Jennifer Poulin

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science Division

Main areas of work and/or specializations

  • gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • pyrolysis-GC-MS (Py-GC-MS)
  • modern artists’ materials
  • natural and synthetic dyes
  • natural and synthetic textiles
  • archaeological residues
  • amber and resinites


Photo of Jennifer Poulin
Jennifer Poulin

Jennifer Poulin holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry from Acadia University (1992) and an M.Sc. in Chemistry, specializing in gas chromatography, from Dalhousie University (1995). From 1996 to 2003, she worked in the investigative analysis of organic materials at the Canadian Border Services Agency laboratory in Ottawa and at King’s College London in the UK.

Jennifer joined the Canadian Conservation Institute in 2003, where she is currently a senior conservation scientist. She is an expert in the analysis of organic components in museum objects using GC-MS. She has undertaken research on natural and synthetic paint-binding media, Canadian amber, organic residues on archaeological objects, natural and synthetic dyes, pesticides, modern materials, and varnishes and lacquers. She has developed and published methods of direct inlet pyrolysis-GC-MS (Py-GC-MS) and dye analysis using GC-MS. She taught these methods at the Users’ Group for Mass Spectrometry and Chromatography (MaSC) 2019 meeting and workshop, which she co-organized.

Jennifer has published numerous scientific articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals and books. She regularly provides expert peer review. In 2014, she received an Editors’ Choice Award from the American Chemical Society for her article with Kate Helwig “Inside Amber: The Structural Role of Succinic Acid in Class Ia and Class Id Resinite,” published in Analytical Chemistry. Jennifer also co-authored Jean-Paul Riopelle: The Artist’s Materials, the second book in the Artists’ Materials series published by the Getty Conservation Institute.

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