Geoffrey D. Bothun, Ph.D.

  • Professor and Chair of Chemical Engineering
  • University of Rhode Island College of Engineering
  • Phone: STEEP Role: Co-lead, Project 3


Dr. Geoffrey D. Bothun is Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island. He is also the Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Rhode Island Consortium for Coastal Ecology Assessment, Innovation, and Modeling, which is supported by the National Science Foundation Established Program for Stimulating Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR). Professor Bothun’s research is in the area of bionanotechnology with an emphasis on membrane biophysics, molecular self-assembly, and colloidal and interfacial phenomena. Fundamental work in these areas drives the creation of new nanomaterials for therapeutic application and environmental sensing, and improved understanding of the environmental health and safety effects of emerging pollutants. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, the National Aeronautics and Space Association, the National Science Foundation, and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.

As a STEEP investigator, Professor Bothun is measuring the physical and chemical properties of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), and studying how these properties influence the way in which they interact with biological molecules such as proteins and lipids. These interactions play a key role in determining how pollutants travel through and are retained within the body.