Lydia Dorrance, Ph.D.

Lydia Dorrance, Ph.D. is an Environmental Scientist based in California with more than nine years of experience focused on emerging contaminants, environmental forensics, and litigation support.

Lydia Dorrance, Ph.D. is an Environmental Scientist based in California with more than nine years of experience focused on emerging contaminants, environmental forensics, and litigation support.


Lydia's consulting experience and training in the fields of geochemistry and oceanography is an asset in helping her clients implement site investigations, manage large environmental datasets, coordinate projects, provide technical support to counsel. She has served as an expert witness before the United States Supreme Court.

Investigating methods to forensically identify sources of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination to the environment has been a key focus for Lydia. Her investigation includes identifying means of differentiating between individual manufactures and “vintages” of aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs), of which PFAS comprise key active ingredients.

Clients rely on her expertise in geochemical analyses and environmental forensic techniques to address sediment, soil, groundwater, soil vapor, and surface water contamination at large Superfund sites and smaller properties impacted by a variety of contaminants including metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). She has supported multiple clients with environmental liabilities stemming from large-scale contaminated sediment sites (so-called sediment “mega-sites”) where forensics can play a key role in allocation of cleanup costs among responsible parties.

Lydia has presented nationwide on topics related to her practice, including recent litigation surrounding PFAS, potential forensic tools for managing PFAS liabilities, and ways to constrain the timing of environmental releases. She currently serves on the executive committee of the Environmental Chapter of the Alameda County Bar Association.

Career Summary of Lydia Dorrance, Ph.D.

  • Specialties: Litigation Support; Geochemistry and Environmental Forensics; Site Investigation and Remediation
  • Practice Areas: Contaminated Site Assessment and Cleanup
  • Disciplines: Biological Sciences
  • Education: Ph.D., Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, 2010; M.S., Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, 2010; B.A., Environmental Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York, 2004

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