Julie Peller, Ph.D.

Julie Peller

Julie Peller (she/her) Professor of Chemistry julie.peller@valpo.edu 219.464.5639 Center for the Sciences 208


Organic chemistry, environmental chemistry


Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry – University of Notre Dame (2003)
M.S. – University of Notre Dame (1999)
B.S. – Indiana University (1986)

Research Interests

Advanced oxidation for aqueous solutions; studies of emerging contaminants in water,
particularly micro and nanoplastics; air and sediment analyses; Lake Michigan shoreline
challenges (Cladophora, water and sediment contaminants); student and citizen participation in environmental work; environmental justice


Lab Text:
  • Exploring Chemistry. Laboratory Experiments in General, Organic and Biological Chemistry, J. Peller, Prentice Hall, 2 editions, 1998 and 2003
  • Peller, J, McCool, J, Watters, M. Microplastics in soils and sediment: sources, methodologies and interactions with microorganisms in “Handbook of Microplastics in the Environment.” Editors Teresa Rocha-Santos, Mónica Costa, Catherine Mouneyrac. Springer Publications, 2020.
  • Peller J, Nelson C, Babu G, Iceman C, Kostelnik E. A review of microplastics in freshwater environments: locations, methods and pollution loads in “Current Status of Environmental Research on Water Contaminants.” Ahuja S, editor. American Chemical Society: ACS Books; 2020, 66-90.
  • Peller, Julie; Eberhardt, Laurie; Argyilan, Erin; Sanidas, Carrie. Educational Partnerships Combined with Research on Emerging Pollutants for Long-Term Water Quality Monitoring in “Evaluating water quality to prevent future disasters,” Ed. Satinder Ajuha, Separation Science and Technology, Volume 11, Elsevier Publishing, 2019, 149-167.
  • Julie Peller, Richard Whitman, Jonathon Schoer, Can incongruent studies effectively characterize long term water quality? in “Chemistry and Water: The Science behind Sustaining the World’s Most Crucial Resource,” Ed. Satinder Ajuha, Elsevier Publishing, 2017, 393-420.
  • Peller, Julie R., Mezyk, Stephen, P., McKay, Garrett, Watson, Emily. Hydroxyl radical probes for the comparison of secondary treated wastewaters for the edited book “Sustainability and Water Reclamation” Ed. Satinder Ajuha, Elsevier Publishing, 2014.
  • Peller, Julie R., Mezyk, Stephen, P., Ishida, Kenneth, P. Advanced oxidation using radiolysis to understand the remediation of organic contaminant mixtures in secondary treated wastewater, in “Novel Solutions to Water Pollution,” Editors Satinder Ahuja and Kiril Hristovski ACS Symposium Series, 1123 2013.
  • Peller, Julie R., Argyilan, Erin P, Cox, Jeremiah J., Grabos, Nicole. Analytical measurements to improve nonpoint pollution assessments in Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed in “Monitoring Water Quality,” Editor S. Ahuja, Elsevier Publishing, 2013.
Journal Articles:
  • Peller, JR, Mezyk, SP, Shidler, S, Castleman, J, Kaiser, S, Faulkner, RF, Pilgrim, CD, Wilson, A, Martens, S, Horner, GP. Facile nanoplastics formation from macro and microplastics in aqueous media, Environmental Pollution, 2022, 313.
  • Cui, Danni, Abdullah, A. M., Peller, Julie R., Mezyk, Stephen P., Mebel, Alexander, O’Shea, Kevin. Effectiveness of photocatalysis, radiolysis, and ultrasonic irradiation in the remediation of GenX. Computational study of the ultrasonically induced mineralization, J Environ Eng, 2022, 148.
  • Peller, JR, Mezyk, SP, Shidler, S, Castleman, J, Kaiser, S, Horne, GP. The Reactivity of Polyethylene Microplastics in Water under Low Oxygen Conditions Using Radiation Chemistry, Water, 2021, 13, 3120.
  • Peller J, Nevers MB, Byappanahalli M, Nelson C, Babu BG, Evans MA, Kostelnik E, Keller M, Johnston J, Shidler S. Sequestration of microfibers and other microplastics by green algae, Cladophora, in the US Great Lakes, Environmental Pollution, 2021, 276, 116695.
  • Ringwald P, Chapman, C, Iceman C, Tighe ME, Sisk M, Peaslee GF, Peller J, Wells EM. Characterization and within-site variation of environmental metal concentrations around a contaminated site using a community-engaged approach, Chemosphere, 2021, 272, 129915.
  • Peller JR, Iceman C, Eberhardt L, Nelson C, Clark R, Kostelnik E. Tracking the distribution of microfiber pollution in a Lake Michigan watershed through analysis of water, sediment and air. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 2019, 21, 1549-1559.
  • Horne GP, Mezyk SP, Moulton N, Peller JR, Geist A. Time-Resolved and Steady-State Irradiation of Hydrophilic Sulfonated Bis-triazinyl-(bi)pyridines – Modelling Radiolytic Degradation, Dalton Transactions, 2019, 48 (14), 4547-4554.
  • Horne, Gregory P., Kiddle, James, J., Zarzana, Christopher, A., Rae, Cathy, Peller, Julie R., Cook, Andrew, R., Mezyk, Stephen P.,Mincher, Bruce J. 31P NMR Study of the Activated Radioprotection Mechanism of Octylphenyl-N,N-diisobutylcarbamoylmethyl Phosphine Oxide (CMPO) and Analogues. Dalton Transactions. 2019, 48 (30), 11547-11555.
  • Rowe, Laura; Peller, Julie; Mammoser, Claire; Davidson, Kelly; Dhar, Shilpa; Burkhart, Grace; Gunter, Amy; Brown, Bayland. Stability of non-proteinogenic amino acids to UV and gamma irradiation, International Journal of Astrobiology, 2018, 18 (5), 426-435.
  • Rowe, Laura; Kubalewski, Maria; Clark, Robert; Statza, Emily; Goyne, Thomas; Leach, Katie; Peller, Julie. An Undergraduate Environmental Chemistry Laboratory Experiment: Detecting Microplastics in Soil and Sediment, Journal of Chemical Education, 2018, 96 (2), 323-328.
  • Cen Zhao, Julie R. Peller, Stephen P. Mezyk, Prashant V. Kamat, Kevin E. O’Shea, Oxidative remediation of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) and propylene glycol phenyl ether (PPh). Evidence of contaminant repair reaction pathways. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2017, DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01896G.
  • Chan Lan Chun, Julie R Peller, Dawn Shively, Muruleedhara N Byappanahalli, Richard L Whitman, Christopher Staley, Qian Zhang, Satoshi Ishii, Michael J Sadowsky, The virulence and biodegradation potential of dynamic microbial communities associated with decaying Cladophora in the Great Lakes. Science of the Total Environment 2016, 574, 872-880.
  • Chan Lan Chun, Chase I Kahn, Andrew J Borchert, Muruleedhara N Byappanahalli, Richard L Whitman, Julie Peller, Christina Pier, Guangyun Lin, Eric A Johnson, Michael J Sadowsky.  Prevalence of toxin-producing Clostridium botulinum associated with the macroalga Cladophora in three Great Lakes: Growth and management. Science of the Total Environment 2015, 511, 523-529.
  • Pisarenko, Aleksey N., Marti, Erica J., Gerrity, Daniel, Peller, Julie R., Dickenson, Eric R.V. Effects of molecular ozone and hydroxyl radical on formation of N-nitrosamines and perfluoroalkyl acids during ozonation of treated wastewaters. Environmental Science:  Water Research & Technology, 2015, 1 (5), 668-678.
  • Marti, Erica J., Pisarenko, Aleksey N., Peller, Julie R., Dickenson, Eric R.V. N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation from the Ozonation of Model Compounds, Water Research, 2014, 72, 262-270.
  • Julie Peller, Murulee Byappanahalli, Dawn Shively, Michael Sadowsky, Chanlan Chun, Richard Whitman. Notable decomposition products of senescing Lake Michigan Cladophora glomerata, Journal of Great Lakes Research, 2014, 40, 800-806.
  • Taicheng An, Yanpeng Gao, Guiying Li, Prashant V. Kamat, Julie Peller, and Michelle V. Joyce. Kinetics and Mechanism of OH Mediated Degradation of Dimethyl Phthalate in Aqueous Solution: Experimental and Theoretical Studies, Environmental Science & Technology, 2014, 48 (1), 641-648.
  • Chun, C.L., Ochsner, U., Byappanahalli, M., Whitman, R.L., Tepp, W.H., Lin, G., Johnson, E.A., Peller, J., Sadowsky, M.J. Association of Toxin-Producing Clostridium botulinum with the Macroalga Cladophora in the Great Lakes, Environmental Science and Technology, 2013, 47(6): 2587-2594.
Other Publications:
  • Peller, J., Research Outreach, DOI: 10.32907/RO-126-1874877102: Detecting microplastics on aquatic vegetation in the Great Lakes, 2021.


