Jennifer L Graham, Ph.D.


Jennifer Graham currently serves as the harmful algal bloom and toxin science collaboration lead in the USGS Water and Environmental Health Mission Areas. She also represents the USGS on the Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia. Jennifer began her career with the USGS in 1999 as a Volunteer for Science working on harmful algal blooms at the Columbia Environmental Research Center. She worked there as a volunteer until 2005, when she became a Hydrologist at the Kansas Water Science Center. She is a nationally recognized expert in cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds. For almost two decades Jennifer has conducted research on the environmental factors influencing the occurrence of cyanotoxins in the United States. She has conducted both regional and single system studies at a variety of spatiotemporal scales.

The overarching theme of Jennifer’s research is the spatiotemporal distribution of algae and algal assemblages with respect to changing physical, chemical, and biological conditions in both lentic and lotic ecosystems. Focus areas currently include anthropogenic influences on algal production and community composition, environmental conditions leading to the development of harmful algal blooms, with an emphasis on cyanobacteria, the occurrence, fate, and transport of cyanobacterial toxins and taste-and-odor compounds, and the development of predictive models for the occurrence of cyanobacterial toxins and taste-and-odor compounds. She has a complimentary interest in evaluating and using leading-edge technology, such as continuous water-quality instrumentation and satellite imagery, to improve predictive capabilities for the onset, duration, and decline of harmful algal bloom events. Research efforts include partnerships within the USGS as well as with local, state, and federal agencies and universities.


PhD in Fisheries and Wildlife with a specialization in Limnology (2004) – University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

MS in Biology with a specialization in Aquatic Ecology (1998) – Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO

BS in Environmental Science (1995) – Davis and Elkins College, Elkins, WV