Carolyn Koester

Portrait of  Carolyn Koester

  • Title
    Deputy Director for Operations, Forensic Science Center
  • Email
  • Phone
    (925) 422-6888
  • Organization
    Not Available


Dr. Koester is an analytical chemist who applies mass spectrometric techniques, including gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, to the analysis of toxic industrial chemicals and chemical warfare agents (CWAs) in support of environmental and homeland security missions. She leads the LLNL Environmental Response Laboratory Network reference laboratory, interacts with EPA personnel to assist them in standing-up capabilities to analyze CWAs, participates in proficiency testing to help LLNL retain its status as an Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-designated laboratory, and is a task lead for chemical work in support of the FBI. Carolyn also develops and provides training for both internal and external customers and participates in educational outreach programs.

Research and Professional Experience

Dr. Koester applies analytical chemistry and instrumental techniques to study a variety of environmental and national security issues and has been at LLNL since 1994.

  • Principal Investigator – LLNL Chemical Weapons Agent Reference Laboratory in support of Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Response Laboratory Network
    • Since 2007, Dr. Koester has led LLNL's effort in assisting the EPA with developing gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography/ mass spectrometry methods and research with CWA in support of preparedness for remediation efforts. In this role, Carolyn interacts with EPA laboratory personnel and serves as a subject matter expert.
  • Deputy Principal Investigator – LLNL Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons designated laboratory
    • Dr. Koester collects and integrates data from multiple instrumental techniques to assist in the identification of unknown chemicals in sample-limited environment. Carolyn assists in maintaining ISO17025 certification – reviews standard operating procedures, conducts reviews to ensure that lab practices conform to quality standards, participates in A2LA audits.

Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry, Indiana University, 1991

B.S., Chemistry, Hope College, 1986