• Pursell is a chemistry professor at Trinity University where he teaches lecture and laboratory courses in physical chemistry, general chemistry and advanced chemistry topics.

    Having grown-up in California, Pursell earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the California State University in Sacramento. He earned a doctoral degree at the University of Chicago, studying physical chemistry and spectroscopy in the laboratory of Professor Takeshi Oka. He received additional teaching and research experience while a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University, working with Professor Charlie Parmenter. He has been teaching at Trinity since 1993.

    • Postdoc in Chemistry, Indiana University
    • Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Chicago 
    • B.S. in Chemistry, California State University, Sacramento
    • "Host-Guest Inclusion Complexation of α-Cyclodextrin and Triiodide Examined Using UV-Vis Spectrophotometry", Janet L. Pursell* and Christopher J. Pursell, Journal of Physical Chemistry – A, 2016, 120, 2144–2149.
    • "Hydrogenation of Mg Nanofilms Catalyzed by Size-Selected Pd Nanoparticles: Observation of Localized MgH2 Nanodomains", Sushant Kumar, Vidyadhar Singh, Cathal Cassidy, Christopher Pursell, Chinmay Nivargi, Bruce Clemens, and Mukhles Sowwan,Journal of Catalysis, 2016 , 337, 14-25.
    • "PROX Solved: Controlling Activity and Selectivity using Water in the Au-catalyzed Preferential Oxidation of CO in H2", Johnny Saavedra, Todd Whittaker*, Zhifeng Chen, Christopher J. Pursell, Robert M. Rioux, Bert D. Chandler, Nature Chemistry, 2016, 8, 584-589.
    • "Using Thiol Adsorption on Supported Au Nanoparticle Catalysts to Evaluate Au Dispersion and the Number of Actives Sites for Benzyl Alcohol Oxidation", Basu Panthi, Ahana Mukhopadhyay, Luke Tibbitts*, Johnny Saavedra, Christopher J. Pursell, Robert M. Rioux, and Bert D. Chandler, ACS Catalysis, 2015, 5, 2232-2241. Saavedra, J., Doan, H.A., Pursell, C.J., Grabow, L.C., & Chandler, B.D. (2014). "The Critical Role of Water at the Gold-titania Interface in Catalytic CO Oxidation.Science, 345, 1599-1602. doi: 10.1126/science.1256018
    • "Effects of Pd on Catalysis by Au: CO Adsorption, CO Oxidation, and Cyclohexene Hydrogenation by Supported Au and Pd−Au Catalysts”, Timothy Ward*, Laurent Delannoy, Ruth Hahn*, Shane Kendell, Christopher J. Pursell, Catherine Louis, and Bert D. Chandler, ACS Catalysis, 2013, 3, 2644−2653.
    • CO oxidation over Au/TiO2 catalyst: Pretreatment effects, catalyst deactivation, and carbonates production”, Johnny Saavedra, Camilah Powell*, Basu Panthi, Christopher J. Pursell, Bert D. Chandler, Journal of Catalysis, 2013, 307, 1–11.
    • “Vapor Distribution above an Evaporating Sessile Drop,” P. L. Kelly-Zion, C. J. Pursell, N. Hasbamrer*, B. Cardozo*, K. Gaughan*, and K. Nickels, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2013, 65, 165-172.
    • “Correlation for the Convective and Diffusive Evaporation of a Sessile Drop”, P.L. Kelly-Zion, J. Batra*, and C.J. Pursell, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2013, 64, 278-285.
    • “CO adsorption on supported gold nanoparticle catalysts: Application of the Temkin model”, Christopher J. Pursell, Bert D. Chandler, Maela Manzoli, and Flora Boccuzzi, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2012, 116, 11117-11125.
    • “NaBr Poisoning of Au/TiO2 Catalysts: Effects on Kinetics, Poisoning Mechanism, and Estimation of the Number of Catalytic Active Sites”, Bert D. Chandler, Shane Kendell, Hieu Doan, Rachel Korkosz*, Lars C. Grabow, and Christopher J. Pursell, ACS Catalysis 2012, 2, 684-694.
    • “Application of the Temkin Model to the Adsorption of CO on Gold”, Pursell, Christopher J; Hartshorn, Heather*; Ward, Timothy*; Chandler, Bert D.; Boccuzzi, Flora; Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2011, 115, 23880-23892.
    • “Evaporation of sessile drops under combined diffusion and natural convection”, P.L. Kelly-Zion, C.J. Pursell, S. Vaidya*, and J. Batra*, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 2011, 381, 31-36.

    * denotes Trinity undergraduate student

    Pursell's research area has changed and evolved over time. Presently he is involved in two separate collaborative research projects: (1) a study of gold nanoparticle catalysis with Professor Chandler (chemistry), and (2) a study of the evaporation process with Professor Kelly-Zion (engineering science).

    A common theme to Pursell's research has included the use of spectroscopy. In fact, as an undergraduate student, his fascination with "the interaction of light with matter" (or "experimental quantum mechanics," as he sometimes calls it) motivated him to study physical chemistry in graduate school. This fascination continues to inspire and motivate his research interests.

    • Physical Chemistry 
    • General Chemistry 
    • Senior Integrated Laboratory 
    • Advanced Chemistry Topics