Dr. Rob Pappas

As you can see by his curriculum vitae, Dr. Pappas is well qualified at his craft. He is a purist in the finest tradition with the highest quality always as the goal. Both in his education and career, Dr. P is dedicated to essential oils and is the acting “dean” of Essential Oil University.


  • 1990 - 1995: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
    Ph.D., Physical Chemistry GPA 4.00/4.00
  • 1985 - 1990: Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN
    B.A., Chemistry, Minor in Mathematics GPA 3.92/4.00


  • 1/1/98 - Present: Essential Oil University (http://www.essentialoils.org/)
  • President/Technical Director/Webmaster
    Responsibilities include:
    Consulting, formulation/duplication and analytical testing services for the cosmetics/personal care, flavor, fragrance, and essential oil industries, supplier of miscellaneous lab equipment related to the extraction and distillation of botanicals.

    Inventor of the StoveStill, a small-scale home distillation device for the purpose of distilling botanical essential oils on any kitchen stove.

  • 8/1/98 - 6/1/2000: Indiana University, South Bend, IN
  • Adjunct Faculty
    Responsibilities and achievements include:
    Developed the brand new course, “Introduction to Aromatherapy” C208, which is the first aromatherapy course ever to be offered for college credit in the United states (3 credit hours undergraduate).
    Developed the undergraduate chemistry course, C390 “The Chemistry of Essential Oils”, which is another first of its kind to be offered for university credit.
    Initiated research in the areas of essential oils, fragrances and flavors.
    Worked with plant geneticists on developing and bringing to market new plants for essential oil production.

  • 1995 - 1996: The University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
  • Instructor of General Chemistry
    Covered topics in Chemistry 201 for science and engineering majors.

  • 1995 - 1996: Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN
  • Instructor of Nursing Chemistry
    Presented topics covered in Chemistry 101 for nursing majors.

  • 1990 - 1995: The University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN
  • Graduate Research Assistant
    Worked under Dr. T. Francon Williams in the field of organic radical cation chemistry.
    Utilized current synthetic techniques to prepare highly-reactive, strained hydrocarbons.
    Studied the reactions of the hydrocarbon radical cations by ESR.
    Specialized in providing computational support using the latest semi-empirical and ab initio molecular orbital methods including AM1, PM3, INDO, MINDO3 as well as molecular modeling using SYBYL on UNIX based workstations.
    Developed a theory based on the Pseudo-Jahn-Teller Effect that allowed for the successful prediction of thermal reaction pathways available to the radical cation systems of interest.


  • Product development and formulation.
  • Fragrance and flavor duplication and performance evaluation.
  • Solvent extraction, fractional distillation and steam distillation.
  • Skilled in the following spectroscopic methods: NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance), ESR (electron spin resonance), IR (infrared), UV (ultraviolet), MS (mass spectrometry), AA (atomic absorption).
  • Skilled in the following chromatographic methods: GC (gas chromatography), HPLC (high-pressure liquid chromatography), TLC (thin layer chromatography).
  • Organic synthesis including photochemical and thermo-chemical.
  • Reactor design.
  • Cryogenic sample handling.
  • Purification techniques including vacuum line and preparatory GC Molecular modeling using SYBYL and other modeling programs.
  • Ab initio and semi-empirical molecular orbital calculations using UNIX based workstations.
  • Experienced at building and configuring PC compatible computer systems, and website programming.


  • Spectroscopic and computational studies on the rearrangement of ionized [1.1.1]propellane and some of its valence isomers: the key role of vibronic coupling, Journal of the American Chemical Society,132(41), 14649-60 (2010).
  • Ionized bicyclo[2.2.2]oct-2-ene: a twisted olefinic radical cation showing vibronic coupling, Chem. Eur. J. 8, 1074 (2002).
  • Unusual Alkynes Found in the Essential Oil of Artemisia Dracunculus L. var. dracunculus from the Pacific Northwest, Journal of Essential Oil Research, 1, 187 (2001).
  • The Essential Oil of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn. From South Florida: A High Cryptone/Low Cineole Eucalyptus, Journal of Essential Oil Research, 12, 383 (2000).
  • Vanilla Absolute: A Treasure Lost, Scentsitivity, Vol. 9, No. 4, 16.
  • Cryptic Oils, Scentsitivity, Vol. 8, No.4, 20 (1999).
  • Committing Adultery (Adulteration in the Essential Oil Industry), Scentsitivity, Vol. 8, No. 1, 23 (1998).
  • Radical Cation Cope Rearrangement of 1,5-Hexadiyne to 1,2,4,5- Hexatetraene, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 111, 8759.
  • Radical Cation Photoisomerization of Bicyclo[2.2.2]octa-2,5-diene to Tetracyclo[]octane and its Thermal Retrogression, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 114, 8314.
  • Vibronic Coupling Interactions in Organic Radical Cations: A Matrix ESR Study, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, August 1995. Four additional publications to the Journal of the American Chemical Society are expected to come directly from the research presented in this dissertation.
  • Radical Cation Photoisomerization of Bicyclo[2.2.2]octa-2,5-diene to Tetracyclo[]octane and its Thermal Retrogression, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 114, 8314 (1992).
  • Radical Cation Cope Rearrangement of 1,5-Hexadiyne to 1,2,4,5- Hexatetraene, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 111, 8759 (1989).


  • The International Conference on Radical Ions - August 1994 received travel grant from Argonne National Laboratory to attend and give a presentation at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Departmental Merit Scholarship for Excellence in Academics and Research - May 1992 and 1993 - Awarded to five selected graduate students each year at the University of Tennessee.
  • Hilton A. Smith Graduate Fellowship - August 1990 and 1991 - the top graduate student fellowship awarded by the University of Tennessee on a yearly basis.
  • American Chemical Society Outstanding Graduate Award 1990 - Indiana University Southeast.
  • Chemistry Student of the Year 1990 - Indiana University Southeast.
  • Science Alliance Summer Research Fellowship - summers of 1988, 1989, and 1990 - Awarded to undergraduate students from around the world to gain research experience before entering graduate school.
  • CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award 1987.
  • Merit Scholarship - awarded each semester at IU for maintaining a grade point average above 3.5.
  • Bridge to College Scholarship -May 1985- awarded for top performance in a college business course as a senior at Providence High School, Clarksville, IN.