Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


John Washington

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Research Chemist at USEPA

USEPA Office of Research & Development

Center for Environmental Measurements & Modeling

Ecosystems Processes Division

960 College Station Road

Athens, GA 30605-2700     


Recent research has been directed at understanding sources, transport and transformations of fluorotelomer and perfluorinated compounds in the environment using LC/MS/MS and GC/MS.

Past research areas include: 1) characterizing redox potential and controls on electron-exchange reactions in environmental systems; 2) controls on mobility and transformations of agricultural nutrients, especially nitrogen; 3) quantifying thermodynamic properties and hydrolysis rates of volatile organic compounds as well as analytical modeling of these compounds in the environment; and 4) elucidating geochemical controls on the concentrations and distribution of radionuclides and metals in the environment. Analytically, this research entailed ion and gas chromatography, spectrometric, fluorescence and phosphorescence detectors, as well as other conventional analytical methods.


Recent Publication:

Co-Author: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the environment (Science)

Evich, Marina G., Mary J. B. Davis, James P. McCord, Brad Acrey, Jill A. Awkerman, Detlef R. U. Knappe, Andrew B. Lindstrom, Thomas F. Speth, Caroline T. Stevens, Mark J. Strynar, Zhanyun Wang, Eric J. Weber, W. Matthew Henderson*, John W. Washington*. 2022. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the environment. Science (paper invited by the journal). Vol 375, Issue 6580, Page 512, DOI: 10.1126/science.abg9065


Doctor of Philosophy, Geochemistry and Mineralogy, Penn State University


Master of Science, Environmental Pollution Control, Penn State University


Bachelor of Science, Environmental Resource Management, Penn State University


Of note:


2022 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize. For the year’s outstanding research paper published in Science, “Hunting the eagle killer: A cyanobacterial neurotoxin causes vacuolar myelinopathy.”

2021 Penn State, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences 125th Anniversary Fellow.  For contributions to the fields of science or engineering.

2020 USEPA Science Achievement Award.  An EPA National Honor Award for use of innovative analytical approaches to develop a legacy PFAS fingerprint and detect novel PFAS chemicals and degradates in New Jersey.

2020 USEPA James W. Craig Pollution Prevention Leadership Award.  An EPA National Honor Award for collaborative efforts with state and tribal governments to characterize exposures and reduce to emerging PFAS.

Articles Featuring John Washington

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are products of the modern chemical industry that have been enthusiastically incorporated into both essential and convenience…

Your gift helps to fund research, travel, and field experience for students and faculty.