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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

Research Interests


  • Environmental analytical chemistry and applications of high resolution mass spectrometry to trace organic contaminant analysis
  • Environmental fate of per-and-polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment
  • Polymer additives and microplastics in the aquatic environment
  • Mechanisms of environmental endocrine disruption in aquatic organisms

Selected Grants


Establishing an Approach to PFAS Forensics and a PFAS Source Materials Forensic Library

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by NuGlobal Solutions · 2022 - 2025

PFAST Team 1: PFAS sources and fate in public drinking waters of North Carolina impacted by firefighting and textile operations

Public ServicePrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2024 - 2025

Collection of Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) samples from North Carolina Fire Stations to Create a PFAS Source Material Archive

Public ServicePrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2023 - 2025

Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Vanderbilt University · 2023 - 2025

Assessing the Pulmonary Toxicity of Microfibers Complexed with Azo Dyes

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of Florida · 2022 - 2024

Establishing an Approach to PFAS Forensics and a PFAS Source Materials Forensic Library

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by NuGlobal Solutions · 2022 - 2025

PFAST Team 1: PFAS sources and fate in public drinking waters of North Carolina impacted by firefighting and textile operations

Public ServicePrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2024 - 2025

Collection of Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) samples from North Carolina Fire Stations to Create a PFAS Source Material Archive

Public ServicePrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2023 - 2025

Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Vanderbilt University · 2023 - 2025

Assessing the Pulmonary Toxicity of Microfibers Complexed with Azo Dyes

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of Florida · 2022 - 2024

Acquisition of an Orbitrap Astral Mass Spectrometer for Research on PFAS in North Carolina Drinking Waters

EquipmentPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2023 - 2024

Comprehensive additive release and bioaccessibility model for risk assessment of micro- and nano-plastics in the environment

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by European Chemical Industry Council · 2021 - 2024

Regional Monitoring Program (RMP)

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by San Francisco Estuary Institute · 2016 - 2024

PFAS Testing Network Team 1: Sample Acquisition and PFAS Sample Analysis

Public ServicePrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2020 - 2024

Duke University Program in Environmental Health

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEMentor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2019 - 2024

Duke Environmental Analysis Laboratory

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2019 - 2024

Collaboratory Applied Research Fellowship - DEQ

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2022 - 2023

Assessment of parking garage washdown as a method for mitigating urban runoff of vehicle-derived contaminants to stormwater

Public ServicePrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2021 - 2023

Supercritical Water Oxidation (SCWO) for Complete PFAS Destruction

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by Strategic Environmental Research & Development Program · 2020 - 2023

MRI: Acquisition of a GC Hybrid Orbitrap High Resolution Tandem Mass Spectrometer for Environmental Science

EquipmentCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Science Foundation · 2018 - 2021

Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology

ResearchInvestigator · Awarded by National Science Foundation · 2008 - 2021

Fate of PU and PP microplastics and associated polymer additives in freshwater environments

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by BASF Corporation · 2020 - 2021

Assessment of emerging contaminant occurrence in Coastal North Carolina waters after Hurricane Dorian

Public ServicePrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2019 - 2021

Mechanisms of Environmental-Mixture Induced Metabolic Disruption

ResearchMentor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2019 - 2020

Children Exposure to SVOC Mixtures Indoors and Associations with Obesity

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2017 - 2020

Exposomics Reserach Project

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by Wallace Genetic Foundation · 2017 - 2019

Duke University Program in Environmental Health

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEMentor · Awarded by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences · 2013 - 2019

Development of affinity-directed isolation methods to identify novel hormonally active chemicals

FellowshipCo-Sponsor · Awarded by National Institutes of Health · 2017 - 2019

Investigating Electrocatalytic and Catalytic Approaches for In Situ Treatment of Perfluoroalkyl Contaminants in Groundwater

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by The Shaw Group Inc. · 2015 - 2019

Residential Exposure of Young Children to SVOCs

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by Environmental Protection Agency · 2014 - 2018

REU Site: Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEMentor · Awarded by National Science Foundation · 2014 - 2018

NCCLC: Life Cycle of Nanomaterials (LCnano)

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by Arizona State University · 2013 - 2018

Contribution of Toll-like Receptors in the Pulmonary Response to Nanoparticles and Pathogens

ResearchPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by University of Florida · 2012 - 2018

Photodegradation of Imidacloprid in Rivers: A Novel Water Quality Monitoring Approach

FellowshipMentor · Awarded by Department of Agriculture · 2016 - 2017

Support for the NonTarget 2016 Conference

ConferencePrincipal Investigator · Awarded by Environmental Protection Agency · 2016 - 2017

Metal Fingerprinting and Chemothermal Isolation Methods to Quantify Natural and Engineered Carbon Nanoparticles

ResearchCo-Principal Investigator · Awarded by National Science Foundation · 2013 - 2016

REU: Research Experience for Undergraudates on Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEPrincipal Investigator · Awarded by National Science Foundation · 2010 - 2014

External Relationships


  • Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • San Francisco Estuary Institute
  • Southern Environmental Law Center

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported outside activities with the companies, institutions, or organizations listed above. This information is available to institutional leadership and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts of interest.