Allison Leungen

Allison Luengen

Associate Professor

Program Director • Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-4332 Harney Science Center 418A

Biography

Allison Luengen received her MS in Marine Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She then completed her PhD in Environmental Toxicology, also at UCSC. Following her PhD, 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, Professor Luengen worked with radioisotopes to look at how methylmercury bioavailability to phytoplankton was affected by dissolved organic matter.

Professor 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. Professor 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.

Appointments
Program Director, MS in Environmental Management
Education
PhD, Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Santa Cruz
MS, Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz
Research
Mercury in San Francisco Bay
Analysis of museum specimens
Urban stormwater
Selected Publications

Luengen, A. C., N. S. Fisher, and B. A. Bergamaschi. 2012. Dissolved organic matter reduces algal accumulation of methylmercury. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31: 1712-1719.

Luengen, A. C., and A. R. Flegal. 2009. Role of phytoplankton in mercury cycling in the San Francisco Bay estuary. Limnology and Oceanography 54: 23-40.

Luengen, A. C., P. T. Raimondi, and A. R. Flegal. 2007. Contrasting biogeochemistry of six trace metals during the rise and decay of a spring phytoplankton bloom in San Francisco Bay. Limnology and Oceanography 52: 1112-1130.

Laurin, J. T. and A. C. Luengen. 2019.  Assessment of the contribution of utility vault water to surface water pollution.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment: 191:467.

Luengen A. C., Foslund H. M., Greenfield B. K. Decline in methylmercury in museum-preserved bivalves from San Francisco Bay, California. Science of the Total Environment 2016; 572: 782-793.

Luengen, A. C., N. S. Fisher, and B. A. Bergamaschi. 2012. Dissolved organic matter reduces algal accumulation of methylmercury. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31: 1712-1719.

Luengen, A. C., and A. R. Flegal. 2009. Role of phytoplankton in mercury cycling in the San Francisco Bay estuary. Limnology and Oceanography 54: 23-40.

Luengen, A. C., P. T. Raimondi, and A. R. Flegal. 2007. Contrasting biogeochemistry of six trace metals during the rise and decay of a spring phytoplankton bloom in San Francisco Bay. Limnology and Oceanography 52: 1112-1130.

Awards & Distinctions

USF Post-Sabbatical Merit Award with Honors. 2018

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Best Paper of 2013 Third Runner-up. 2013

First Place, Delta Science Video Competition, for “Mercury in the San Francisco Bay.” 2012