The Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics welcomed to their team this academic year Dr. Katelynn A. Perrault, assistant professor of Forensic Sciences and Chemistry. Dr. Perrault has expertise in the use of gas chromatography (GC) and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) across a range of life science applications, including, primarily, forensic science. She has done extensive work profiling the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that form the odor evolved from decomposing remains. Such work is essential in understanding the sensory mechanisms behind scent-detection canine use.
In 2011, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Forensic Science from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. “Graduating with my undergraduate degree was a very proud moment. I remember thinking that this was only the beginning of a really exciting journey and that there were endless possibilities ahead,” she said. “That was also when I decided that I wanted to become a professor one day, so I could help students feel that same sense of achievement and help guide them along the path to their fullest potential.”
With that in mind, Dr. Perrault would need to go beyond her comfort zone. Her doctoral studies meant traveling a great distance. “I moved to Australia to pursue my Ph.D. It was a pretty important defining moment in my life. I had hardly ever traveled and never really thought much about it. I ended up meeting people from all over the world and was lucky enough to do a fair bit of traveling during my degree. Making that decision to move has made me more resilient and independent over time, but my experiences during my degree also gave me a profound appreciation for other cultures,” Dr. Perrault said.
Achieving her Ph.D. with a focus in Forensic Chemistry in 2015 from the University of Technology Sydney, Dr. Perrault went on to perform additional doctoral studies at the University of Liège, applying novel analytical approaches to challenging matrices in various fields such as food science, archaeology, and forensic science. Through her research and travels, she has cultivated an international network of collaborators in academia, police, and government agencies.
This semester Dr. Perrault teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in forensic chemistry, general chemistry, analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis here at Chaminade University. Her research program at Chaminade focuses on sensing VOCs from various biological sources for medical and forensic applications. She is also a peer reviewer for several forensic science and chemistry journals and has presented at numerous international conferences.
“One of the main reasons that I decided to come to Chaminade was the sense of community on campus. It was evident from the first moment I visited, and I am so pleased to now be part of this community,” noted Dr. Perrault. “I look forward to developing meaningful relationships with my students and contributing to their career success out in the community.”
Ph.D., University of Technology Sydney
BSc, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
1. Perrault, K.A., Forbes, S.L. (2016). Elemental analysis of soil and vegetation surrounding human analog decomposition. Journal of the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences. 49(3): 138-151.
2. Perrault, K.A., Stefanuto, P.-H., Dubois, L., Cnuts, D., Rots, V., Focant, J.-F. (2016). A new approach for the characterization of organic residues from stone tools using GC×GC-TOFMS. Separations. 3:2.
3. Nizio, K.D., Perrault, K.A., Troobnikoff, A.N., Ueland, M., Shoma, S., Iredell, J.R., Middleton, P.G., Forbes, S.L. (2016). In vitro volatile organic compound profiling using GC×GC-TOFMS to differentiate bacteria associated with lung infections: a proof-of-concept study. Journal of Breath Research. 10(2):026008.
4. Perrault, K.A., Stefanuto, P.-H., Stuart, B.H., Rai, T., Focant, J.-F., Forbes, S.L. (2015). Detection of decomposition volatile organic compounds in soil following removal of remains from a surface deposition site. Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology. 11(3): 376-387.
5. Perrault, K.A., Nizio, K.D., Forbes, S.L. (2015). A comparison of one-dimensional and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography for decomposition odour profiling using inter-year replicate field trials. Chromatographia. 78(15-16), 1057-1070.
6. Stefanuto, P.-H., Perrault, K.A., Focant, J.-F., Forbes, S.L. (2015). Fast chromatographic method for explosive profiling. Chromatography. 2(2): 213-224.
7. Perrault, K.A., Stefanuto, P.-H., Lloyd, R., Rai, T., Stuart, B.H., Forbes, S.L., Focant, J.-F. (2015). Exploring new dimensions in cadaveric decomposition odour analysis. Analytical Methods. 7(6): 2287-2294.
8. Perrault, K.A., Stefanuto, P.-H., Stuart, B.H., Rai, T., Focant, J.-F., Forbes, S.L. (2015). Reducing variation in decomposition odour profiling using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography. Journal of Separation Science. 38(1): 73-80.
9. Perrault, K.A., Rai, T., Stuart, B.H., Forbes, S.L. (2015). Seasonal comparison of carrion volatiles in decomposition soil using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography – time of flight mass spectrometry. Analytical Methods. 7(2): 690-698.
10. Perrault, K.A., Forbes S.L. (2014). Decomposition odour profiling in the air and soil surrounding vertebrate carrion. PLoS One, 9(4): e95107.
A full list of scholarly work available on Google Scholar.
Service to the Profession
American Chemical Society, Member
Canadian Society of Forensic Science, Member
Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society, Member