Tens of thousands of synthetic organic contaminants are released into our air and water every day due to human activities, representing an imminent but difficult-to-quantify global threat. We know very little about how these anthropogenic chemicals move through the environment (transport), where they end up (fate), or whether they are harming humans or natural ecosystems (health risks).  In this talk I will summarize my recent work using high-resolution mass spectrometry to investigate human exposure to organic contaminants via drinking water, as well as accumulation of these compounds within the mammalian body. I will focus on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), a class of ubiquitous drinking water contaminants associated with carcinogenicity, immunosuppression, and hormonal disruption. I will also summarize my plans for my new research program, which is beginning in August at Stony Brook University (NY, USA) and will focus on the environmental and human health impacts of organic contaminants along urbanized coastlines.


Dr. Carrie McDonough is a postdoctoral fellow at the Colorado School of Mines, where she uses non-target high-resolution mass spectrometry to understand biological accumulation and human exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Her overarching research objective is to develop a comprehensive understanding of how synthetic organic contaminants impact aquatic ecosystems and human health by combining innovative field monitoring tools and bioanalytical laboratory techniques with state-of-the-art mass spectrometry. Carrie received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and her Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (URI GSO). Her doctoral work, which focused on the transport and fate of emerging contaminants in the Great Lakes and Canadian Arctic, was awarded the 2018 CH2M/AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. 



PACE Building, 20 Cornwall Street, Woolloongabba
Interaction Space (Room 4002)