Carnegie Mellon University

Carrie McDonough

Carrie McDonough

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

  • Mellon Institute 749
  • 412-268-9783


2017-2019    Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado School of Mines
2017    Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (URI GSO)
2008    B.Sc. in Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Environmental Analytical, Chemical Biology, Green

Research in the McDonough lab aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of how organic contaminants impact aquatic ecosystems and human health by combining innovative environmental chemistry and bioanalytical techniques, state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, and field monitoring campaigns. Our work protects the public from exposure to harmful pollutants and draws attention to the global ubiquity of organic contaminants.


The need for testing isomer profiles of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to evaluate treatment processes
Londhe, K.; Lee, C.S.; McDonough, C. A.; Venkatesan, A. Environmental Science & Technology. 2022, Accepted.

Source apportionment of serum PFASs in two highly exposed communities
Wallis, D. J.; Barton, K. E.; Knappe, D. R. U.; Kotlarz, N.; McDonough, C. A.; Hoppin, J. A.; Adgate, J. L.; Higgins, C. P. Science of the Total Environment. 2022, 158842. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158842

Interactive software for visualization of non-targeted mass spectrometry data – FluoroMatch Visualizer
Koelmel, J. P.; Stelben, P.; Godri, D.; Qi, J.; McDonough, C. A.; Dukes, D. A.; Aristizabel-Henao, J. J.; Bowden, J. A.; Sternberg, S.; Rennie, E. E.; Godri Pollitt, K. J. Exposome. 2022. Accepted. DOI: 10.26434/chemrxiv-2022-p5150

Communicating confidence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance identification via high-resolution mass spectrometry
Charbonnet, J.; McDonough, C. A.; Xiao, F.; Schwichtenberg, T.; Cao, D.; Kaserzon, S.; Thomas, K. V.; Dewapriya, P.; Place, B. J.; Schymanski, E. L.; Field, J. A.; Helbling, D. E.; Higgins, C. P. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 2022. 9 (6), 473-481. DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.2c00206

Widening the lens on PFASs: Direct human exposure to perfluoroalkyl acid precursors (pre-PFAAs)
McDonough, C. A.;* Li, W.; Bischel, H. N.; DeWitt, J. C.; De Silva, A. O. Environmental Science & Technology. 2022. 56, 6004-6013. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c00254

Cross-sectional associations between serum PFASs and inflammatory biomarkers in a population exposed to AFFF-contaminated drinking water
Barton, K.; Zell-Baran, L. M.; DeWitt, J. C.; Brindley, S.; McDonough, C. A.; Higgins, C. P.; Adgate, J. L.; Starling, A. P. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. 2022. 113905. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2021.113905

FluoroMatch 2.0 – Making automated and comprehensive non-targeted PFAS annotation a reality
Koelmel, J.; Stelben, P.; McDonough, C. A.; Dukes, D. A.; Aristizabel-Henao, J. J.; Nason, S.; Li, Y.; Lin, E.; Beckmann, M.; Williams, A.; Draper, J.; Finch, J.; Deigl, C.; Rennie, E.; Pyke, J.; Bowden, J. A.; Godri Pollitt, K. J. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 2022. DOI: 10.1007/s00216-021-03392-7

Patterns in serum toxicokinetics in Peromyscus exposed to PFAS
Narizzano, A. M.; Bohannon, M. E.; East, A. G.; McDonough, C. A.; Choyke, S.; Higgins, C. P.; Quinn, M. J. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. 2021. 40 (10), 2886-2898. DOI: 10.1002/etc.5151

Unsaturated PFOS (UPFOS) and other PFASs in human serum and drinking water from an AFFF-impacted community
McDonough, C. A.; Choyke, S.; Barton, K. E.; Mass, S.; Starling, A. P.; Adgate, J.; Higgins, C. Environmental Science & Technology. 2021. 55, 8139-8148. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c00522

The fate of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in a marine food web influenced by land-based in the Norwegian Arctic
Ali, A. M.; Langberg, H. A.; Hale, S. E.; Kallenborn, R.; Bartz, W. F.; Jenssen, B. M.; Mortensen, A.; Ciesielski, T. M.; McDonough, C. A.; Breedveld, G. D. Environ. Sci.: Processes & Impacts. 2021. 23, 588-604. DOI: 10.1039/D0EM00510J

