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Thomas Cahill

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Associate Professor
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 2352

Thomas Cahill is an associate professor in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences at Arizona State University. He has focused his scholarly research on environmental and analytical chemistry, although an eclectic publication record attests to wide-ranging interest. His primary research goal is to determine the effects of anthropogenic chemicals on organisms and ecosystems by linking the fields of environmental chemistry, which determines the fate and transport of a chemical in the environment, and toxicology, which assesses the impacts of chemicals on organisms and ecosystems.

His recent research projects have focused on air quality.  In particular, the research has determined the organic pollutants in aerosols in California in an effort to identify the source of the pollutants. Another of Cahill's projects is centered on determining the concentration of acrolein, a highly toxic aldehyde, in both environmental and domestic environments. Other projects determined the elemental contaminants in biota of contaminated ecosystems. Lastly, Cahill has started to apply analytical chemistry to discover antiviral compounds in traditional medicinal plants.

Cahill has presented internationally at conferences for such organizations as the Health Effects Institute, Society of Toxicology and Chemistry, and the Society of Toxicology. He is widely published and his work has appeared in such professional journals as Environmental Science and Technology, Atmospheric Environment, Analytical Chemistry, and Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 

  • Ph.D. Environmental Sciences and Health, University of Nevada-Reno 2000
  • M.S. Ecology (Ecotoxicology), University of California-Davis 1997
  • B.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Biology (Honors), University of California-Davis 1994

      Langland, J.; Bertram Jacobs, B.; Wagner, C.E.; Ruiz, G.; Cahill, T.M.* (2018) Antiviral activity of metal chelates of caffeic acid and similar compounds towards herpes simplex, VSV-Ebola pseudotyped and vaccinia viruses. Antiviral Research 160 (2018) 143–150.

      Ehrlich, J. and Cahill, T.M.* (2018) Identification of broadleaf and coniferous trees as a primary source of acrolein. Atmospheric Environment 191 (2018) 414–419

      Polidoro, B.A.*; Comeros-Raynal M.T.; Cahill, T.; Clement, C. (2017) Land-based sources of marine pollution: Pesticides, PAHs and phthalates in coastal stream water, and heavy metals in coastal stream sediments in American Samoa.  Marine Pollution Bulletin 116:501-507

     Sweat, K.G.; Broatch, J.; Borror, C.; Hagan, K.; Cahill, T.M.* (2016) Variability in Capsaicinoid Content and Scoville Heat Ratings of Commercially Grown Jalapeño, Habanero and Bhut Jolokia Peppers.  Food Chemistry 210: 606–612

      Cahill, T.M.* (2014) Ambient Acrolein Concentrations in Coastal, Remote, and Urban Regions in California. Environmental Science and Technology, 48, 8507−8513

      Barberie, S.R.; Iceman, C.R.; Cahill, C.F.; Cahill, T.M.* (2014) Evaluation of Different Synchrotron Beamline Configurations for X-ray Fluorescence Analysis of Environmental Samples. Analytical Chemistry, 86, 8253−8260

      Cahill, T.M.* and Cahill, T.A. (2014) Seasonal Variability of Particle-associated Organic Compounds Near of a Heavily Traveled Secondary Road.  Aerosol Science and Technology,48: 53-60.

      Barberie, S.R.; Cahill, T.A.; Cahill, C.F.; Cahill, T.M.; Iceman, C.R.; Barnes, D.E. (2013) UC Davis XIPline(“zipline”) end-station a the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource: Development and experimental results. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 729: 930–933

      Cahill, T.M.* (2013) Annual Cycle of Size-resolved Organic Aerosol Characterization in an Urbanized Desert Environment Atmospheric Environment, 71: 226-233.

      Wagner, C.*; Marshall, P.; Cahill, T.; Mohamed, Z. (2013) Following the Hydrogenation of Curcumin Visually and by NMR. Journal of Chemical Education 90: 930-933.

      Cahill, T.M.*; Okamoto, R.A. (2012) Emissions of Acrolein and Other Aldehydes from Biodiesel-Fueled Heavy-Duty Vehicles. Environmental Science and Technology 46: 8382-8388.

