P. Lee Ferguson
P. Lee Ferguson
Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry and Engineering
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.
In The News
Geitner, NK, Cooper, JL, Avellan, A, Castellon, BT, Perrotta, BG, Bossa, N, Simonin, M, Anderson, SM, Inoue, S, Hochella, MF, Richardson, CJ, Bernhardt, ES, Lowry, GV, Ferguson, PL, Matson, CW, King, RS, Unrine, JM, Wiesner, MR, and Hsu-Kim, H. "Size-Based Differential Transport, Uptake, and Mass Distribution of Ceria (CeO2) Nanoparticles in Wetland Mesocosms." Environmental Science & Technology 52, no. 17 (September 2018): 9768-9776.
Czaplicki, LM, Dharia, M, Cooper, EM, Ferguson, PL, and Gunsch, CK. "Evaluating the mycostimulation potential of select carbon amendments for the degradation of a model PAH by an ascomycete strain enriched from a superfund site." Biodegradation (July 13, 2018).
Kollitz, EM, De Carbonnel, L, Stapleton, HM, and Lee Ferguson, P. "The Affinity of Brominated Phenolic Compounds for Human and Zebrafish Thyroid Receptor β: Influence of Chemical Structure." Toxicological Sciences 163, no. 1 (May 2018): 226-239.
Kassotis, CD, Kollitz, EM, Ferguson, PL, and Stapleton, HM. "Nonionic Ethoxylated Surfactants Induce Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Cells." Toxicological Sciences 162, no. 1 (March 2018): 124-136.
Dasgupta, S, Choyke, S, Ferguson, PL, and McElroy, AE. "Antioxidant responses and oxidative stress in sheepshead minnow larvae exposed to Corexit 9500® or its component surfactant, DOSS." Aquatic Toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 194 (January 2018): 10-17.