Mike Thurman
Research Associate • Co-Director, Laboratory for Environmental Mass Spectrometry
Environmental Engineering

Office: SEEC S297


  • PhD, Geology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA, May 1979
  • BS, Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA, May 1972

Honors and Distinctions

  • Author of >150 Peer reviewed papers, h-index of 58
  • Institute for Scientific Information, listed Thurman as a Highly Cited Scientist in Environmental Science, (1% of all working scientists) with over 16,000 total citations
  • Patent: Determination of chemical empirical formulas of unknown compounds using accurate ion mass measurement of all isotopes, 2007, US 20070114373.
  • Dedicatee Award for the Humic Substances Meeting at Northeastern University in Boston (for isolation and characterization of humics), 2005.
  • Shoemaker Award for Scientific Journalism (U.S. Geological Survey) for the work on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment. August 2003, the most cited paper in the history of Environmental Science and Technology with over 4000 citations.
  • Retired from US Geological Survey with 30 years and Distinguished Scientist Award 2003

Professional Afflitations

  • Member American Chemical Society for 40 Years
  • Teaches short course on mass spectrometry at the Pittsburg Analytical Chemistry Meeting 2003-Present


  • Liquid and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry for environmental analysis
  • Interpretation of mass spectra
  • Chemical analysis of pesticides and natural products
  • Sample preparation and analysis, soil, water, and food
  • Accurate mass analysis
  • Analysis of hydraulic fracturing fluids
  • Pharmaceuticals in drinking water, wastewater, and groundwater
  • Isolation and characterization of humic substances 

Recent publications:

  1. Rosenblum, J., Thurman, E.M., Ferrer, I., Aiken, G., Linden, K.G., 2017, Organic chemical characterization and mass balance of a hydraulically fractured well: From fracturing fluid to produced water over 405 days, Environmental Science and Technology, v. 51, pp.14006-14015.
  2. Thurman, E.M., Ferrer, I., Rosenblum, J., Linden, K., Ryan, J.N., 2017, Identification of propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol carboxylates in flowback and produced water from hydraulic fracturing, Journal of Hazardous Materials, v.323, pp. 11-17.
  3. Hanigan, D., Ferrer, I., Thurman, E.M.,, Herckes, P., Westerhoff, P., 2017, LC/QTOF-MS fragmentation of N-nitrosodimethylamine precursors in drinking water is predictable and aids in their identification: Journal of Hazardous Materials, v.323, pp. 18-25.
  4. Rosenblum, J.S., Sitterley, K.A., Thurman, E.M., Ferrer, I., Linden, K.G., 2016, Hydraulic fracturing wastewater treatment by coagulation-adsorption for the removal of organic compounds and turbidity, J. Environmental Chemical Engineering, v. 4, pp. 1978-1984.
  5. Hanigan, D., Thurman, E.M., Ferrer, I., Westerhoff, P., 2015, Methadone contributes to N-Nitrosodimethylamine formation in surface waters and wastewaters during chloramination, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 2, 151-157.
  6. Lester, Y., Ferrer, I., Thurman, E.M. et al., 2015, Characterization of hydraulic fracturing flowback water in Colorado: Implications for water treatment,  Science of the Total Environment, 512, 637-644.
  7. Thurman, E.M., Ferrer, I., Blotevogel, J., Borch, T., 2014, Analysis of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced waters using accurate mass: Identification of ethoxylated surfactants,  Analytical Chemistry, 86, 9653-9661.
  8. Lester, Y., Ferrer, I., Thurman, E.M., Linden K.G., 2014, Demonstrating sucralose as a monitor of full scale UV/AOP treatment of trace organic compounds, Journal of Hazardous Materials, v.280, pp. 104-110.