Thomas M. Primus | October 12, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 41 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 41 | pp. 65-66 | Obituaries
Issue Date: October 12, 2009

Thomas M. Primus

Department: ACS News
Keywords: Obituaries, People

Thomas M. Primus, 51, died unexpectedly in a single-car accident in Fort Collins, Colo., on Aug. 22.

Born in Baltimore, Primus received a B.S. in chemistry from Lynchburg College, in Virginia, in 1981 and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Arizona State University, Tempe, in 1989.

Primus began his career at St. Mary's College of Maryland, where he worked as an assistant professor of chemistry from 1988 until 1991. He then worked as a research chemist at the Agriculture Department's National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins until the time of his death.

Primus was internationally recognized for his expertise in studying anticoagulant residues in support of secondary toxicity risk assessment. He was involved in assessments of anticoagulant use in Pacific island rat eradication programs. He developed and validated 36 analytical methods for the determination of pesticide residues in animal and plant tissues.

In 2008, Primus became project leader for the National Wildlife Research Center's Analytical Chemistry Project. He authored or coauthored 40 publications.

Primus was a member of ACS, joining in 1983. He was also a member of Phi Lambda Upsilon Honorary Chemical Society from 1983 to 1989 and a member of the Meteoritical Society, a group that promotes the study of extraterrestrial materials, including meteorites, from 1983 to 1989.

He is survived by his father, Frank; brother, Charles; and sisters, Katherine L. Hearn and Michele Root.


Susan J. Ainsworth writes obituaries. Obituary notices may be sent to and should include a detailed educational and professional history.

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