Dr. McConnell is an analytical chemist experienced in environmental science research with a focus on agricultural topics. She currently serves as a Principal Scientist in the Regulatory Scientific Affairs department of Bayer CropScience in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Previously, she was a lead scientist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service where she specialized in the investigation of the chemical and physical processes controlling the environmental fate of agriculturally-relevant pollutants. A primary focus of her research was the development of improved conservation practices to mitigate pollutant transport and to provide ecosystem services; innovative approaches to assess and reduce the bioavailability of pollutants in soil and water; development of sustainable farming systems to address challenges at the agriculture-urban interface.
Dr. McConnell served as President of the Chemistry and the Environment Division of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and she has served as Chair of the AGRO Division of the American Chemical Society. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and mentored many undergraduate and graduate students. She maintains an adjunct research faculty role at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has served on science-related advisory panels for the US EPA, European Food Safety Authority, and the American Chemical Society. She has received awards for her research including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and was appointed Fellow of the American Chemical Society.