Lisa Nowell


I am a Research Chemist with the USGS National Water Quality Program (NWQP), National Water Quality Assessment Project (NAWQA). Since 2013, I have been part of the Regional Stream-Quality Assessment (RSQA) team, which is a multidisciplinary team conducting a series of multistressor studies of wadable streams in the Midwest, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Northeast, and Central Coastal California regions. My primary focus is to track, interpret and model the occurrence of pesticides in stream water and sediment at the regional scale; and to interpret data on sediment toxicity and ecological condition in relation to chemical stressors. I have participated in the design and implementation of NAWQA since 1991, when I first joined the USGS as a member of NAWQA’s Pesticide National Synthesis team. Since that time, I have conducted national and regional-scale assessments of pesticides in water, sediment, and aquatic biota, and with my colleagues have developed tools (such as sediment benchmarks, aquatic-life benchmarks, the Pesticide Toxicity Index, and Health-Based Screening Levels) for interpreting the biological significance of pesticides in water and sediment. I also evaluated contaminants in water and sediment on the Gulf Coast before and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and I co-authored a book on pesticides in stream sediment and aquatic biota.

Before coming to the USGS, I worked for the Food and Drug Administration; was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in environmental science and engineering at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and conducted post-doctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) in Switzerland. I am an active member of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), American Chemical Society, and American Geophysical Union.  I currently serve on the Meetings Committee and 2018 Program Committee of SETAC North America, and I am an Associate Editor of the journal, Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal.