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John Goodpaster Ph.D.

Director of Forensic Sciences Program, Associate Professor, Chemistry


B.A., Chemistry, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1995

M.S., Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, 2000

Ph.D., Chemistry, Michigan State University, 2000

National Research Council Post-Doctoral Associate, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 2001-2002

Professional Affiliations

American Chemical Society (ACS), 1995-present

American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), 1996-present

Teaching Assignments

FIS 51100 Forensic Chemistry I, Fall

FIS 51200 Forensic Chemistry II, Spring

FIS 40100 Forensic Chemistry I, Fall

FIS 40400 Forensic Chemistry II, Spring

FIS 49000 Forensic Science Capstone, Fall

Current Research

My group’s research can be described as forensic analytical chemistry, which combines the powerful laboratory methods of analytical chemistry with issues of acute social relevance such as law enforcement, public health and counter-terrorism.  As a result, the central concept of “Chemistry in the Public Interest” can be used to guide and inform our research activities:

Chemistry in the Public Interest

Our projects related to explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are focused on law enforcement and defense applications.  Our application of multivariate statistics to chemical data (chemometrics) allows for detailed analysis of a number of data types, including instrumental data generated from trace evidence, which also has clear law enforcement applications.  The pursuit of what we call “lifestyle markers” is intended to examine the various organic and aqueous fractions that are normally discarded during nuclear or mitochondrial DNA protocols.  The small molecules in these layers have the potential to reflect the subject’s lifestyle, such as alcohol/drug/tobacco use, hair dyes, age, and health status.

Select Publications

Kranz, W.D., Strange, Nicholas A.; Goodpaster, J.V.  “Fooling fido”-chemical and behavioral studies of pseudo-explosive canine training aids.  Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2014, 406(30), 7817-7825.

Rainey, C.L.; Bors, Dana E.; Goodpaster, J.V., Design and optimization of a total vaporization technique coupled to solid-phase microextraction.  Analytical Chemistry 2014, 86(22), 11319-11325.

Turner, D. A.; Pichtel, J.; Rodenas, Y.; McKillip, J.; Goodpaster, J. V., Microbial degradation of gasoline in soil: comparison by soil type. Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation 2014, 5(2), 7 pp.

Turner, D.A.; Goodpaster, J.V., Preserving ignitable liquid residues on soil using Triclosan as an anti-microbial agent.  Forensic Sci. Int. 2014, 239C, 86-91.

Kranz, W.; Kitts, K.; Strange, N.; Cummins, J.; Lotspeich, E.; Goodpaster, J., On the smell of Composition C-4. Forensic Sci. Int. 2014, 236, 157-163.

Bors, D.; Cummins, J.; Goodpaster, J., The anatomy of a pipe bomb explosion: measuring the mass and velocity distributions of container fragments. J Forensic Sci 2014, 59 (1), 42-51.

Bors, D.; Cummins, J.; Goodpaster, J., The anatomy of a pipe bomb explosion: The effect of explosive filler, container material and ambient temperature on device fragmentation. Forensic Sci. Int. 2014, 234, 95-102.

Turner, D. A.; Goodpaster, J. V., The effects of season and soil type on microbial degradation of gasoline residues from incendiary devices. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2013, 405 (5), 1593-1599.

Rainey, C. L.; Shifflett, J. R.; Goodpaster, J. V.; Bezabeh, D. Z., Quantitative analysis of humectants in tobacco products using gas chromatography (GC) with simultaneous mass spectrometry (MSD) and flame ionization detection (FID). Beitr. Tabakforsch. Int. 2013, 25 (6), 576-585.

Rainey, C. L.; Berry, J. J.; Goodpaster, J. V., Monitoring changes in the chemical composition of dissolvable tobacco products. Anal. Methods 2013, 5 (13), 3216-3221.

Turner, D. A.; Goodpaster, J. V., Comparing the effects of weathering and microbial degradation on gasoline using principal components analysis. J. Forensic Sci. 2012, 57 (1), 64-69.

Lotspeich, E.; Kitts, K.; Goodpaster, J., Headspace concentrations of explosive vapors in containers designed for canine testing and training: Theory, experiment, and canine trials. Forensic Sci. Int. 2012, 220 (1-3), 130-134.

Koehler, G.; Wilson, R. C.; Goodpaster, J. V.; Sonsteby, A.; Lai, X.; Witzmann, F. A.; You, J.-S.; Rohloff, J.; Randall, S. K.; Alsheikh, M., Proteomic study of low-temperature responses in strawberry cultivars (Fragaria × ananassa) that differ in cold tolerance. Plant Physiol. 2012, 159 (4), 1787-1805.

D. A. Turner and J. V. Goodpaster “The Effect of Microbial Degradation on the Chromatographic Profiles of Tiki Torch Fuel, Lamp Oil, and Turpentine” J. Forensic Sci. (In Press).

D. A. Turner and J. V. Goodpaster “Comparing the Effects of Weathering and Microbial Degradation on Gasoline Using Principal Components Analysis” J. Forensic Sci. (In Press).

B. J. Routon, B. B. Kocher and J. V. Goodpaster “Discriminating Hodgdon Pyrodex and Triple Seven Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry” J. Forensic Sci, 2011, 56, 194-199.

J. A. Barrett, J. A. Siegel and J. V. Goodpaster “Forensic Discrimination of Dyed Hair Color: II. Multi-variate Statistical Analysis” J. Forensic Sci. 2011, 56, 95-101.

C. L. Rainey, P. A. Conder and J. V. Goodpaster “Chemical Characterization of Dissolvable Tobacco Products Promoted To Reduce Harm” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2011, 59, 2745-2751.

R. Hibbard, J. V. Goodpaster and M. R. Evans “Factors Affecting the Forensic Examination of Automotive Lubricating Oils” J. Forensic Sci. 2011, 56, 741-753.

E. A. Liszewski, S. Lewis, J. A. Siegel and J. V. Goodpaster "Characterization of Automotive Paint Clear Coats by Ultraviolet Absorption Microspectrophotometry with Subsequent Chemometric Analysis” Appl. Spectroscopy 2010, 64, 1122-1125.

J. A. Barrett, J. A. Siegel and J. V. Goodpaster “Forensic Discrimination of Dyed Hair Color: I. UV-Visible Microspectrophotometry” J. Forensic Sci. 2010, 55, 323-333.

J. V. Goodpaster and E. A. Liszewski “Forensic Analysis of Dyed Textile Fibers” Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2009, 394, 2009-2018.

D. A. Turner and J. V. Goodpaster “Effects of Microbial Degradation on Ignitable Liquids in Soil” Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2009, 394, 363-371.

Select Patents

Goodpaster, J.V.; Biodegradation suppression solution for forensic ignitable liquid samples includes an antimicrobial agent in basic solution.  PCT Int. Appl. (2012), WO 2012116158 A2 Aug. 30, 2012.

Awards & Honors

Best Oral Presentation (Fires and Explosions), 22nd International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences, Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society, Adelaide, Australia (2014)

Gustavus Adolphus College First Decade Award Nominee (2005)

United States Department of Treasury Certificate of Award (2003)

United States Department of Commerce Certificate of Appreciation (2002)

ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Graduate Fellowship (1999 – 2000)

Kenan Award Symposium (1998)

American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Scholarship (1996)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (1996 – 1999)

Graduated summa cum laude (1995)

Phi Beta Kappa (1994)

FBI Honors Internship (1994)

ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Undergraduate Award (1994)

National Merit Scholarship (1991 – 1995)