      Wagner C.E.*; Cahill, T.M. Marshall P.A.; (2011) Extraction, Purification and Spectroscopic Characterization of a Mixture of Capsaicinoids. Journal of Chemical Education 88: 1574-1579

      Vasquez, M.E.; Cahill, T.M.; Tjeerdema, R.S.* (2011) Soil and Glass Surface Photodegradation of Etofenprox under Simulated California Rice Growing Conditions. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59: 7874-7881.

      Cahill, T.A.*; Barnes, D.E.; Spada, N.J.; Lawton, J.A.; Cahill, T.M. (2011) Very Fine and Ultra-Fine Metals and Ischemic Heart Disease in the California Central Valley 1: 2003 – 2007. Aerosol Science and Technology 45:1123-1134.

      Cahill, T.A.*; Cahill, T.M.; Barnes, D.E.; Spada, N.J.; Miller, R. (2011) Inorganic and organic aerosols downwind of the California’s Roseville Rail Yard. Aerosol Science and Technology 45:1049-1059.

      Wagner C.E.*; Marshall P.A.; Cahill, T.M. (2010) “Determination of the Molar Mass of an Unknown Gas with a 2-L Soda Bottle,” Chem. Educator 2010, 15, 277-280.  DOI 10.1333/s00897102299a

      Cahill, T.M. (2010) Size-Resolved Organic Speciation of Wintertime Aerosols in California’s Central Valley.  Environmental Science and Technology 44: 2315-2321.

      Seaman, V.Y.; Bennett, D. H.; Cahill, T.M.* (2009) Indoor Acrolein Emission and Decay rates Resulting from Domestic Cooking Events. Atmospheric Environment, 43: 6199-6204.

Vasquez, M.E.; Gunasekara, A.S.; Cahill, T.M.; Tjeerdema, R.S.* (2009) Partitioning of etofenprox under simulated California rice-growing conditions. Pest Management Science. Published online in Wiley Interscience: DOI 10.1002/ps.1826

      Spada, N.; Fujii, E. Cahill, T.M.* (2008) Diurnal Cycles of Acrolein and Other Small Aldehydes in Regions Impacted by Vehicle Emissions. Environmental Science and Technology, 42:7084-7090.

      Bouvier-Brown, N.C; Goldstein, A.H.*; Worton, D.R.; Matross, D.M.; Gilman, J.B.; Kuster, W.C.; Welsh-Bon, D.; Warneke, C.; de Gouw, J.A;. Cahill, T.M.; Holzinger, R. Methyl chavicol: characterization of its biogenic emission rate, abundance, and oxidation products in the atmosphere. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, 8, 19707–19741, 2008

      Riddle, S.G.; Jakober, C.A.; Robert, M.A.; Cahill, T.M.; Charles, M.J.; Kleeman, M.J.* (2007) Large PAHs Detected In Fine Particulate Matter Emitted From Light-Duty Gasoline Vehicles. Atmospheric Environment 41:8658-8668.

      Kobayashi, R.; Cahill, T.M., Okamoto, R.A.; Maddalena, R.L.; Kado, N.Y.* (2007) Exposure Chamber Study of Uptake and Clearance of Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) by Wheat Grain.  Environmental Science and Technology 41:7934-7940

      Seaman, V.Y.; Bennett, D. H.; Cahill, T.M.* (2007) Origin, Occurrence and Source Emission Rate of Acrolein in Residential Indoor Air. Environmental Science and Technology, 41:6940-6946.

      Cahill, T.M.*; Groskova, D.; Charles, M.J.; Sanborn, J.R; Denison, M.S.; Baker, L.; (2007) Atmospheric Concentrations of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers at Near-Source Sites.  Environmental Science and Technology, 41:6370-6377

      Cahill, T.M.*; Seaman, V.Y.; Charles, M.J.; Holzinger R.; Goldstein, A.H. (2006) Secondary Organic Aerosols Formed from Oxidation of Biogenic VOCs in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres, 111, D16312.

      Lau, F.K.; Charles, M.J.; Cahill, T.M.* (2006) Evaluation of gas stripping methods for the determination of Henry’s Law Constants for polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polychlorinated biphenyls. Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data. 51: 871-878

      Seaman, V.Y.; Charles, M.J.; Cahill, T.M.* (2006) A Sensitive Method for Quantification of Acrolein and Other volatile Carbonyls in Ambient Air Samples.  Analytical Chemistry. 78: 2405-2412.

