John Goodpaster, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Forensic and Investigative Sciences (FIS) Program

Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

LD 326H
(317) 274-6881
Research Areas:
Analytical Chemistry | Forensic Science | Mass Spectrometry


My group’s research can be described as forensic analytical chemistry, which combines the powerful laboratory methods of analytical chemistry with issues of acute social relevance such as law enforcement, public health and counter-terrorism.  As a result, the central concept of “Chemistry in the Public Interest” can be used to guide and inform our research activities. Our projects related to explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are focused on law enforcement and defense applications.  Our application of multivariate statistics to chemical data (chemometrics) allows for detailed analysis of a number of data types, including instrumental data generated from trace evidence, which also has clear law enforcement applications.  The pursuit of what we call “lifestyle markers” is intended to examine the various organic and aqueous fractions that are normally discarded during nuclear or mitochondrial DNA protocols.  The small molecules in these layers have the potential to reflect the subject’s lifestyle, such as alcohol/drug/tobacco use, hair dyes, age, and health status.


  • B.A., Chemistry, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1995
  • M.S., Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, 2000
  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Michigan State University, 2000
  • National Research Council Post-Doctoral Associate, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 2001-2002

Non-academic appointments

  • Indianapolis Museum of Art, Project MUSE Scholar (Sabbatical), Spring 2016
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives  (ATF), Forensic Chemist, 2002-2007

Publications & Professional Activity

In-rank publications are marked with an *

Graduate student co-authors that I mentored are marked with a †

Undergraduate student co-authors that I mentored are marked with a ‡

High school student co-authors that I mentored are marked with a ǂ

Research/creative activity (h-index=14)

