Dr. Brendon Parsons


Contact Information

E-mail: bparsons@uw.edu
Office: Chemistry Library Building (CHL) 113
Phone: (206)-543-4602


Brendon graduated from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College in 2010 with a Bachelors of Liberal Arts and Sciences with concentration in chemistry. As an undergraduate he participated in research with Professor Veljko Dragojlovic. His work focused on developing green chemistry techniques for phase-vanishing reactions and for chemical education. During his undergraduate work, Brendon had a strong interest in separations science, and interned at Jupiter Environmental Labs to learn more about chromatography in the context of environmental testing. Following undergraduate work, Brendon relocated to Seattle to study analytical chemistry with Prof. Synovec at the UW. He obtained his doctorate from UW in 2016.

Research Interests

  • Chemometrics — Often referred to as the predecessor to the –omics fields, chemometrics is the science of extracting useful chemical information from complex chemical data sets. The use of chemometrics has grown with the personal computing revolution, and has become critical as the widespread adoption of hyphenated instrumental techniques (e.g. GC–MS) creates highly-rich datasets that contain more information than can reasonably be manually analyzed by the operator. By developing techniques to reduce datasets to only the most important chemical information contained, data-driven decisions can be made rapidly and with confidence. The use of multiway techniques has been particularly useful in improving quantification and resolution by taking advanced of the higher dimensionality of multidimensional analytical platforms, such as GC × GC–TOFMS.
  • Comprehensive Non-targeted Analysis of GC × GC–TOFMS data — The GC × GC–TOFMS instrument provides an information-rich chemical fingerprint for complex samples, and the data is ideally suited for chemometric data analysis. For example, discovery-based software has been developed to locate chromatographic and mass spectral features that distinguish sample classes, with the goal of reducing the rich data set to only the features that are statistically significant. Following the discovery of class-distinguishing features, the GC × GC–TOFMS data at these key locations is further mined to identify and quantify the compounds of interest. The developed software is designed to be robust to commonly-encountered irregularities in the data, such as 2D chromatographic misalignment. The discovery-based methods have been developed for and applied to rapid classification and screening applications, including metabolomics, petroleum-based fuels, biofuels, and environmental chemistry. .
  • Coffee — Coffee is important agricultural product that is produced in a limited region but consumed globally. Coffee quality is an area of active research that is particularly important as demand for specialty coffee grows concurrent with the increased difficulties of growing high-grade coffees, due to climate change, spread of coffee-specific diseases, plant-breeding, and increased mechanization. There are excellent programs for grading and recognizing quality coffees, such as Cup of Excellence, but the factors that impact coffee quality are not well-understood. Comprehensive chemical analysis of coffee, with a particular focus on coffee quality, will yield better understanding of the roles of the many processes involved in the steps from coffee production to consumption. As a sample with highly complex chemical content, coffee is well-suited as an application of the multidimensional instrumentation and analysis methods being developed..