      Fraser, A.J.; Cahill, T.M.; Lasenby, D.C.; Mackay, D.*; Milford, L. (2005) The Role of Cannibalism and Contaminant Source on Bioaccumulation in Aquatic Food Webs. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 24(4): 909-915.

      Mackay, D.*; Webster, E.; Woodfine, D.; Cahill, T.; Doyle, P.; Couillard, Y.; Gutzman, D. (2003) Towards Consistent Evaluation of the Persistence of Organic, Inorganic and Metallic Substances.  Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 9: 1445-1474.

      Cahill, T.M.; Mackay, D.* (2003) Application of a High-Resolution Multi-species (HR-MS) Model for Estimating the Environmental Fate of Chemicals. Chemosphere 53: 571-581.

      Cahill, T.M.; Mackay, D.* (2003) Complexity in Multimedia Mass Balance Models: When are Simple Models Adequate and When are more Complex Models Necessary? Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 22: 1404-1412.

      Cahill, T.M.; Cousins, I.; Mackay, D.* (2003) General Fugacity-Based Model to Predict the Environmental Fate of Multiple Chemical Species. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 22: 483-493.

      Cahill, T.M.; Cousins, I.; Mackay, D.* (2003) Development and Application of a Generalized Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Model for Multiple Environmental Contaminants. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 22: 26-34.

      Herzog, S.K.*; Kessler, M.; Cahill, T.M. (2002) Estimating Species Richness of Tropical Bird Communities From Rapid Assessment Data. Auk 119: 749-769.

      Benesch, J.A.; Gustin, M.S.*; Cramer, G.R.; Cahill, T.M. (2002) Investigation of Effects of Trifluoroacetate on Vernal Pool Ecosystems. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 21: 640-647.

      Cahill, T.M.*; Thomas, C.M.; Schwarzbach, S.E.; Seiber, J.N. (2001) Accumulation of Trifluoroacetate in Seasonal Wetlands. Environmental Science and Technology 35: 820-825.

      Cahill, T.M.*; Seiber, J.N. (2000) Regional Distribution of Trifluoroacetate in Surface Waters Downwind of Urban Areas in Northern California, USA. Environmental Science and Technology 34: 2909-2912.

      LeNoir, J.S.; McConnell, L.L.; Fellers, G.M.; Cahill, T.M.; Seiber, J.N.* (1999) Summertime Transport of Current-Use Pesticides from California’s Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 18: 2715-2722.

      Cahill, T.M.; Benesch, J.A.; Gustin, M.S.; Zimmerman, E.J.; Seiber, J.N.* (1999) Simplified Method for Trace Analysis of Trifluoroacetic Acid in Plant, Soil and Water Samples using Headspace Gas Chromatography. Analytical Chemistry 71:4465-4471.

      Wujcik, C.E.; Cahill, T.M.; Seiber, J.N.* (1999) Determination of Trifluoroacetic Acid in 1996-1997 Precipitation and Surface Waters in California and Nevada. Environmental Science and Technology 33:1747-1751.

      Wujcik, C.E.*; Cahill, T.M.; Seiber, J.N. (1998) Extraction and Analysis of Trifluoroacetic Acid in Environmental Waters. Analytical Chemistry 70:4074-4080.

      Cahill, T.M.; Anderson, D.W.*; Elbert, R.A.; Perley, B.P.; Johnson, D.R. (1998) Elemental Profiles in Feather Samples from a Mercury Contaminated Lake in Central California. Archives of Environmental Contamination Toxicology 35:75-81.

      Cahill, T.M.*; Perley, B.P.; Anderson, D.W. (1997) X-ray Analyses of Elemental Concentrations in Feathers: Comparison of XRF and PIXE. International Journal of PIXE 7:53-69.

