Faculty Profile

Christopher Palmer

Christopher Palmer


Email: christopher.palmer@umontana.edu
Office: Chem 203A
Office Hours:

Monday 2-3 and Tuesday 11 AM - 12 PM

Current Position

Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry


CHMY 311: Analytical Chemistry:  Quantitative Analysis

CHMY 489: Forensic Chemistry Seminar

CHMY 542 Separation Science

CHMY 595 Analytical Mass Spectrometry

Personal Summary

Chris Palmer received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Arizona in 1991. He carried out postdoctoral research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University from 1991 to 1992, at Unilever Research Laboratory in The Netherlands from 1993 to 1994, and at Himeji Institute of Technology in Japan from 1994 to 1995. He was Assistant Professor of Chemistry at New Mexico Insitute of Mining and Technology from 1995 to 1999 and Associate Professor from 1999-2001. Chris joined UM in 2001. He spent a year as Honorary Research Associate at the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science (ACROSS) at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia and later spent six months as a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Sao Paulo in Sao Carlos, Brazil..  Chris is an analytical chemist specializing in the development of novel polymeric materials for application in microscale liquid phase separations and in the application of separations methods to environmental analysis.


Juniata College, Huntingdon PA.  BS in Chemistry, 1985

University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.  PhD in Analytical Chemistry, 1991

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.  Postdoctoral Associate.  1991-1992

Unilever Research Laboratorium, Vlaardingen, The Netherlands.  Postdoctoral Associate.  1993-1994

Himeji Institute of Technology (now Kyogo Prefectural University), Japan, JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow.  1994-1995


Research Interests

Chris and his research group are interested in the development of new separations methodologies that will have a broad range of application and analytical interest in the fields of pharmaceutical, environmental and biochemical analysis. Interests also include characterization of the nature of chemical interactions observed between solutes and solvent phases, and how this is affected by the structure and chemistry of the solvent phase. Most recent work has concentrated on the development, characterization and application of novel amphophilic ionic polymers, polymeric nanoparticles, and synthetic lipid bilayer nanodiscs as pseudo-stationary phases in electrokinetic chromatography. Electrokinetic chromatography is a micro-scale analytical technique that can be carried out in capillaries or on microchip devices. Nonionic compounds are separated via differential interaction with an ionic pseudo-stationary phase in an electric field. The polymeric materials that are being developed in the laboratory have several significant advantages over commonly used micellar phases. These advantages stem from the stability of the structures, which leads to applicability for the separation of hydrophobic compounds, the ability to design and synthesize phases with unique chemical selectivity, and compatibility with mass spectrometric detection.

Chris is also involved in collaborative work in which separations technologies are developed and applied to environmental analytical problems.  Most recently, the group has developed and applied GC-MS methods for the determination of chemical markers for wood smoke in particulate matter and in urine.  Application of these methods has supported the evaluation of a wood stove replacement program in Libby, MT and the characterization of levoglucosan as a potential chemical marker of exposure to woodsmoke.  The research team continues to work on issues related to residential wood smoke and wood smoke exposure.

Selected Publications

“Electrokinetic Chromatography: An Historical Review of Developments in Theory and Practice,” C.P. Palmer, (2015) Scientia Chromatographica, 7(1), 1-23.  10.4322/sc.2015.014

RAFT Polymerized Nanoparticles: Influences of Shell and Core Chemistries on Performance for Electrokinetic Chromatography,” Jesse S. Hyslop, Leah M.G. Hall, Andre A. Umansky, Christopher P. Palmer, (2014) Electrophoresis, 35, 728-735. 10.1002/elps.201300403

“The impact of a community-wide woodstove changeout intervention on air quality within two schools,” Tony J. Ward, Christopher P. Palmer, Kathi Hooper, Megan Bergauff, Curtis Noonan, (2013) Atmospheric Pollution Research, 4, 238-244.  10.5094/APR.2013.025

“Residential indoor PM2.5 in wood stove homes:  follow-up of the Libby changeout program,” C.W. Noonan, W. Navidi, L. Sheppard, C.P. Palmer, M. Bergauff, K. Hooper, T.J. Ward, (2012) Indoor Air, 22(6), 492-500. 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2012.00789.x

“Organic/elemental carbon and woodsmoke tracer concentrations following a community wide woodstove changeout program,” T.J Ward, C.P. Palmer, M. Bergauff, R.K.M. Jayanty, C.W. Noonan, (2011) Atmospheric Environment, 45, 5554-5560. 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.05.005

