The Elliott Lab
Our research program examines the tight coupling between human activities and reactive nitrogen distributions in atmosphere, terrestrial and aquatic systems at multiple spatial scales using stable isotope geochemistry. For more information, see "Research".
3/18/13: Research results from Nine Mile Run in Pittsburgh, PA are featured in the online journal, Atlantic Cities. The article, "It's Not Just Overflow—Everyday Leaks From Sewer Systems Lead to Alarming Amounts of Sewage in Our Waterways" can be accessed here.
3/9/13: Dr. Elliott and Lucy Rose return from the 4th U.S.-Japan Joint Seminar on Responses of Catchment Hydrology and Forest Biogeochemistry to Climatic and Environmental Change in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Elliott, a co-convener of the NSF-funded conference, attended the meeting with Lucy Rose who presented a poster on her recent results "Biogenic and anthropogenic NOx contributions to precipitation nitrate".
2/13/13: Dr. Elliott receives an NSF CAREER award for her proposal "Air-ecosystem-water interactions of reactive nitrogen in urban systems" from the Hydrologic Sciences directorate.
1/29/13: Marion Divers publishes a paper published in Environmental Science & Technology entitled "Constraining nitrogen inputs to urban streams from leaking sewer infrastructure using inverse modeling: Implications for DIN retention in urban environments".
1/09/13: Dr. Elliott awarded Honorable Mention for the 2013 Carnegie Science Awards in the Environmental category.
12/22/12: Outstanding Student Presentation Award to Lucy Rose from the Biogeosciences Section, American Geophysical Union for her presentation at the 2012 Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Her presentation, titled “Highly Variable δ15N and δ18O of Event-Based Precipitation Nitrate Indicate Dynamic Contributions from Biogenic and Anthropogenic NOx Sources”, explored the role of biogenic soil emissions as a nutrient source in rainwater to an N-saturated watershed.
11/20/12: J. David Felix defended his dissertation entitled "Examining the Sources and Transport of Reactive Nitrogen Emissions using Stable Isotope Techniques". He'll soon be departing Pittsburgh to join the Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry group at UNCW as a postdoctoral fellow to work on isotopes of ethanol and biofuels.
8/20/12: New NSF-funded Geoscience Education initiative. “ENERGY-NET” is a new collaboration that couples Geoscience and Learning Research strengths at the University of Pittsburgh with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to: 1) improve public literacy in the arena of energy, the environment, and society, and 2) increase diversity in the geosciences.
8/9/12: Research highlighted in New York Times "Green" blog. Our recent work was used as an example of the power of imaging and maps to illucidate pollution sources using the "chemical equivalent of ballistics testing on bullets, taking aim at nitrogen molecules".
7/21/12: Lucy Rose receives USDA pre-doctoral fellowship. Lucy was awarded a $74,000 fellowship from the USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture, Agriculture & Food Research Initiative for her proposal entitled “Determination of Forest Nitrogen Saturation Status Using a Stable Isotope Tracer of Atmospheric Nitrate.”
3/20/12: New paper published in Environmental Science & Technology by Felix, Elliott, and Shaw. "Nitrogen Isotopic Composition of Coal-Fired Power Plant NOx: Influence of Emission Controls and Implications for Global Emission Inventories"
12/10/11: Group members attend Fall 2011 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco. Activities included invited talks by David Felix and Emily Elliott, presentations by Marion Sikora and Katherine Redling, and the 9th annual convening of the "Bio-atmospheric Interactions of Nitrogen" session.
3/25/11: Lucy Rose, Ph.D. Candidate, Outstanding Paper Award. University of Pittsburgh Annual Graduate Student Expo
Title: Using Stable Isotopes of Nitrate to Gauge Forest Nitrogen Saturation
3/9/11: Lucy Rose, Ph.D. Candidate, awarded Andrew Mellon Pre-doctoral Fellowship. Title: Application of a Mass Independent Isotope Tracer to Nitrogen Saturation in Appalachian Forests
3/3/11: New WRRI research grant awarded from the Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Institute. Title: Assessing the influence of nutrient sources to urban streams through the use of triple nitrate isotopes
8/1/10: Lucy Rose, Ph.D. Candidate, Fellowship Recipient
Fellowship Recipient, INTRAMIF (Summer School on Mass Independent Isotope Fractionation). Lucy was chosen as a fellow for the European Union-sponsored INTRAMIF summer school focused on mass independent isotope fractionation phenomena in atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic systems in East Anglia, UK.
3/5/10: Marion Sikora, Ph.D. Candidate, awarded Andrew Mellon Pre-doctoral Fellowship. Title: Evaluating nutrient sources to urban streams using triple nitrate isotopes
4/10/10: Multiple graduate research fellowships awarded by Geological Society of America. Marion Sikora, Lucy Rose, and Dave Felix were all awarded graduate student research grants from the Geological Society of America.
3/16/09: Marion Sikora, Ph.D. Candidate, Outstanding Paper Award. University of Pittsburgh Annual Graduate Student Expo
Title: Nutrient Input and Dynamics during Baseflow and a Storm Event in Nine Mile Run, a Restored Urban Stream
9/15/09: New NSF research grant awarded to PI Elliott from Hydrologic Sciences. Title: A new tool for assessing nitrogen saturation status in forests: Mass-independent ∆17O of nitrate
9/15/09: New NSF research grant awarded to PI Elliott from the Division of Earth Sciences, Instrumentation and Facilities
Title: Early Career Investigator Support: Development of a Regional Stable Isotope Laboratory for Earth and Environmental Science Research
6/1/09: New MD DNR research award to PI Elliott from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Power Plant Research Program. Title: An assessment of near-highway nitrogen deposition using stable isotope tracers and passive sampling techniques
1/6/09: New research award to PI Elliott from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Title: The Stable Nitrogen Isotopic Composition of NOx in Coal-Fired Power Plant Stacks
12/20/08: Outstanding Student Presentation Award to Marion Divers from the Hydrology Section, American Geophysical Union for her presentation at the 2008 Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Her presentation, titled “Nutrient input and dynamics in a restored urban stream impacted by mixed sewer systems”, examined water quality and nutrient contamination in Nine Mile Run, a restored urban stream in Frick Park, Pittsburgh, PA.
3/15/08: Graduate research fellowship and Exceptional Merit award granted to Katherine Redling by the Geological Society of America for her research proposal entitled, “Isotopic investigation of anthropogenic sources of carbon and nitrogen to vegetation along an urban to rural gradient”.
1/15/08: New grant awarded to PI Elliott from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Research Initiative, Air Quality program. Title: Stable Isotopes of Reactive Nitrogen and Particulate Matter: Improved Tools for Characterizing the Transport and Fate of Agricultural Emissions
1/15/08: New USFS grant awarded to PI Elliott from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Global Change Research Program. Title: Isotopic investigation of anthropogenic sources of atmospheric nitrogen and carbon to vegetation along an urban to rural gradient.
10/19/07: USGS press release. The USGS issued a press release entitled "USGS Study Identifies Major Source of Nitrate in Precipitation" to accompany our recently published paper in Environmental Science & Technology.
10/31/07: Interview on Allegheny Front. Listen to the interview on Allegheny Front, a public radio show dedicated to environmental issues.