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STEPS Scholar Mumtahina Riza Successfully Defends Master’s Thesis

Mumtahina Riza, STEPS scholar and research assistant in the Department of Applied Ecology at NC State, has successfully defended her Master’s thesis, titled “Risk Screening of Phosphorus Capturing Materials for Eutrophication Mitigation.” Her project focused on the potential environmental risks of phosphorus-capturing materials to ease eutrophication in natural waters. She was advised by Dr. Khara Grieger, STEPS Knowledge Transfer co-lead. STEPS Director Dr. Jacob Jones also served on her committee.  

Riza joined NC State and STEPS after obtaining her MS in Environmental Science and Management from Bangladesh University of Professionals in 2021. Riza chose to pursue a graduate degree through STEPS because of the Center’s emphasis on sustainability and how it addresses obstacles around nonrenewable resources. Riza has been an active and accomplished STEPS scholar, co-leading a poster session of the Sustainable Phosphorus Summit in Fall 2022 and serving as Treasurer of the local chapter of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) in 2022. She won SRA’s 2022 Student Merit Award in their Advanced Materials and Technologies specialty group for her research. 

Riza’s research was inspired by her “curiosity to safeguard the environment” and finding “ways to ensure sound environmental health.”

Riza credits her work with STEPS for preparing her to pursue doctoral studies, saying the Center helped her learn “how to investigate the potential risks of phosphorus-capturing materials for eutrophication control.”  Riza also says that STEPS has helped her learn how to “explore the concept of environmental sustainability for new materials developed for P-capture.” Riza will start a Ph.D. program in Integrative and Conservation Biology this fall at the University of Central Florida. Her research will focus on improving overall soil health, as well as the resilience and sustainability of agricultural systems and ecosystems services. 

Please join us in congratulating Riza! To learn more about her research, see Riza’s portfolio.