Samuel Arey’s interest in science and the environment started early, perhaps sparked by summers spent fishing and crabbing on the Gulf of Mexico coast as a kid. After completing a bachelor’s degree in public affairs and environmental science at Indiana University, Arey pursued graduate studies in environmental engineering and environmental chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a short postdoctoral stint at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Arey earned the 2007 John B. Phillips award for his work at WHOI with Christopher Reddy on modeling the chemical properties of petroleum mixtures with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography. After he moved to the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, he was voted the Best Teacher of 2008-2009 by students of the School of Architecture, Civil, and Environmental Engineering. He is now a Senior Adjunct Researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), where his research focuses on trying to better understand how natural and commercial chemicals behave in marine and freshwater systems.