division of Analytical Chemistry fellowship as well as the MERC fellowship. His work on the development of GDOES elemental mapping won him the first Richard Payling Award. He also co-developed a plasma based ambient mass spectrometry source. His postdoctoral work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, with Prof. Dr. Renato Zenobi, involved developing methods for ambient ionization mass spectrometry and exploring the possibilities of near-field laser ablation techniques. He then worked as a Scientist in the Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, EMPA Thun, Switzerland, where he developed methods and instrumentation in glow discharge spectroscopy. In the fall of 2013 he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University. He was awarded the inaugural Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry Emerging Investigator Lectureship in 2016. He received Tenure at Texas Tech University in Spring 2019 was promoted to Associate Professor in Fall 2019. He obtained the Arts and Sciences Excellence in Research Award for the Natural and Physical Sciences at Texas Tech University in 2019. He received the 2020 Young Plasma Scientist Award at the Winter Conference for Plasma Spectrochemistry. In Fall 2023, he was promoted to Full Professor. He has coauthored more than 75 peer-reviewed publications (Google scholar: h-index 35, i10-index 66). In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family and playing drums.

CV | ResearcherID | OrcID | ScopusAuthorID  | Google Scholar Profile  

Members in the group get experience in several disciplines outside of chemistry, including biology and materials science. The multi-component character of the research projects allows the early-stage and experienced researchers to obtain and hone skills in instrument development (from design to implementation), method development, and fundamental experiment design.

Harsshit Agrawaal (Graduate student)
Harsshit obtained his Bachelor of Science from University of Delhi in 2016. He continued pursuing his interest in chemistry and graduated from Vellore institute of technology in 2018. In his mater’s, his research was focused on synthesis and characterization of nanomaterial. He also has experience in designing and implementing low-cost sensors to monitor particulate matter air pollutant. Currently, he is working with Dr. Gamez on project focusing on hyperspectral imaging.

Ejoke Akatugba (Graduate student)

Ejoke Akatugba is from Nigeria. She obtained his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Biochemistry from Delta State University Nigeria. She is a graduate student in Dr Gamez Lab and is currently working on developing ambient ionization mass spectrometry techniques specifically LAMP-FAPA MS, for the characterization of polymers samples.


Rajendra Joshi (Graduate student)
Rajendra was born and raised in Nepal. He obtained his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. He also completed his Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Physical Chemistry from the same University in 2021. He has experience of working in the synthesis and application of Nanoparticles. At present, he is a graduate student in Dr Gamez Lab and working on Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy (GDOES).

Daniela Barroso (Graduate Student)
Daniela was born in Celaya, Guanajuato. She moved to McKinney, Texas when she was young. Daniela completed her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a minor in math at Texas Tech University. During her undergraduate years, she worked with Dr. Kristufek on the synthesis catechol-based monomers research. As of now, she is working under Dr. Gerardo Gamez and Dr. Samantha Kristufek at TTU on synthesizing biopolymers for herbicide delivery and the characterization of these with the help of LAMP-FAPA-MS. She hopes to complete her PhD degree in Spring 2028.  On her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and trying out new restaurants.

Bibek Bhattarai (Graduate Student)
Bibek completed both his Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Science (MS) in Chemistry from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. In BS, he has synthesized and characterized nanoparticles. In MS, his research was focused on the isolation and characterization of antibiotics-producing bacteria, particularly Streptomyces species. Throughout his academic journey in Nepal, he gained skills in mass spectrometry- based metabolomics, genomics, and structure elucidation. Currently, he is working on advancing ambient mass spectrometry techniques, with a particular emphasis on LAMP-FAPA, to characterize metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).
Ezekiel Branch (Graduate Student)

From Lubbock, Texas, Ezekiel obtained his Bachelor of Science from Texas Tech University. He began his research in his senior year at TTU. Ezekiel is continuing his work as a graduate student on developing a microwave-enhanced laser induced plasma system for the study of plasma/microwave interaction fundamentals.


Aryanna Monroe (Undergraduate student)

Spring 2023

Fall 2020



Chika Okorie obtained his M.S. in December 2023.
Dr. Zhang obtained his PhD on August 2023. He is currently a scientist at DSM-Firmenich.
Dr. Finch obtained his PhD on August 2022. He is currently a scientist at TDA Research Inc. 
Ms. Oliva obtained her MS in May 2020. She is currently a Forensic Scientist at Bexar County Criminal Investigation Laboratory.
Dr. Shi obtained his PhD on August 2019. He is currently a scientist at the Texas Tech University Center for Biotechnology and Genomics.
Dr. Gong obtained her PhD on December 2018. She is currently a a scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb.

Yue She (Graduate student)

Yinglei Pu (Graduate student)

Fall 2019

Hanuk Kwon (Undergraduate student)

Tyler Allison (Undergraduate student)

Ezekiel Branch (Undergraduate student)

Paulina Flores (Undergraduate student)

Rushil Choutapali (Undergraduate student)

Jennifer Agu (Undergraduate student)

Heather Scott (Undergraduate student)

Michael Loomer (Undergraduate student)

Mason Moran (Undergraduate student)

Kristin Neystel (Undergraduate student)

David Zeldes (Undergraduate student)

Mariah Budomo (Undergraduate student)

Amarachi Peter-Azorji (Undergraduate student)

Kitiara Griffin (Undergraduate student)

Aldo Hernandez (Undergraduate student)

Paola Rivera (Undergraduate student)

Layan Shabaneh (Undergraduate student)

Irin Luke (Undergraduate student)

Keldric Thomas (Undergraduate Student)

Cody Baker (Undergraduate student, Undergraduate Research Scholar Program, Honors College)

Spring 2018

Jong Min Lee (Undergraduate student)

Zachry Kempf (Undergraduate student)

Chad Pesek (Undergraduate student)

Evan Boneta (Undergraduate student)

William Woodward (Undergraduate student)

Inah Embile (Undergraduate student)

Holden Fried (Undergraduate student)

Marcel Kroschk (Undergraduate student)

John Usala (Undergraduate student)

Mohammad Choudhury (Undergraduate student)

Sumin Son (Welch scholar high school program, Texas)

Vineel Mallepalli (Welch scholar high school program, Texas)

Spring 2016

Visiting scientists

Thibaud Allaman (Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland)

Fall 2015

Adrian Maag (Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland)

Prof. Dr. Thomas Nelis (Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland)

Prof. Dr. Hongtao Zheng (China University of Geoscience, China)