  • 16. Turner, D. A. †; Goodpaster, J.V., The effects of microbial degradation on ignitable liquids. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2009, 394 (1), 363-371.
  • 17. Barrett, J. A. ; Siegel, J. A.; Goodpaster, J.V., Forensic discrimination of dyed hair color: I. UV-visible microspectrophotometry. J. Forensic Sci. 2010, 55 (2), 323-333.
  • 18. Liszewski, E. A. †; Lewis, S. W.; Siegel, J. A.; Goodpaster, J.V., Characterization of automotive paint clear coats by ultraviolet absorption microspectrophotometry with subsequent chemometric analysis. Appl. Spectrosc. 2010, 64 (10), 1122-1125.
  • 19. Barrett, J. A. ; Siegel, J. A.; Goodpaster, J.V., Forensic discrimination of dyed hair color: II. Multivariate statistical analysis. J Forensic Sci 2011, 56 (1), 95-101.
  • 20. Cummins, J. ‡; Hull, J.†; Kitts, K. †; Goodpaster, J.V., Separation and identification of anions using porous graphitic carbon and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry: application to inorganic explosives and their post blast residues. Anal. Methods 2011, 3 (7), 1682-1687.
  • 21. Hibbard, R.; Goodpaster, J.V.; Evans, M. R., Factors affecting the forensic examination of automotive lubricating oils. J. Forensic Sci. 2011, 56 (3), 741-753.
  • 22. Rainey, C. L. †; Conder, P. A. ‡; Goodpaster, J.V., Chemical Characterization of Dissolvable Tobacco Products Promoted To Reduce Harm. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2011, 59 (6), 2745-2751.
  • 22. Rainey, C. L. †; Conder, P. A. ‡; Goodpaster, J.V., Chemical Characterization of Dissolvable Tobacco Products Promoted To Reduce Harm. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2011, 59 (6), 2745-2751.
  • 23. Routon, B. J.‡; Kocher, B. B. ‡; Goodpaster, J.V., Discriminating Hodgdon Pyrodex and Triple Seven using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J. Forensic Sci. 2011, 56 (1), 194-199.
  • 24. Turner, D. A. †; Goodpaster, J.V., The effect of microbial degradation on the chromatographic profiles of tiki torch fuel, lamp oil, and turpentine. J. Forensic Sci. 2011, 56 (4), 984-987.
  • 25. Koehler, G.; Wilson, R. C.; Goodpaster, J.V.; Sonsteby, A.; Lai, X.; Witzmann, F. A.; You, J.-S.; Rohloff, J.; Randall, S. K.; Alsheikh, M., Proteomic study of low-temperature responses in strawberry cultivars (Fragaria × ananassa) that differ in cold tolerance. Plant Physiol. 2012, 159 (4), 1787-1805.
  • 26. Lotspeich, E. †; Kitts, K. †; Goodpaster, J.V., Headspace concentrations of explosive vapors in containers designed for canine testing and training: Theory, experiment, and canine trials. Forensic Sci. Int. 2012, 220 (1-3), 130-134.
  • 27. Turner, D. A. †; Goodpaster, J.V., Comparing the effects of weathering and microbial degradation on gasoline using principal components analysis. J. Forensic Sci. 2012, 57 (1), 64-69.
  • 28. Turner, D. A. †; Goodpaster, J.V., The effects of season and soil type on microbial degradation of gasoline residues from incendiary devices. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2013, 405 (5), 1593-1599.
  • 29. Rainey, C. L. †; Berry, J. J. ‡; Goodpaster, J.V., Monitoring changes in the chemical composition of dissolvable tobacco products. Anal. Methods 2013, 5 (13), 3216-3221.
  • 30. Rainey, C. L. †; Shifflett, J. R.; Goodpaster, J.V.; Bezabeh, D. Z., Quantitative analysis of humectants in tobacco products using gas chromatography (GC) with simultaneous mass spectrometry (MSD) and flame ionization detection (FID). Beitr. Tabakforsch. Int. 2013, 25 (6), 576-585.
  • 31. * Bors, D. †; Cummins, J. ‡; Goodpaster, J.V., The anatomy of a pipe bomb explosion: measuring the mass and velocity distributions of container fragments. J Forensic Sci 2014, 59 (1), 42-51.
  • 31. * Bors, D. †; Cummins, J. ‡; Goodpaster, J.V., The anatomy of a pipe bomb explosion: measuring the mass and velocity distributions of container fragments. J Forensic Sci 2014, 59 (1), 42-51.
  • 32. * Bors, D. †; Cummins, J. ‡; Goodpaster, J.V., The anatomy of a pipe bomb explosion: The effect of explosive filler, container material and ambient temperature on device fragmentation. Forensic Sci. Int. 2014, 234, 95-102.
  • 33. * Kranz, W. †; Kitts, K. †; Strange, N.; Cummins, J. ‡; Lotspeich, E. †; Goodpaster, J.V., On the smell of Composition C-4. Forensic Sci. Int. 2014, 236, 157-163.
  • 34. * Turner, D.A.†; Goodpaster, J.V., Preserving ignitable liquid residues on soil using Triclosan as an anti-microbial agent. Forensic Sci. Int. 2014, 239C, 86-91.
  • 35. * Turner, D.A.†; Pichtel, J.; Rodenas, Y.; McKillip, J.; Goodpaster, J.V., Microbial degradation of gasoline in soil: comparison by soil type. Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation 2014, 5(2), 7 pp.
  • 36. * Rainey, C.L.†; Bors DE†; Goodpaster, J.V., Design and Optimization of a Total Vaporization Technique Coupled to Solid-Phase Microextraction. Anal Chem. 2014;86:11319-25.
  • 37. * Kranz, W.D.†, Strange NA‡, Goodpaster, J.V., "Fooling fido"-chemical and behavioral studies of pseudo-explosive canine training aids. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2014;406:7817-25.
  • 38. * Turner, D.A.†; Pichtel J; Rodenas Y; McKillip J, Goodpaster, J.V., Microbial degradation of gasoline in soil: Effect of season of sampling. Forensic Sci Int. 2015;251:69-76.