.“Retention Behavior and Selectivity of a Latex Nanoparticle Pseudostationary Phase for Electrokinetic Chromatography,” Christopher P. Palmer, Allison Keefer, Emily F.Hilder, Paul R. Haddad, (2011) Electrophoresis, 32, 588-594. 10.1002/elps.201044470

“Changes in Respiratory Symptoms and Infections Following a Reduction in Wood Smoke PM,” Curtis W. Noonan, Tony J. Ward, William Navidi, Lianne Sheppard, Chris Palmer, Megan Bergauff, (2011), Epidemiology: 22, S186.  10.1097/01.ede.0000392249.44531.f3


“Silica modified with polymeric amphiphilic nanoparticles as first dimension for multidimensional separation techniques,” Maraissa S Franco, Rodrigo N Padovan, Bruno H Fumes, Christopher P Palmer, Julie R McGettrick, Fernando M. Lancas, (2019) Journal of Chromatography A, 1597, 149-158.  10.1016/j.chroma.2019.03.029

“Sphingomyelin ability to act as chiral selector using nanodisc electrokinetic chromatography,” William M. Penny and Christopher P. Palmer, (2018), Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 214, 11-14.  10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2018.05.002

“Effects of structure on the performance of latex nanoparticles as a pseudostationary phase in electrokinetic chromatography, Jesse S. Hyslop, Julie R. McGettrick, Leah M.G. Hall, Hungngai Chuk, Christopher P. Palmer, (2018), Analytica Chimica Acta, 1000, 293-302. 10.1016/j.aca.2017.11.020

“Determination of lipid bilayer affinities and solvation characteristics by electrokinetic chromatography using polymer-bound lipid bilayer nanodiscs,” William M. Penny, Christopher P. Palmer, (2018), Electrophoresis, 39, 844-852, 10.1002/elps.201700308

“Phospholipid Bilayer Affinities and Solvation Characteristics by Electrokinetic Chromatography with a Nanodisc Pseudostationary Phase,” William M. Penny, Harmen B. Steele, J.B. Alexander Ross, Christopher P. Palmer, (2017) Electrophoresis, 38, 738-746. 10.1002/elps.201600381

“Performance and Selectivity of Cationic Nanoparticle Pseudo-Stationary Phases in Electrokinetic Chromatography,” Julie R. McGettrick, Nathan H. Williamson, Adam T. Sutton, Christopher P. Palmer (2017) Electrophoresis, 38, 730-737. 10.1002/elps.201600380

“Comparison and Evaluation of Methods to Apportion Ambient PM2.5 to Residential Wood Heating in Fairbanks, AK,” Brittany D. Busby, Tony J. Ward, Jay R. Turner, Christopher P. Palmer, Aerosol Air Qual. Res (2016) 16(3), 492-503.  10.4209/aaqr.2015.04.0235

For a full list of publications, please view Palmer Publications.

Specialized Research Interests

Development of new separations methodologies that will have a broad range of application and analytical interest in the fields of pharmaceutical, environmental and biochemical analysis.

Professional Experience

7/19 - Present              Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty Senate Chair Elect, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

5/13 to 6/19                  Professor and Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

1/15 to 7/15                  Fulbright Visiting Professor, University of Sao Paulo Sao Carlos, Sao Carlos, Brazil

7/08 to 5/13                  Professor of Chemistry, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

8/07 to 7/08                   Honorary Research Associate, Australian Center for Research on Separation Science, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania

8/01 to 7/08                   Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

7/00 to 8/01                   Associate Professor and Chair of Chemistry, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM

5/00 to 8/00                   Visiting Scientist and Lecturer, Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

5/99 to 6/00                   Associate Professor of Chemistry, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM

8/95 to 5/99                   Assistant Professor of Chemistry, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM

International Experience

The Netherlands: Unilever Research Laboratorium, Vlaardingen.  1992-1994. Postdoctoral Res. Assoc.

Japan:  Himeji Institute of Technology (now Kyogo Prefecture University). 1994-1995.  Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellow.

Belgium:  Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve.  Visiting Scientist and Lecturer.

Australia:  University of Tasmania, Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science (ACROSS).  2007-2008.  Honorary Research Associate

Brazil:  Univeristy of Sao Paulo, Instituto de Qimica de Sao Carlos, 1/2015-7/2015