Ryan Dapkus – 2021 Wilson Memorial Scholarship

Biography and M.S. Research Topic: Ryan Dapkus is a graduate student at the University of Kentucky. He is interested in geochemistry and fecal indicator bacteria, particularly in karst settings. He has long been interested in water quality work and worked in the water quality lab in the geology department at his undergraduate institution. He has presented on his initial findings at the 2022 joint North-Central/Southeastern GSA conference and is currently working on finishing his MS thesis.

His thesis work involves using tryptophan-like fluorescence (TLF) as a proxy for E. coli in two watersheds in the inner bluegrass region of Kentucky. TLF has been shown to be an effective rapid, high-resolution proxy for E. coli in other studies but little work has been done in karst.