Public and private tap water: Comparative analysis of contaminant exposure and potential risk, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Bradley, P.; Padilla, I.; Romanok, K. M.; Smalling, K. L.; Focazio, M. J.; Breitmeyer, S. E.; Cardon, M. C.; Conley, J. M.; Evans, N.; Givens, C. E.; Gray, J. L.; Gray, E.; Hartig, P. C.; Higgins, C. P.; Hladik, M. L.; Iwanowicz, L. R.; Lane, R. F.; Loftin, K. A.; McCleskey, B.; McDonough, C. A.; Medlock-Kakaley, E.; Meppelink, S. M.; Weis, C. P.; Wilson, V. S. Environment International. 2021. 152, 106487. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2021.106487

Immunotoxicity of an electrochemically fluorinated aqueous film-forming foam mixture
McDonough, C. A.; Ward, C.; Hu, Q.; Vance, S.; Higgins, C. P.; DeWitt, J. Tox. Sci.. 2020. 178 (1) 104-114. DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfaa138

Bioaccumulation of novel per/polyfluoroalkyl substances in mice dosed with an aqueous film-forming foam
McDonough, C. A.; Choyke, S.; Ferguson, P. L.; DeWitt, J. C.; Higgins, C. P. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020. 54, 5700-5709. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c00234

Sociodemographic and behavioral determinants of serum concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in a community highly exposed to aqueous film-forming foam contaminants in drinking water
Barton, K.; Starling, A.; Higgins, C. P.; McDonough, C. A.; Calafat, A.; Adgate, J. Int. J. Hyg. Environ. Health. 2020. 223 (1), 256-266. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.07.012

Mixed organic and inorganic tapwater exposures and potential effects in greater Chicago area, USA
Bradley, P.; Argos, M.; Kolpin, D.; Meppelink, S.; Romanok, K.; Smalling, K.; Focazio, M.; Allen, J.; Dietze, J.; De Vito, M.; Donovan, A.; Evans, N.; Givens, C.; Gray, J.; Higgins, C.; Hladik, M.; Iwanowicz, L.; Journey, C.; Lane, R.; Laughrey, Z.; Loftin, Z.; McCleskey, R.; McDonough, C.; Medlock-Kakaley, E.; Meyer, M.; Putz, A.; Richardson, S.; Stark, A.; Weis, C.; Wilson, V.; Zehraoui, A. Sci. Tot. Environ. 2020. 719, 137236. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137236

Aryl hydrocarbon-mediated activity of gas-phase ambient air derived from passive sampling and an in vitro bioassay
McDonough, C. A.; Franks, D.; Hahn, M. E.; Lohmann, R. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2019. 38, 748-759. DOI: 10.1002/etc.4361

Removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances using super-fine powder activated carbon and ceramic membrane filtration compared to granular activated carbon
Murray, C. C.; Vatankhah, H.; McDonough, C. A.; Nickerson, A.; Hedtke, T. T.; Higgins, C. P.; Bellona, C. L. J. Hazard Mater. 2019. 366, 160-168. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.11.050

Measuring total PFASs in water: The tradeoff between selectivity and inclusivity
McDonough, C. A.; Guelfo, J. L.; Higgins, C. P. Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health. 2018. 7, 13-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.coesh.2018.08.005

Dissolved organophosphate esters in North Atlantic depth profiles and Canadian Arctic surface waters
McDonough, C. A.; De Silva, A. O.; Sun, C.; Adelman, D.; Soltwedel, T.; Bauerfiend, E.; Muir, D. C. G.; Lohmann, R. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2018. 52, 6208-6216. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b01127

Concentrations and water mass transport of legacy POPs in the Arctic Ocean
Ma, Y.; Adelman, D.; Bauerfeind, E.; Cabrerizo, A.; McDonough, C. A.; Muir, D. C. G.; Soltwedel, T.; Sun, C.; Wagner, C.; Sunderland, E.; Lohmann, R. Geophys. Res. Lett. 2018. 45 (23), 12972-12981. DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078759