P. Lee Ferguson
Associate Professor (joint with Nicholas School of the Environment)
Please note that Dr. Ferguson will be spending January - July 2013 as a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics at ETH Zürich and at the Department of Environmental Chemistry at EAWAG in Dübendorf, Switzerland.
Dr. Ferguson is an Environmental Analytical Chemist who joined Duke in 2009 after six years as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina.
Research in the Ferguson laboratory is focused on development of novel methods for trace analysis of organic and nanoparticulate contaminants in the aquatic environment. Specifically, the laboratory uses high performance mass spectrometry techniques (e.g. UHPLC-Orbitrap MS/MS) to detect, identify, and quantify emerging contaminants (including endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants) in wastewater and drinking water. Another significant research thrust involves the development of sensitive trace analytical techniques for quantifying and characterizing single-walled carbon nanotubes in water, sediment, and aquatic organism tissues. For this work, near infrared fluorescence spectroscopy (NIRF) is used as a primary tool for resolving these novel nanoparticulate contaminants in highly complex environmental mixtures.
The analytical methods developed in the Ferguson laboratory laboratory (for both nanoparticles and organic contaminants) are applied to both process-oriented environmental chemistry experiments in the field and laboratory as well as to toxicity bioassays (including whole-organism assays and molecular endpoints). The overarching goal is to gain an increased understanding of how emerging contaminants are transported, transformed and induce deleterious effects within aquatic ecosystems.
- Office Location: 2453 CIEMAS
- Office Phone: (919) 660-5460
- Email Address:
- Web Pages:
|PhD Coastal Oceanography||Stony Brook University||2002|
|BS Marine Science||University of South Carolina||1997|
|BS Chemistry||University of South Carolina||1997|
Environmental analytical chemistry and applications of high resolution mass spectrometry to trace organic contaminant analysis, environmental fate and effects of carbon nanomaterials in the aquatic environment, proteomics in environmental toxicology, and mechanisms of environmental endocrine disruption in aquatic organisms
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:
- Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2011
- ACS Analytical Chemistry Award, University of South Carolina, 1997
- Belle W. Baruch Outstanding Undergrduate in Marine Science Award, University of South Carolina, 1997
- Honorable Mention, National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Competition, 1998
- Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellow, University of South Carolina, 1996
- Outstanding Performance Award, Fundamental Science Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2003
- President's Award to Distinguished Doctoral Students, Stony Brook University, 2002
- Senior Scholars Scholarship, University of South Carolina, 1996
- U.S. EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship, Environmental Protection Agency, 1998
- Undergraduate Research Fellow, South Carolina EPSCoR, National Science Foundation, 1995
- CEE 565.01 - ENVIRON. ANALYTICAL CHEM.
Representative Publications: (More Publications)
- Stapleton, Heather M. and Klosterhaus, Susan and Keller, Alex and Ferguson, P. Lee and van Bergen, Saskia and Cooper, Ellen and Webster, Thomas F. and Blum, Arlene, Identification of Flame Retardants in Polyurethane Foam Collected from Baby Products, Environmental Science & Technology, vol 45 no. 12 (2011), pp. 5323-5331 [doi] [abs].
- Ela, Wendell P. and Sedlak, David L. and Barlaz, Morton A. and Henry, Heather F. and Muir, Derek C. G. and Swackhamer, Deborah L. and Weber, Eric J. and Arnold, Robert G. and Ferguson, P. Lee and Field, Jennifer A. and Furlong, Edward T. and Giesy, John P. and Halden, Rolf U. and Henry, Tala and Hites, Ronald A. and Hornbuckle, Keri C. and Howard, Philip H. and Luthy, Richard G. and Meyer, Anita K. and Saez, A. Eduardo and vom Saal, Frederick S. and Vulpe, Chris D. and Wiesner, Mark R., Toward Identifying the Next Generation of Superfund and Hazardous Waste Site Contaminants, Environmental Health Perspectives, vol 119 no. 1 (2011), pp. 6-10 [doi] [abs].
- Frey, Rebecca L. and He, Lijian and Cui, Yiling and Decho, Alan W. and Kawaguchi, Tomohiro and Ferguson, P. Lee and Ferry, John L., Reaction of N-Acylhomoserine Lactones with Hydroxyl Radicals: Rates, Products, and Effects on Signaling Activity, Environmental Science & Technology, vol 44 no. 19, SI (2010), pp. 7465-7469 [doi] [abs].
- Y. L. Cui and R. L. Frey and J. L. Ferry and P. L. Ferguson, Identification of hydroxyl radical oxidation products of N-hexanoyl-homoserine lactone by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry, Rapid Communications In Mass Spectrometry, vol 23 no. 8 (2009), pp. 1212 -- 1220 [abs].
- P. L. Ferguson and G. T. Chandler and R. C. Templeton and A. Demarco and W. A. Scrivens and B. A. Englehart, Influence of sediment-amendment with single-walled carbon nanotubes and diesel soot on bioaccumulation of hydrophobic organic contaminants by benthic invertebrates, Environmental Science \& Technology, vol 42 no. 10 (2008), pp. 3879 -- 3885 [abs].