  • American Chemical Society, member
  • Hoosier Environmental Council, board member, vice president (2012-present)


  • NIH Purdue University – sub-awardee: Community-academic partnership to address environmental contamination and health; $319,758 (2022-2027)
  • NSF ECS Collaborative Research Grant: Radical-induced weathering of micro- and nanoplastics in water: impacts on suspensions, agglomerations and contaminants adsorptions; $312,793 (2022-2025)
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant for a Raman Spectrometer (LC-MS); $202,151; co-PI (2022)
  • NSF EAGER Grant: Laboratory radiation chemistry methods to induce rapid aging of microplastics in water to assess fundamental chemical reactivity changes; $299,000 (2020-2022)
  • IN_ADVANCE “Know Indiana” curriculum development grant program: Classification of plastic pollution in local compost; $1500 (2019-2020)
  • Wheat Ridge Ministries Grant (Valparaiso University): Filling in knowledge gaps on air contaminants in north Lake County, Indiana; $10,000 (2018-19)
  • NSF EAGER Grant: Microplastic AWARENESS Program: Amplifying Water-quality Analysis Research Experiences for Northwest Indiana Educators, Students and Society; $100,000 (2017-2018)
  • Wheat Ridge Ministries Grant (Valparaiso University): Using chemistry to address the health concerns of a local community; $10,000 (2016-2017)
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant for a Liquid Chromatography – Mass Spectrometer (LC-MS); $223,753 (2015)
  • EPA Office of Environmental Education: Building bridges for environmental stewardship: schools, universities and community collectively embracing the health of a local watershed; $123,163 (2015-2017)
  • Legacy Foundation: Pilot Project and Needs Assessment for Environmental Justice and Revitalization (EJR) Initiative: Central to Rebuilding Lake County; A collaborative project with Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC), Financial support for student workers, travel and analytical testing materials; $25,000 (2013-2014)