Akshaya Mohan


Dallas, Texas

Dallas, TX

Academic Interests

Civil Engineering: Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Track

Fun Fact

I am the biggest fan of the Great British Bake Off

For the past two years, I’ve worked on a research project in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Inland Fisheries department to discover the extent to which plastic waste has permeated Dallas-Fort Worth waterways. I dissected the GI tracts of 136 fish of 14 different species (which wasn’t as horrifying as I’d expected), manually counted the microplastics in 1.5mL of stomach content per fish and found microplastics in every single one.

This opportunity helped me realize that I want to study environmental science with a focus in public health to understand how harming the environment harms our health. In the long-term, I hope to encourage individuals and corporations to put the environment at the top of their priorities by illustrating the consequences of not doing so on human health. In the short-term, I hope to raise awareness by continuing to share my research during presentations with environmentally oriented clubs and local organizations. 

Outside of environmental science, I also love to write! Writing has given me skills that I can apply to STEM. I am a strong believer that the humanities and STEM are mutually supportive, and I hope to get a minor in creative writing by the time I graduate. 

In my free time, you can find me painting, watching the Great British Bake Off, or at the Durham Farmers Market. 

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

My favorite thing about Duke and SPIRE has been finding a community of incredibly diverse individuals. I have so many opportunities to nurture my STEM identity as well as explore my hobbies and new interests. With SPIRE I will have the support I need to expand my interests, gain experience, and learn from distinguished faculty. 

Akshaya Mohan
Akshaya Mohan