Christopher Higgins, PhD

Chris is a distinguished, award-winning environmental chemist and leading expert on poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Chris’ research focuses on the fate, transport, and bioaccumulation of emerging contaminants in aquatic and terrestrial systems. In his role at the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment, he facilitates the development of significantly improved, scientifically based approaches to estimating the human and ecological risks associated with exposures to anthropogenic and natural environmental chemicals and processes.

His current projects examine organic contaminants (including pharmaceuticals, personal care products and perfluorochemicals) in soils, food crops, groundwater systems and wastewater treatment plants. He also develops analytical methods for detection and quantification of inorganic nanoparticles in environmental and biological media.

“As we start to develop remediation strategies for the thousands of AFFF-impacted sites around the U.S., it is critical to understand how remedial technologies applied for other contaminants has affected (or will affect) the composition and distribution of PFAS. The PFAS are very likely still there, but our work suggests the mixtures of PFAS present could change as a result of co-contaminant remediation.”

Christopher Higgins