Dr. Graham Peaslee
University of Notre Dame
Dr. Peaslee was trained as a nuclear chemist and has worked in fundamental research for more than 20 years, with over 187 peer-reviewed publications – most with student co-authors as he loves to combine research with student education. Over the last five years his research program has shifted to applications of nuclear science – where he has developed accelerator-based techniques that can rapidly measure materials for particular chemicals – such as per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) on solid surfaces. The technique he developed is the first spectroscopic measurement of fluorine that can be done in minutes, quantitatively and non-destructively, and it has changed the way we can survey lots of materials for the presence of PFAS rapidly and reliably – such as food packaging materials. Together with the burgeoning interest in PFAS in the environment thanks to well-publicized events in the media, he is really just in the right place at the right time with the right technique to help trace the fate and transport of these chemicals in our consumer products, our environment and elsewhere. Dr. Peaslee works with a wide variety of industries, non-profit groups and regulatory agencies to provide the scientific background on the ubiquity and persistence of these compounds in manufacturing processes, in finished goods, and in the environment.