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P. Lee Ferguson

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Box 90287, 121 Hudson Hall, Durham, NC 27708-0287
534 Research Dr., Wilkinson Building, Room 205, Durham, NC 27708


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 and application of analytical methods for measuring organic pollutants in the environment. Specifically, a major thrust of research in the lab involves the application of high resolution mass spectrometry to detect, identify, and quantify emerging contaminants in wastewater and drinking water.  His recent work has centered on the development of non-targeted analysis workflows and methods, assessment of polyfluorinated alkyl substances in water and wastewater, and leaching and bioaccessibility of polymer-associated chemicals from microplastic particles in the aquatic environment.  He has published over 100 peer-reviewed chapters and journal articles, serves on advisory councils for several organizations focused on emerging pollutants in the environment, and has testified before the U.S. Senate on environmental health concerns related to nanotechnology.  In North Carolina, he helped lead the formation of the NC PFAS Testing Network to assess statewide drinking water contamination from PFAS chemicals.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering · 2009 - Present Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering
Associate Professor in the Division of Marine Science and Policy · 2022 - Present Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment

Education, Training & Certifications

State University of New York, Stony Brook · 2002 Ph.D.