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Maxine Sewell Davis

Maxine  Sewell Davis
  • Associate Teaching Professor
  • LB Course Subject Area: Chemistry
  • Holmes Hall, W-36
  • 919 E. Shaw Lane
  • East Lansing, MI 48825
  • (517) 353-4763


I am passionate about making science education truly accessible to all. This is a part of my pledge to “play a part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race,” which is one of my favorite lines of the Jamaican National Pledge. I am an atmospheric chemist by training, having read for my Ph.D. at the School of public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

I have always wanted to teach, but came to teaching by a circuitous route. Following my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, I worked for a chemistry laboratory in the bauxite industry where I developed a model for the removal of oxalate from bauxite liquor. I then joined the staff of the International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences where I did research in water, atmospheric and soil chemistry. Following my Ph.D. in Environmental Science and postdoctoral studies at NOAA and the University of Colorado, Boulder, I joined the staff of Lyman Briggs in 2006.

I enjoy interacting with students and observe as they mature into passionate young men and women. It is a pleasure for me to be part of their journey as they mature into critical thinkers who care for each other and about the environment. You will find that discussion of the environment is a core element of my courses. We need to be good stewards of the resources we are privileged to have.


  • LB 155
  • LB 171
  • LB 172


  • Ph.D., Environmental Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Master of Philosophy, Chemistry, University of the West Indies
  • B.Sc, Special Honors, Chemistry, University of the West Indies


Michigan State University Excellence in Diversity Award (2014)


Postdoctoral research associate for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Center for Cooperative Research in Environmental Sciences. She specifically investigated the atmospheric chemistry of biogenic volatile organic compounds. Conducted experiments including measurement of reaction rate coefficients and products of gas phase free radical reactions, absorption cross sections and quantum yields of molecules of importance in the atmosphere.


  • Terri Trupiano Barry, Debra Carmichael, Maxine E. Davis, R. Joy Durding, Gretchen Myers Hill and Michael W. Orth. A Student Guide: Reading, Writing, and Researching in the Sciences, Great River Technology, 2012.

  • Maxine E. Davis, François Bernard, Max R. McGillen, Eric L. Fleming, and James B. Burkholder, UV and Infrared Absorption Spectra for CCl2FCCl2F (CFC-112), CCl3CClF2 (CFC-112a), CCl3CF3 (CFC-113a), and CCl2FCF3 (CFC-114a) and Their Atmospheric Lifetimes, Ozone Depletion and Global Warming Potentials, submitted to Geophysical Research Letters, February 2016
  • Davis, M. E; Burholder, J. B. “Rate coefficients for the gas-phase reaction of OH with (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, 1-penten-3-ol, (E)-2-penten-1-ol, and (E)-2-hexen-1-ol between 243 and 404 K. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 2011, 11, 3347–3358.
  • Maxine E. Davis, Ranajit Talukdar, Gregory Notte, G. Barney Ellison, James. B. Burkholder, “Rate Coefficients for the OH + Pinonaldehyde (C10H16O2) Reaction between 297 and 374 K”, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2007, 41, 3959-3965.
  • M. E. Davis, M. K. Gilles, J. B. Burkholder, A. R. Ravishankara, “Rate coefficients for the reaction of OH with (E)-2-pentenal, (E)-2-hexenal, and (E)-2-heptenal”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2007, 9, 2240–2248.
  • M. E. Davis, W. Drake, D. Vimal, P. S. Stevens. (2005). “Experimental and theoretical studies of the kinetics of the reactions of OH and OD with acetone and acetone-d6 at low pressure”, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A, 176, 162 - 171.