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Board of Trustees Names Lee a Distinguished Professor

The Purdue University Board of Trustees has named Linda Lee, a professor in Purdue Agriculture’s Department of Agronomy, a Distinguished Professor. This designation acknowledges creative and productive faculty who have made distinctive contributions to the university and whose outstanding achievements in discovery and learning are recognized internationally.

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Dr. Linda Lee

“Dr. Lee has made incredible contributions to our college and to her area of research during her 29 years at Purdue. She is recognized for her extraordinary research with emerging contaminants and especially those more persistent within the environment,” said Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture Karen Plaut.  

Lee joined the faculty at Purdue in 1993 after completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Florida. She is the program head for the Ecological Sciences and Engineering Interdisciplinary Graduate Program and a faculty affiliate in the Division of Environmental Ecological Engineering. Lee also serves as Interim Assistant Dean of Graduate Education in the College of Agriculture.  

Senior Associate Dean of Agricultural Research and Graduate Education Bernie Engel praised Lee’s commitment to graduate education, “She is passionate about working with and mentoring graduate students and post-docs and engaging them in solving problems.” 

Lee’s current research projects, including a project funded with a 2020 $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, focus on understanding the fate of emerging contaminants, including pharmaceuticals (trenbolone, estrogens, human and veterinary antibiotics) and perfluorinated telomer compounds in soils, sediments, streams and bio solids. The EPA grant provided Lee funds to study the ways these contaminants might affect surface and ground waters that feed drinking wells in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia. 

During her career, Lee has received more than 18 million dollars in funding from federal and state agencies and industry, published over 100 publications in top tier environmental journals and served as primary mentor for 32 graduate students. She has and continues to serve on multiple national and international advisory groups addressing water quality issues, fair land-applied bio solid policies and chemical risk prediction and management.  

Agronomy Department Head and Professor Ron Turco, who nominated Lee for this honor, explained his support: “I cannot overstate Dr. Lee’s contributions to understanding how environmental exposure from anthropogenic chemicals can be better understood and managed. She continues to innovate and move ideas forward and this recognition as a Distinguished Professorship will propel her even further.” 

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