Victoria Glenn Christensen, PhD

Victoria is a Research Hydrologist assigned to the Upper Midwest Water Science Center and the Assistant Program Coordinator for Outreach for the Environmental Health Program (Toxic Substances Hydrology and Contaminant Biology). She also serves as the acting Communications Coordinator for the USGS Water Mission Area.


Victoria Christensen studies cyanotoxins, with a focus on the neurotoxins, anatoxin-a and saxitoxin. Cyanotoxins are produced by cyanobacterial harmful alglal blooms, which are sometimes called blue-green algae. Victoria received a B.A. from Hamline University, B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Kansas, and her PhD from North Dakota State University. Her master’s research examined the occurrence and fate of dissolved solids, nutrients, atrazine, and bacteria in an agricultural watershed. Her dissertation research focused on cyanotoxin mixtures with an emphasis neurotoxins—looking at the environmental variables like wind and temperature that may trigger cyanobacteria to produce or release toxins. In addition to the study of harmful algae and their toxins, Victoria's interests and project work include real-time water-quality monitoring, effects of land use on water quality, the fate of nutrients in agricultural and reservoir systems. She also has an interest in writing and communicating science topics to broad audiences and is a trainer and USGS Subject Matter Expert on Scientific Project Management.