Joel recieved a BS in chemistry and minor in philosophy from the Missouri University of Science & Technology. During his time as an undergraduate he served as a research assistant to Dr. Thomas Schuman where he conducted laboratory work primarily in polymer coatings and synthesis for applications in the concrete industry. Joel was initially attracted to food and flavor chemistry through his interest in wine and spirits. Now, a PhD student at OSU through FREC and Dr. Devin Peterson, Joel is investigating the chemical causes of different "spicy" perceptions in chili peppers and select herbs. Through this, he is studying the sensory phenomena of chemisthesis, or the chemical activation of receptors associated with touch and temperature.Beyond his research, Joel's interests include trying unique spirits, homebrewing, horticulture, and reading philosophy.