Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Spotlight on Hilary Green, recipient of the 2022 Analytical Division Student Award

We are delighted to announce that Hilary Green is the recipient of the 2022 AOCS Analytical Division Student Award. This award recognizes graduate students presenting an outstanding oral or poster presentation within the analytical technical program at the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo.

About Hilary Green

Hilary Green

Hilary Green is a Ph.D. student in the Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry graduate group at the University of California, Davis. Hilary began her chemistry and research career in the kitchen. Her curiosity of the best way to cook an egg led to a month-long exploration of how temperature and time impact the texture of an egg. This element of curiosity and discovery is what motivates Hilary’s passion for research. 

She studied chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a plan of using this degree for environmental- or food-related research. However, it wasn’t until an internship working at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute that Hilary saw her path to graduate school as an analytical oil chemist. 

In graduate school, she has shifted her work to edible oils to connect her passion of research and chemistry with the kitchen. She is working in Dr. Selina Wang’s lab with a focus on oil purity and quality. Her work includes developing more efficient methods to analyze oils and understanding their chemical profile to help aid in standards development, which will ensure products are properly labeled and tested. Since starting graduate school, Hilary has also found interest in policy and science communication. After graduation she wants to work with a government or non-profit agency.

Can you tell us about your current research?

My current research works to understand how natural variables — such a harvest time, fruit grade, and cultivar — affect the chemical composition of avocado oil, with the goal of using the information learned from my studies to aid in standard development for this product.

What was your reaction when you learned you had won the award?

I immediately told my principal investigator when I had learned I won this award! I have presented under the AOCS Analytical Division multiple times throughout my Ph.D. and was excited to hear that the year I am graduating, after working for five years on my projects, I had received this honor.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS has given me the opportunity to present my research throughout my Ph.D. This has allowed me to communicate my research to a broad audience, something that is particularly important for me as my research involves the intersection between academia, industry and the government. I have also been able to meet and collaborate with colleagues in my field.

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