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Theresa Presser

Research Chemist

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Short Biography

Theresa Presser is a Research Chemist with the USGS National Research Program in Menlo Park, California. Her expertise is the environmental science of selenium. Selenium is a reproductive toxin that bioaccumulates through food webs to affect top predator species. Her field studies and body of site knowledge of Se-impacted areas document and analyze the connection of anthropogenic activities (e.g., agricultural drainage, oil refining, and mining of phosphate, coal, copper, and uranium) to aquatic environments. Her research conceptualizes, quantifies, and models the variables that determine how selenium is processed from geologic sources through ecosystems. Ecosystem-scale selenium modeling, developed in collaboration with Samuel Luoma, provides a new quantitative tool to predict the ecological effects of selenium and, thus, understand the management of selenium in the environment. The model frames a site-specific occurrence of selenium; quantifies exposure of predators through dietary selenium biodynamics (i.e., species-specific physiological parameters); and connects to the base of the food web using a metric that describes the partitioning of selenium between particulate material and dissolved phases. The initial basis for the methodology used data from a set of common aquatic settings and food webs to illustrate that an environmentally safe dissolved selenium concentration will differ among ecosystems depending on the biogeochemical conditions and ecological pathways in those systems. Thus, model development narrows uncertainties for ecosystem protection through integration of a site-specific system’s ecology, biochemistry, and hydrology and inhabiting species’ life-cycle and ecotoxicology. A cooperative U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife website entitled Linking Selenium Sources to Ecosystems is available at http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/






Selected Publications

 

Presser, T.S., and Luoma, S.N., 2013, Ecosystem-scale selenium model for the San Francisco Bay-Delta Regional Ecosystem Restoration Implementation Plan (DRERIP): San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, v. 11, no. 1, p. 1-39.

[http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/Presser_Luoma_SFE&WS_2013main.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., and Luoma, S.N., 2010, Ecosystem-scale selenium modeling in support of fish and wildlife selenium criteria development for the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary, California: U.S. Geological Survey Administrative Report, 101 p. and Appendices A-D. [Published 12/14/2010; released by USEPA (Region 9, San Francisco, California) 8/29/2011] [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/Presser_Luoma_AR_forcombined_all1.pdf ] or [http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/ctr]

 

Presser, T.S., and Luoma, S.N., 2010, A Methodology for ecosystem-scale modeling of selenium: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, v. 6, no. 4, p. 685-710. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/Presser_Luoma_2010_IEAMv6no4_685_710p.pdf]

 

Chapman, P.M., Adams, W.J., Brooks, M.L., Delos, C.G., Luoma, S..N., Maher, W.A., Ohlendorf, H.M., Presser, T.S., and Shaw, D.P., eds., 2010, Ecological Assessment of Selenium in the Aquatic Environment: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Press, Pensacola Florida, 339 p.

 

Young , T.F., Finley, K., Adams, W., Besser, J., Hopkins, W., Jolley, D., McNaughton, E.,  Presser, T.S., Shaw, P., and Unrine, J., 2010, What you need to know about selenium, in Chapman, P.M., et al., eds., Ecological Assessment of Selenium in the Aquatic Environment: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Press, Pensacola, Florida, p. 7-45. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/chapman_etal_2010_chapter3.pdf]

 

Young, T.F., Finley, K., Adams, W., Besser, J., Hopkins, W., Jolley, D., McNaughton, E., Presser, T.S., Shaw, P., and Unrine, J., 2010, Selected case studies of ecosystem contamination by selenium, in Chapman, P.M., et al., eds., Ecological Assessment of Selenium in the Aquatic Environment: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Press, Pensacola, Florida, p. 257-292.

[http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/chapman_etal_2010_appendixA.pdf]

 

Luoma, S.N., and Presser, T.S., 2009, Emerging opportunities in management of selenium contamination: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 43,  no. 22, p. 8483-8487.   [http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/se_model.html] or [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/luoma_presser_Nov15_2009_viewpoint_EST_final.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., and Luoma, S.N., 2009, Modeling of selenium for the San Diego Creek watershed and Newport Bay, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1114, 48 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2009/1114/]

 

Presser, T.S., Jenni, K.E., Nieman, T., and Coleman, J.L., 2009, Decision analysis framing study: in-valley drainage management strategies for the western San Joaquin Valley, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1121, 31 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2009/1121/]

 

Presser, T.S., and Schwarzbach, S.E., 2008, Technical analysis of in-valley drainage management strategies for the western San Joaquin Valley, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1210, 37 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1210]

 

Presser, T.S., and Luoma, S.N., 2006, Forecasting selenium discharges to the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary: ecological effects of a proposed San Luis Drain extension: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1646, 196 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1646/]

 

Presser, T.S., and Luoma, S.N., 2004, Linking selenium sources to ecosystems: San Francisco Bay-Delta Model: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2004-3091, 4 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2004/3091/]

 

Skorupa, J.P., Presser, T.S., Hamilton, S.J., Lemly, A.D., and Sample, B.E., 2004, EPA’s draft tissue-based criterion: a technical review: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Report presented to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, June 16, 2004, 35 p. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/skorupa_et_al_2004.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., Piper, D.Z., Bird, K.J., Skorupa, J.P., Hamilton, S.J., Detwiler, S.J., and Huebner, M.A., 2004, The Phosphoria Formation: a model for forecasting global selenium sources to the environment in Hein, J., ed., Life Cycle of the Phosphoria Formation: From Deposition to the Post-Mining Environment, Elsevier, New York, p. 299-319. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/chap11_global_Se-optimized.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., Hardy, M.A., Huebner, M.A., and Lamothe, P., 2004, Selenium loading through the Blackfoot River watershed: linking sources to ecosystems: in Hein, J., ed., Life Cycle of the Phosphoria Formation: From Deposition to the Post-Mining Environment, Elsevier, New York, p. 437-466. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/V8.pdf]

