Victor L. Heasley

Victor L. Heasley

  • Professor of Chemistry
  • Phone: 619.849.2231


  • Ph.D, Organic Chemistry, University of Kansas (with C.A. Vanderwerf)
  • B.A., Hope College (Magna Cum Laude)



1959-1963  Ph.D, Organic Chemistry, University of Kansas (with C.A. Vanderwerf)

 1955-1959B.A., Hope College (Magna Cum Laude)


 Part I: Studies on the Synthesis of Allylic Diamines.
Part II: A Study of the rearrangements of allylic Diazides


1963-presentProfessor, Department of Chemistry, Point Loma Nazarene University


1964-presentTotal of 41 Research Grants for $697,969


1963-presentAmerican Chemical Society
 1989-presentSociety of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

 1974-presentCouncil on undergraduate Research (CUR)


  • Reviewer for the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, the Journal of Organic Chemistry and the National Science Foundation, Current
  • Member, Scientific Committee, 3rd Meeting of OrgaBrom, and International Symposium of Bromine Chemists, Baton Rouge, LA, 1997
  • Faculty Council (Faculty Senate), 1995-1997
  • Presidential Search Committee, 1997
  • Provost Search Committee, 1996
  • Director, Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), 1982-83.



During the summer of 2007 Dr Heasley’s three students, Amber Kerk, Kristin Mitrovich and Luke Tatum studied the reactions of chlorine with model organic molecules to understand how contaminants are formed when drinking water is chlorinated. Both Luke's and Kristin's reactions produced previously unknown product molecules whose structures were established with assistance from University of California faculty: Luke's by x-ray crystallography at UCSD and Kristin's using high-powered mass spectrometry at UCR. These compounds were formed and identified for the first time. Amber also identified the structure of a previously unknown reaction product. All three of these compounds suggest how water becomes contaminated during chlorination.


My overall research interests center around the contamination of  drinking water by organic compounds such as chloroform, CHCl3, when it is chlorinated with one of  the following common chlorinating agents chlorine, Cl2, hypochlorous acid, HOCl, hypochlorite ion, OCl-, monochloramine, NH2Cl and dichloramine, NHCl2.  Most of the contamination occurs when the chlorinating agent chlorinates the contaminants present in drinking water; these contaminants consist of the humic acids and various organic compounds.  The humic acids are polymeric conglomerates consisting of breakdown products from lignin (resulting from decomposition of leaves and other humic materials) and extraneous proteins and carbohydrates.  Most contaminants from the humic acids and the chlorinating agents are derived from highly reactive phenols which are primarily part of the lignin portion of the conglomerates.  Our approach to research in this area has been to select models of the phenols in the humic acids and study their reactions with the various chlorinating agents.  Examples of the phenols that we have studied are: phenol, the cresols and chlorinated cresols, resorcinol and chlorinated resorcinols,  and the pentachloride of resorcinol.


Five most recent professional publications:


“An Unexpected Lactam from the Reaction of Pentachlororesorcinol (PCR) with Ammonica in Ether” Victor L. Heasley*, Luke A. Tatum, Kristin E. Mitrovich, Jeffrey L. Boerneke and Dale F. Shellhamer, Research Journal of Chemistry and Environment, 2009, Vol. 13(3), 29-32.

"Synthesis of Several Unexpected Compounds from 2,2,4,4,6-Pentachloro-5-cyclohexene-1,3-dione (A Humic Acid Model), Monochloramine, Ammonia and Other Reagents," Victor L. Heasley, Ashley M. Ramirez*, Peter E. Baker*, Jeffrey L. Boerneke*, Ryan H. DeBoard*, Torie L. Hartge*, Dennis C. Madrid*, Geoffrey A. Sigmund* and Dale F. Shellhamer; Letters in Organic Chemistry, 4, 2007, 500-504.


"Reactions of 2,4,6-Trichlororesorcinol and Pentachlororesorcinol with Monochloroamine in Methanol: Investigation of Products and Mechanisms," Victor L. Heasley, Michael B. Alexander*, Peter E. Baker*, Jeffery L. Boerneke*, Ryan H. DeBoard*, Jeffrey T. Gardner*, Erica E. Herman*, Scott T. Michaelson*, Evan W. Miller*, Ashley M. Ramirez*, Ronald E. Renfrow*, Nicole R. Royer*, Lisa C. Sator*, Sarah A. Wood* and Dale F. Shellhamer; Res. J. Chem. Environ., 11, 2007, 22-28.


"Synthesis of Anhydrous, Monohydrate and Multihydrate 2,4,6-Trichlororesorcinol," Victor L. Heasley, Ronald E. Renfrow*, Lisa C. Sator*, Jeffrey L. Boerneke* Dale F. Shellhamer; Res. J. Chem. Environ., 11, 2007, 13.


"Studies on the Synthesis of Pentachlororesorcinol: Surprising Observation of a Second Unexpected Product," Victor L. Heasley, Peter E. Baker*, Ashley M. Ramirez*, Ronald E. Renfrow*, Lisa C. Sator*, Sarah A. Wood*, Dale F. Shellhamer and Jeff Lehman; Res. J. Chem. Environ., 10, 2006, 5-9.

Five most recent presentations with undergraduates (oral and poster):

Kristin E. Mitrovich and Victor L. Heasley, “Investigation of the Reaction of a New Humic Acid Model with Monochloramine in Methanol: Formation of an Unexpected Epoxide”, 237th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 23, 2009.

Luke A. Tatum and Victor L. Heasley, “Appearance of an Unexpected Lactam from the Reaction of 2, 2, 4, 4, 6-Pentachloro-5-cyclohexen-1, 3-dione with Ammonia”, 237th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 23, 2009.

J. L. Boerneke and V.L. Heasley, “Investigation of the reactions and mechanisms of 1-methoxy-1,3-butadiene and related compounds with the chloramines,” 235th National American Chemical Society Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2008.

V. L. Heasley, “Contamination of Drinking Water During Chlorination: An Approach to the Understanding and Possible Solution of the Problem,” Presented at the 2nd International Congress of the Chemistry and Environment, November 20, 2007, Kuwait City, Kuwait.

V. L. Heasley and A. M. Ramirez, “Reactions of Pentachlororesorcinol with Chlorinating Agents: Identification of the Products,” Presented by Ashley Rameriz at the 233rd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Chicago, Illinois, March 25, 2007.