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Faculty and Staff

Bettie Obi Johnson, Ph.D.

Title: Professor of Chemistry
Department: Math, Science, Nursing, and Public Health
USC Lancaster
Phone: 803-313-7020
Fax: 803-313-7106
Office: Bradley 224
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Bettie Johnson, Associate Professor of Chemistry


Doctorate of Philosophy, Analytical Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, June 1999
Thesis: “Mechanistic Analysis of Chemical Vapor Deposition from Metal-Organic Precursors”, advisor: Dr. William S. Rees, Jr.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, ACS-certified, University of West Florida, May 1994
Undergraduate Research: “The Effect of the Molecular Chaperone Alpha-Crystalline on UV-Induced Aggregation of Lens Proteins”, advisor: Dr. Robert F. Borkman, Georgia Institute of Technology


Dr. Johnson is an analytical chemist who has been teaching at USC Lancaster since 2004. Before joining USCL, she worked as a research chemist in the chemical industry for five years. She teaches courses in Introductory, general, forensic, and analytical chemistry at USCL. Her research interests are in applying the tools of analytical chemistry to solve problems in chemistry and biology. Recent work has involved determining the identity and distribution of volatile organic scent compounds emanating from flowers, floral nectar, and nectar inhabiting microorganisms. She also develops novel teaching experiments that engage students and incorporate modern laboratory instrumentation at all levels. Dr. Johnson is involved with community outreach projects to enhance science education and participation amongst K-12 and undergraduate students.

Honors and Awards                              

Distinguished Research Service Award, University of South Carolina, 2019

John J. Duffy Excellence in Teaching Award, University of South Carolina Regional Campuses, 2013

Recent Publications

Obi Johnson, Bettie; Golonka, Annette M.; Emmanuel, Khalisha A.; Pannarasu, Jeffshan J.; Pryor, Joseph E. “Determination of Linalool in Essential Oils by SPME-GC-MS: Using the Internal Standard Method”. Journal of Chemical Education, 2022, 99, 917-923. 

Obi Johnson, Bettie; Golonka, Annette M.; Blackwell, Austin; Vazquez, Iver; Wolfram, Nigel. “Floral Scent Variation in the Heterostylous Species Gelsemium sempervirens”. Molecules, 2019, 24, 1-16.

Obi Johnson, B.; Blackwell, A.; Patel, M.; Robins, A. “Mystery of the Missing Medicine: Forensic Drug Identification of Pseudoephedrine in a Non-Science Majors Course”. Chem. Educator, 2018, 23, 112-118 

Golonka, Annette M.; Johnson, Bettie Obi; Freeman, Jonathan; Hinson, Daniel W. "Impact of Nectarivorous Yeasts on Silene caroliniana's Scent", Eastern Biologist, 2014, 3, 1-26.

Johnson, Bettie Obi; Burke, Fernanda M.; Harrison, Rebecca; Burdette, Samantha. “Quantitative Analysis of Bisphenol A Leached from Household Plastics by Solid–Phase Micro-Extraction and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (SPME–GC–MS)”. J. Chem. Educ. 2012, 89, 1555 – 1560. 

Johnson, Bettie Obi; Burke, Fernanda; Burdette, Samantha. “Determination of Ethylene Glycol in Engine Coolants using Refractive Index” Chem. Educator, 2011, 16, 116-118. 

Johnson, Bettie Obi; Van Milligan, Henry. “How Heavy is a Balloon? Using the Ideal Gas Law”. J. Chem. Educ. 2009, 86, 224A – 224B.