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Mark Masthay

Associate Professor; Co-director of Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Chemistry


Email: Mark Masthay
Phone: 937-229-2667


  • Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, 1988
  • M.S., University of California, Riverside, 1984
  • B.A., Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, 1978


Mark Masthay came to the University in 2006, serving as department chair from 2006-14.

Research interests

  • Photochemistry and Electronic Structure of Bacteriorhodopsin,
  • β-Carotene and Other Carotenoids
  • Characterizing the effects of system size on the microcanonical,
  • discrete canonical, and continuous canonical temperatures of various microstates of spin lattices

Selected publications

Acosta, T.M.; Gupta, R.C.; Masthay, M.B.; Canerdy, T.D.; Provost, R.J.; Atieh, B.H.; Keller, R.J. “Human exposure to selamectin from dogs treated with RevolutionTM: Methodological consideration for selamactin isolation.” Toxicol. Mech. Meth. 2005, 15, 317-321.

Masthay, M.B.; Fannin, H.B. “Positive and negative temperatures in a two-level system Thermodynamic and statistical mechanical perspectives.” J. Chem. Educ. 2005, 82(6), 867-873.

Masthay, M.B.; Sammeth, D.M.; Helvenston, M.C.; Buckman, C.B.; Li, W.; Cde-Baca, M.J.; Kofron, J.T. “The laser-induced blue state of bacteriorhodopsin: Mechanistic and color regulatory roles of protein-protein interactions, protein-lipid interactions, and metal ions.” J Am. Chem. Soc. 2000, 124(13), 3418-3430.

Masthay, M.B. “Color changes induced by pigment granule aggregation in chromatophores:A quantitative model based on Beer’s Law.” Photochem. Photobiol. 1997, 66, 649-658.

Birge, R.R.; Gross, R.B.; Masthay, M.B.; Stuart, J.A.; Tallent, J.R.; Zhang, C.–F. 1992.“Nonlinear optical properties of bacteriorhodopsin and protein-based two-photon three-dimensional memories.” Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. Sci. Technol. Sec. B. Nonlinear Optics 1992, 3, 133-147.

Birge, R.R.; Cooper, T.M.; Lawrence, A.F.; Masthay, M.B.; Zhang, C.–F.; Zidovetzki, R. “Revised assignment of energy storage in the primary photochemical event in bacteriorhodopsin.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1991, 113, 4327-4328.

Birge, R.R.; Masthay, M.B.; Stuart, J.A.; Tallent, J.R.; Zhang, C.–F. “Nonlinear optical properties of bacteriorhodopsin: Assignment of the third-order polarizability based on two-photon absorption spectroscopy.” Proc. SPIE 1991, 1432, 129-140.

Birge, R.R.; Fleitz, P.A.; Lawrence, A.F.; Masthay, M.B.; Zhang, C.–F. “Nonlinear optical properties of bacteriorhodopsin. Assignment of second order hyperpolarizabilities of randomly oriented systems using two-photon spectroscopy.” Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 1990, 189, 107-122.

Birge, R.R.; Findsen, L.A.; Lawrence, A.F.; Masthay, M.B.; Zhang, C.–F. 1989. “Origins of the quantum efficiency duality in the primary photochemical event of bacteriorhodopsin.” In Biomolecular Spectroscopy. R.R. Birge and H.H. Mantsch, eds. Proceedings of SPIE. The International Society of Optical Engineering, Bellingham, WA, 1989, 1057, 103-112.

Birge, R.R.; Cooper, T.M.; Lawrence, A.F.; Masthay, M.B.; Vasilakis, C.; Zhang, C.–F.;Zidovetzki R. 1989. “A spectroscopic, photocalorimetric and theoretical investigation of the quantum efficiency of the primary event in bacteriorhodopsin.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1989, 111, 4063-4074.

Masthay, M.B. “Molecular Orbital and Two-Photon Spectroscopic Studies of Conjugated Systems.” Ph.D. Thesis, 1988, Carnegie Mellon University.

Masthay, M.B.; Findsen, L.A.; Pierce, B.M.; Bocian, D.F.; Lindsey, J.S.; Birge, R.R. “A theoretical investigation of the one-and two-photon properties of porphyrins.” J. Chem. Phys. 1986, 84, 3901-3915.

Bocian, D.F.; Masthay, M.B.; R.R. Birge, R.R. “Effects of mono-versus di-substitution of conjugating groups on the electronic structure of porphyrins.” Chem. Phys. Lett. 1986, 125, 467-472.