 

Piper, D.Z., Skorupa, J.P., Presser, T.S., Hardy, M.A., Hamilton, S.J., Huebner, M.A., and  Gulbrandsen, R.A., 2000, The Phosphoria Formation at the Hot Springs Mine in southeast Idaho: a source of trace elements to ground water, surface water, and biota: U. S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-050, 73 p. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/OFR_00_050.pdf]

 

Luoma, S.N., and Presser, T.S., 2000, Forecasting selenium discharges to the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary: ecological effects of a proposed San Luis Drain extension: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-416, 358 p. (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2000/ofr00-416/)

 

Presser, T.S., 1999, Selenium pollution, in Alexander, D.E. and Fairbridge, R.W., eds., Encyclopedia of Environmental Science: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, p. 554-556. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/EnvChem10.pdf]

 

Presser,T.S., and Piper, D.Z., 1998, Mass balance approach to selenium cycling through the San Joaquin Valley: sources to river to bay, in Frankenberger, W.T. and Engberg, R.A., eds., Environmental Chemistry of Selenium, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York., p. 153-182. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/EnvChem10.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., Sylvester, M.A., and Hoffman, R.J., 1996, Review of the Grassland Bypass Channel Project Monitoring Program, Part I: Executive Summary and Part II: Review of the Grassland Bypass Channel Project Monitoring Plan and Quality Assurance Project Plan: U.S. Geological Survey Administrative Report, 111 p. and Appendixes A through E. [Released by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Sacramento, California]

[http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/Presser_etal_GBP_monitoring_plan_1996.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., 1994, The Kesterson Effect: Environmental Management, v. 18, no. 3, p. 437-454. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/presser_kesterson_eff_1994.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., Sylvester, M.A., and Low, W.H., 1994, Bioaccumulation of selenium from natural geologic sources in the Western States and its potential consequences: Environmental Management, v. 18, no. 3, p. 423-436. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/presser_etal_bioaccum_1994.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., 1994, Geologic origin and pathways of mobility of selenium from the California Coast Ranges to the west-central San Joaquin Valley, in Frankenberger, W.T. and Benson, S., eds., Selenium in the Environment, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York., p. 139-155. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/selenium.pdf]

 

Tidball, R.R., Severson, R.C., Presser, T.S., and Swain, W.C., 1991, Selenium sources in the Diablo Range, western Fresno county, California: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1064, p. 107-114. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1991/1064/report.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., Swain, W.C., Tidball, R.R., and Severson, R.C., 1990, Geologic sources, mobilization and transport of selenium from the California Coast Ranges to the western San Joaquin Valley: a reconnaissance study: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigation Report 90-4070, 66 p.

[http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/Presser_etal_1990_WRIR4070.pdf]

 

Presser, T.S., and Swain, W.C., 1990, Geochemical evidence for selenium mobilization by the weathering of pyritic shale, San Joaquin Valley, California, USA: Applied Geochemistry, v. 5, p.703-717.

 

Presser, T.S., 1990, Relation of selenium at Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge to potential soil-forming source rock: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1033, p. 143-144. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1990/1033/report.pdf]

 

Oremland, R. S., Hollibaugh, J. T., Maest, A. S., Presser, T. S., Miller, L. G., and Culberston, C. W., 1989, Selenate reduction to elemental selenium by anaerobic bacteria in sediments and culture: biogeochemical significance of a novel sulfate-independent respiration: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, v. 55, no. 9, p. 2333-2343. [http://aem.asm.org/content/55/9/2333.abstract]

 

Presser, T. S., and Ohlendorf, H. M., 1987, Biogeochemical cycling of selenium in the San Joaquin Valley, California: Environmental Management, v. 11, p. 805-821.

[http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/EnvMan11.pdf]

 

Presser, T. S., and Barnes, Ivan, 1985, Dissolved constituents including selenium in waters in the vicinity of Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge and the west Grassland, Fresno and Merced Counties, California: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 85-4220, 73 p. [http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/PresserWRIR85_4220.pdf]

 

Presser, T. S., and Barnes, Ivan, 1984, Selenium concentrations in waters tributary to and in the vicinity of the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, Fresno and Merced Counties, California: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 84-4122, 26 p.

[http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/Library_articles/PresserWRIR84_4122.pdf]




                           

My Science Topics


Science Topic
Subtopic
Environmental Issuescontamination and pollution
Environmental Issuesmine drainage
Environmental Issuestoxic trace elements
Environmental Issueswater quality
Ecology and Environmentaquatic ecosystems
Ecology and Environmentbenthic ecosystems
Ecology and Environmentecological processes
Ecology and Environmentecosystems
Ecology and Environmentenvironmental assessment
Ecology and Environmentwetlands
Water Resourcesestuaries
Water Resourcessurface water quality


ECOSYSTEM-SCALE SELENIUM MODELING

Image of ECOSYSTEM-SCALE SELENIUM MODELING

 

Conceptual model of selenium fate and effects emphasizing the roles of speciation, biogeochemical transformation, and trophic transfer factors in modeling two aquatic food webs: a water column food web and a benthic food web. [TTF = trophic transfer factor; Kd = empirically determined environmental partitioning factor between water and particulate material]


Contact Information

Theresa Presser
Bldg 15, McKelvey Building, 345 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3561
tpresser@usgs.gov
650-329-4512
650-329-4538 - Fax
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