  1. Chemical Characterization of the Acid Alteration of Diesel Fuel: Non-targeted Analysis by GC×GC–TOFMS with Tile-Based Fisher Ratio and Combinatorial Threshold Determination. B. A. Parsons, D. K. Pinkerton, B. W. Wright, R. E. Synovec. J. Chromatogr. A, 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2016.02.067
  2. Non-targeted determination of 13C-labeling in the Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 metabolome using the two-dimensional mass cluster method and principal component analysis. B. C. Reaser, S. Yang; B. D. Fitz, B. A. Parsons, M. E. Lidstrom, R. E. Synovec. J. Chromatogr. A, 2016, 1432, 111-121.
  3. Pixel-level data analysis methods for comprehensive two-dimensional chromatography (book chapter). K. M. Pierce, B. A. Parsons, R. E. Synovec. Series: Data Handling in Science and Technology; Volume: Fundamentals and Analytical Applications of Multi-way Calibration. Ed. A. C. Olivieri, 2015, Elsevier, Oxford, ISBN 13: 9780444635273.
  4. An optimised procedure for PTFE phase vanishing reactions: an improved reaction design and the use of reagents adsorbed on silica. Brendon A. Parsons, Olivia L. Smith, Veljko Dragojlovic. J. Chem. Res., 2015, 39(10), 574-581. DOI: 10.3184/174751915X14416158938073
  5. Properties of PTFE tape as a semipermeable membrane in fluorous reactions. Brendon A. Parsons, Olivia L. Smith, Myeong Chae, Veljko Dragojlovic. J. Org. Chem., 2015, 11(1), 980-993. DOI: 10.3762/bjoc.11.110
  6. Tile-Based Fisher Ratio Analysis of Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC × GC–TOFMS) Data Using a Null Distribution Approach. Brendon A. Parsons, Luke C. Marney, W. Christopher Siegler, Jamin C. Hoggard, Bob W. Wright, Robert E. Synovec. Anal. Chem., 2015, 87, 3812–3819. DOI: 10.1021/ac504472s
  7. Trilinearity deviation ratio: A new metric for chemometric analysis of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry data. David K. Pinkerton, Brendon A. Parsons, Todd J. Anderson, Robert E. Synovec. Anal. Chim. Acta, 2015, 871, 66-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2015.02.040
  8. Modeling RP-1 fuel advanced distillation data using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry and partial least squares analysis. Benjamin Kehimkar, Brendon A. Parsons, Jamin C. Hoggard, Matthew C. Billingsley, Thomas J. Bruno, Robert E. Synovec. Anal. Bioanal. Chem., 2015, 407(1), 321–320.
  9. Serial Plasma Metabolites Following Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy in a Nonhuman Primate Model. Pattaraporn T. Chun, Ronald J. McPherson, Luke C. Marney, Sahar Z. Zangeneh, Brendon A. Parsons, Ali Shojaie, Robert E. Synovec, Sandra E. Juul. Dev. Neurosci., 2015, 37(2), DOI: 10.1159/000370147
  10. Tile-based Fisher-ratio software for improved feature selection of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry data. Luke C. Marney, W. Christopher Siegler, Brendon A. Parsons, Jamin C. Hoggard, Bob W. Wright, Robert E. Synovec. Talanta, 2013, 115, 887-895.
  11. Fast, high peak capacity separations in comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Brian D. Fitz, Ryan B. Wilson, Brendon A. Parsons, Jamin C. Hoggard, Robert E. Synovec. J. Chromatogr. A, 2012, 1266, 116-123.
  12. Demonstration of a Runaway Exothermic Reaction: Diels-Alder Reaction of (2E, 4E)-2,4-Hexadien-1-ol and Maleic Anhydride. Brendon A. Parsons, Veljko Dragojlovic, J. Chem Educ., 2011, 88, 1553-1557.


  • “Forensic Detection of Diesel Fuel Alteration using Multidimensional Chromatography and Fisher Ratio Analysis.” B. Parsons and R. Synovec; Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College (invited talk), November 18, 2015, Jupiter, FL.
  • “Finding trace chemical markers in complex samples by GC×GC–TOFMS and Tile-based Fisher-ratio analysis.” B. Parsons, R. Synovec; CPAC Summer Institute, July 22, 2015, Seattle, WA.
  • “Rapid discovery-based analysis with the GC×GC–TOFMS platform to facilitate molecular management, including bio-molecules.” B. Parsons, R. Synovec; CPAC Summer Institute, May 12, 2015, Seattle, WA.
  • “Advances in Supervised Analysis of GC × GC – TOFMS Data Using Tile-Based Fisher Ratio Software B. Parsons, R. Synovec; CPAC Summer Institute, July 22, 2014, Seattle, WA.
  • “Advances in Process Gas Chromatography and Chemometrics” B. Parsons and B. Fitz, R. Synovec; Center for Process Analysis and Control (CPAC) May 13, 2014, Seattle, WA.
  • “Development of discovery-based techniques for the comprehensive analysis of complex samples with GC×GC – TOFMS: Biomarker discovery for food products” B. Parsons, B. Reaser, D. Pinkerton, R. Synovec; 247th ACS National Meeting March 17, 2014, Dallas, TX.
  • “Recent Developments in Fisher Ratio Analysis Software for GC × GC – TOFMS” B. Parsons, L. Marney, J. Hoggard, R. Synovec; 5th Multidimensional Chromatography Workshop January 7, 2014, Toronto, ON.
  • “Development of Tile-Based F-ratio Software and Application to the Chemical Alteration of Diesel Fuel” B. Parsons, R. Synovec; Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL) August 14, 2013, Richland, WA.
  • “Investigations into the Chemical Alteration of Diesel Fuel” B. Parsons, R. Synovec; Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL) August 17, 2011, Richland, WA.


  • Honorarium to present at Alma Mater, UW Chemistry Department, University of Washington (2015)
  • Honorarium to present at 247th ACS National Meeting, Graduate School Fund for Excellence and Innovation (GSFEI), University of Washington (2014)
  • Henry Morrison Flagler Scholarship, William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust (2006-2010)
  • Graduate Student Fellow, Marilyn Werby Rabinovitch Memorial Fund in Chemistry (2011)
  • First Place, Manual Coffee Brewing Competition, Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters (2011)