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Tara M. Lovestead (Fed)

Supervisory Chemical Engineer


Tara Lovestead leads the Fluid Characterization Group in the Applied Chemicals and Materials Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO. She received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The group specializes in the development of novel methods for analyzing vapors and fluid mixtures to serve public health and safety, criminal justice, and industry. Currently, she co-leads the Chemical Foundations for a Cannabis Breathalyzer and  Vapor Sampling to Support Public Safety and Forensics programs. She was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her research achievements and service to the scientific community.

Full publication record available at Google Scholar.

NRC postdoctoral fellowship opportunities


Breath Measurements of Acute Cannabis Use (BACE): Towards Reliable Determination of Recent Use. Department of Justice (DOJ)/National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Co-Principal Investigator, Award # DJO-NIJ-22-RO-0003, Jan. 2022 – Dec. 2024

NIST Material Measurement Laboratory (MML) Collaboration and Teamwork Award, 2022

NIST MML Mentor Award, 2021

Innovation in Measurement Science Award, NIST, 2020, Funding 2020-2024

Chemical Foundations for a Cannabis Breathalyzer. DOJ/ NIJ, Co-Principal Investigator, Award # DJO-NIJ-19-RO-0008, Jan. 2019 – Dec. 2022

NIST MML Team Award for Outreach, 2018

The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2013, Funding 2017-2022

National Academy of Science/National Research Council postdoctoral associateship program, 2009-2011

Award winning poster in Physics, Chemical Science and Technology, & Materials Science and Engineering Laboratories Category, Boulder Laboratories Poster Session, NIST, Boulder, Colorado, 2008


The need for multicomponent gas standards for breath biomarker analysis

Kavita Jeerage, Jennifer Berry, Jacolin Murray, Cassie Goodman, Paulina Piotrowski, Christina Jones, Christina Cecelski, Jennifer Carney, Katrice Lippa, Tara Lovestead
Exhaled breath is a non-invasive, information-rich matrix with the potential to diagnose or monitor disease, including infectious disease. Despite significant
Created August 15, 2019, Updated November 16, 2023