  • 39. * Kranz, W.D.†; Goodpaster, J.V., Author's response to Sanchez et al. entitled "On the importance of training aids and the definition of an explosive odor signature: Commentary on Kranz et al.". Forensic Sci Int. 2015;251:e20-e1.
  • 40. * Schweitzer, K.S.; Chen SX; Law S; Van Demark M; Poirier C; Justice MJ; Hubbard WC; Kim ES; Lai X; Wang M; Kranz, W.D.†; Carroll C.J.‡; Ray BD; Bittman R; Goodpaster, J. V.; Petrache I, Endothelial disruptive proinflammatory effects of nicotine and e-cigarette vapour exposures. Am J Physiol. 2015;309:L157-L87.
  • 41. * Bors, D.E.†, Goodpaster, J. V. Mapping explosive residues on galvanized pipe bomb fragments using total vaporization solid phase microextraction (TV-SPME). Anal Methods 2015;7:9756-62.
  • 42. * Kranz, W.D.†; Carroll CJ‡; Goodpaster, J. V.. Detection of prohibited treatment products on racing tires using headspace solid phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Anal Methods 2016;8:177-82.
  • 43. * Sauzier, G. †; Bors, D. †; Ash, J. †; Goodpaster, J. V.; Lewis, S. Optimisation of recovery protocols for double-base smokeless powder residues analysed by total vaporisation (TV) SPME/GC-MS. Talanta 2016; 158:368-374.[1]
  • 44. * Sauzier, G. †; Reichard, E. †; Lewis, S.; van Bronswiijk, W., Goodpaster, J.V. Improving the confidence of “questioned versus known” fiber comparisons using microspectrophotometry and chemometrics. Forensic Chemistry 2016; 2:15-21
  • 45. * Frick, A.A. ; Chidlow, G. ; Goodpaster, J.V. ; Lewis, S.W. ; van Bronswijk, W. Monitoring compositional changes of the lipid fraction of fingermark residues deposited on paper during storage, Forensic Chemistry 2016, 2:29-36
  • 46. * Bors, D.E.†; Goodpaster, J.V. Chemical analysis of racing fuels using total vaporization and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Analytical Methods 2016: 8:3899-3902.
  • 47. * Reichard E†; Bartick E; Morgan S; Goodpaster, J. V.. Microspectrophotometric Analysis of Yellow Polyester Fiber Dye Loadings with Chemometric Techniques Forensic Chemistry 2017; 3:21-27.
  • 48. * Bors, D.E. †; Goodpaster, J.V. Mapping Smokeless Powder Residue on PVC Pipe Bomb Fragments Using Total Vaporization Solid Phase Microextraction Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (TV-SPME/GC/MS). Forensic Science International 2017; 276:71-76.
  • 49. * Kranz, W. †; Carroll, C. ‡; Dixon, D. ǂ; Picard, C.; Goodpaster, J.V. Optimization of Total Vaporization Solid Phase Microextraction (TV-SPME) for the Determination of Lipid Profiles of Phormia regina, a Forensically Important Blow Fly Species. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2017; 409: 6349-6357.
  • 50. * Kranz, W. †; Carroll, C. ‡; Dixon, D. ǂ; Goodpaster, J.V.; Picard, C.. Factors affecting species identifications of blow fly pupae based upon chemical profiles and multivariate statistics, Insects 2017; 8(2):1-15.
  • 51. * Yovanovich A.C.; Goodpaster, J.V.; Minto, R.E. Identification of 1-(2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-5-yl)-2-(ethylamino)pentan-1-one (bk-IVP) in a Seized Drug Exhibit. J. Forensic Sci 2017; 63(3): 915-930.
  • 52. * Sardar, R; Liyanage, T; Rael, A†; Shaffer, S; Zaidi, S; Goodpaster, J.V. Fabrication of a self-assembled and flexible nanosensor for explosive detection at parts-per-quadrillion levels from fingerprints. Analyst 2018; 143(9), 2012-2022.
  • 53. * Turner D.A.†; Williams M; Sigman MA; Goodpaster, J.V.. A Comprehensive Study of the Alteration of Ignitable Liquids by Weathering and Microbial Degradation. J. Forensic Sci 2018; 63:58-65. (chosen by the journal’s associate editors as a “2018 Noteworthy Article”)
  • 54. Fuenffinger, N., Goodpaster, J.V., Bartick, E., Morgan, S. Classification Strategies for Fusing UV/visible Absorbance and Fluorescence Microspectrophotometry Spectra from Textile Fibers. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 2018; 24(S1), 1168-1169.
  • 55. * Ash, J. †; Hickey, L. †; Goodpaster, J.V. Formation and analysis of novel derivatives of primary amines and zwitterionic drugs. Forensic Chemistry 2018; 10:37-47.
  • 56. Martinez-Lopez, C., Trejos, T., Coulson, S., Goodpaster, J.V., Igowsky, K., Kuczelinis, F., Mehltretter, A., Pollock, E., Simmross, U., Weimer, R., Weis, P., Almirall, J. Interlaboratory evaluations of the performance of elemental analytical methods for the forensic analysis and comparisons of electrical tapes. Forensic Chemistry 2019; 12: 66-77.
  • 57. *Cruse, C. †; Goodpaster, J.V. Generating highly specific spectra and identifying thermal decomposition products via Gas Chromatography/Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy (GC/VUV): Application to nitrate ester explosives. Talanta 2019; 195: 580-586.


  • American Chemical Society (ACS), 1995-present
  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), 1996-present



  • Top Reviewer in 2018, Forensic Chemistry (Elsevier), 2019
  • Certificate of Appreciation, ACS Project SEED, 2018
  • Best Oral Presentation, Australia and New Zealand, 2014
  • Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS)


  • Trustee's Teaching Award, IUPUI, 2018


  • Certificate of Award, U.S. Department of Treasury, 2003
  • Certificate of Appreciation, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2002