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Elena Nilsen

Elena Nilsen is a research chemist in the USGS Oregon Water Science Center

Elena Nilsen is a Research Chemist and Team Lead at the U.S. Geological Survey Oregon Water Science Center in Portland, OR. She studies contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) and other threats to aquatic foodwebs in rivers, estuaries, and coastal ocean habitats. Elena has worked extensively on methods development and refinement in collaboration with the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in biology at UC San Diego and a Doctorate in marine geochemistry at UC Santa Cruz.  She started with the USGS as a Mendenhall Post-doctoral Fellow with the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in the San Francisco Bay Area studying impacts of contamination on estuarine ecology and geochemistry.  She has been with the Oregon Water Science Center since 2007.

Research Interests

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs); sediment and tissue chemistry; endocrine disruption; contaminant impacts on First Food species, e.g., Pacific lamprey, white sturgeon, salmonids, shellfish; primary productivity, foodweb dynamics; biomarkers; synergistic effects; ocean acidification, ocean anoxia, and climate change