Christina S. Robb

Department of Analytical Chemistry
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
123 Huntington Street
P.O. Box 1106
New Haven, CT 06504-1106
Voice: (203)-974-8451 Fax: (203)-974-8502

Dr. Robb is an experienced Analytical Chemist and works on research related to the detection of pesticides and agents of chemical terrorism in the food supply. Much of this work is done in coordination with the US  FDA FERN (Food Emergency Response Network). The FERN integrates the nation’s food testing laboratories at the local, state and federal levels into a network that is able to respond to emergencies. The Analytical Chemistry department at CAES has been part of FERN since 2006. In addition to the research it performs for FERN, it provided screening for melamine in 2007 and tested seafood from the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010. The FERN has a number of critical roles with respect to food security and food defense which includes prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Dr Robb provides analytical support to both state and federal (FERN) programs on a wide variety of food types and plants. She has particular expertise in the area of separations science, notably HPLC coupled to different detection methods such as FTIR, HRMS, MS/MS, ICP-MS and UV/DAD amongst others.. She has performed novel method development to enable the analysis of toxic, commonly available, polar contaminants in food. In addition to food matrixes, she has worked on the analysis of soil, water and vegetation.

Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, University of Rhode Island, 2002.
M.S. in Analytical Chemistry, University of Rhode Island, 2000.
B.Sc. in Applied Chemistry, Strathclyde University, Scotland 1995.

Station career:
Assistant Agricultural Scientist II, 2006-present.

Research Activities:
My general instrumental areas of interest include HPLC, HPLC-HRMS, HPLC-MS/MS, HPLC-FTIR, CE, HPLC-ICP-MS and ELISA.I am interested in the application of novel separation systems and detectors to determine food based contaminants and constituents. Specific projects at this time include enhancing the analysis of polar contaminants in food and environmental samples and determining plant based toxins.

Professional societies:
Member of the Board of Directors, Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS)
Program Chair of EAS 2018
Member, American Chemical Society (ACS)
Member, American Society Mass Spectrometry (ASMS)

Service Activities:
Mentor for the CAES Middle School Girls’ Science Mentorship Program.
Visiting scientist with the Connecticut Biobus for several years: assisting in experiments and explain the career path of a chemist and food analysis.
Science fair judge.
I have performed science experiments in elementary schools to enhance the profile of STEM amongst children.

Technical Assistance:
Assisted DPH with the development of a first responder table top training based upon use of plant toxins.
Investigated allergen analysis of interest to DCP.
Perform pesticide analysis of interest to DEEP.

Selected publications:  publications available from the author,

Applications of physically adsorbed polymer coatings in capillary electrophoresis. Journal of liquid chromatography & related technologies, volume 30, number 5-7 729-759, 2007.

The Direct Analysis of Diquat and Paraquat in Lake Water Samples by per Aqueous Liquid Chromatography, LCGC, volume 29, number 1, pages 54-59, 2011.