Research Activity: 
  • Cahill,Thomas Michael*. Analysis of winter time aerosols at Del Paso Manor for organic chemicals. (6/1/2010 - 12/31/2010).
  • Berger,Roger L*, Cahill,Thomas Michael, Jurutka,Peter W, Wagner,Carl Edward. CRIF MU: Acquisition of a Cyber-Enabled 400 MHz NMR Spectrometer. NSF-MPS(2/1/2008 - 1/31/2011).
  • Cahill,Thomas Michael*. Assessment of the Emissions from the use of Biodiesel as a Motor Vehicle Fuel and NOx Formation and Mitegation Study. UNIV OF CA AT DAVIS(7/1/2007 - 6/30/2009).
  • Cahill,Thomas Michael*. Determination of Toxic Aerosols on a Heavily Traveled Secondary Road. TIAX LLC(3/1/2007 - 11/30/2007).
  • Cahill,Thomas Michael*. Determination of Diurnal Cycles of Acrolein and Other Small Carbonyls in Regions Impacted by Vehicle Emissions. UNIV OF CA AT DAVIS(5/1/2006 - 11/30/2007).
Spring 2022
Course NumberCourse Title
CHM 116General Chemistry II
PTX 475Principles of Toxicology
LSC 475Principles of Toxicology
FOR 475Principles of Toxicology
PTX 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
FOR 425Analytical Chemistry-Life Sci
LSC 425Analytical Chemistry-Life Sci
PTX 499Individualized Instruction
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
FOR 499Individualized Instruction
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
LSC 499Individualized Instruction
  • Lydia Keppler, Kaleigh Kubehl, Jim Crossman Dr. Ken G. Sweat, and Dr. Thomas Cahill. Determination of Lethal Dosage of Colchicine on Pepper Seedlings. ASU West Undergraduate Research Symposia (Apr 2014).
  • Thomas M. Cahill, Catherine F. Cahill, Christopher Iceman, David E. Barnes, Sean Barberie, Thomas A. Cahill. Use of continuous ("white"), energy-filtered continuous, and 38 keV monochromatic beams for analysis of atmospheric aerosols, rare earth ores, toxic wastes, and the Sutter’s Mill meteorite. Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) user group meeting, Oct 2012 (Oct 2012).
  • (invited platform presentation) Thomas M Cahill and Vincent Y. Seaman. Using Ambient Acrolein Measurements to Assess Relative Importance of Different Acrolein Sources. CRC Mobile Source Air Toxics Workshop, Sacramento, CA, November 30 - December 2, 2010 (Dec 2010).
  • Thomas M. Cahill, Nicholas J. Spada and Thomas A. Cahill. Size-resolved Organic Speciation of Wintertime Aerosols in California’s Central Valley. American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) specialty conference: Air Pollution and Heath (Mar 2010).
  • Thomas M. Cahill, Nicholas J. Spada and Thomas A. Cahill. Size and compositionally speciated organic aerosols near a heavily traveled secondary road. American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) 28th Annual Conference (Oct 2009).
  • Cahill, Thomas. Determination of diurnal cycles of acrolein and other volatile aldehydes at a vehicle-impacted site during the summer of 2006. Coordinating Research Council's Mobile Source Air Toxics Workshop. October 25, 2006. Phoenix AZ (Oct 2006).
  • Cahill, Thomas, Seaman, V. Determination of Acrolein and Other Toxic Carbonyls in Air for Exposure Assessment. Health Effects Institute Annual Conference, San Francisco (Apr 2006).
  • Seaman, V, Cahill, Thomas. A Highly Sensitive and Robust Method for the Determination of Acrolein and other Toxic Carbonyls in Air. Society of Toxicology and Chemistry, The Hague, The Netherlands, April 9 2006 (Apr 2006).
  • Seaman, V, Charles, M, Cahill, Thomas. A Highly Sensitive and Robust Method for the Determination of Acrolein and other Toxic Carbonyls in Air. 45th Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology,San Diego, California (Mar 2006).
  • Div of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Glamour photo shoot model (2009 - Present)
  • (2007 - Present)
  • Div of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Search committee for two new faculty hires (2009 - 2010)
  • Div of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Outreach presentations (2009 - 2009)
  • Div. of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Presented chemistry demonstrations for student outreach presentations (2008 - 2008)
  • Student Success Center, Assisted with supporting instruction for chemistry classes. Conducted tutoring for the center. (2008 - 2008)