Environmental Management — Environmental Science
Allison  Luengen

Allison Luengen

Assistant Professor

Allison Luengen received her M.S. in Marine Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She then completed her Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology, also at UCSC. Following her Ph.D., she moved to the East Coast for postdoctoral research with Dr. Nicholas Fisher in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. As a postdoc, Dr. Luengen worked with radioisotopes to look at how methylmercury bioavailability to phytoplankton was affected by dissolved organic matter.

Dr. Luengen's research at USF focuses on the cycling and bioavailability of trace metals. She frequently works in the San Francisco Bay and Delta, an estuary where there are elevated concentrations of many metals, including mercury. Mercury, in the form of methylmercury, biomagnifies up food chains, reaching concentrations in fish that can be a million times higher than in the water. Dr. Luengen is interested in how methylmercury first enters the food chain, when it is taken up by phytoplankton. Her current research in the San Francisco Bay Delta also explores how methylmercury is transferred from phytoplankton to subsequent trophic levels. A major goal of her work is to understand metal accumulation in terms of water chemistry and mechanistic processes.

Education

Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz