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Brian Pellerin

Research Soil Scientist

Contact Info

Short Biography

I have been with the USGS in the California Water Science Center since 2004, first as a National Research Council post-doc (2004-2007) and as an RGE research scientist since 2009.  I have a B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire and M.S. from the University of Maine, and have been conducting research on the use of in situ optical sensors for understanding nutrient and carbon dynamics in rivers and streams across the country.  I currently represent the USGS on a number of technical and scientific committees with various Federal, academic, industry and non-governmental partners, and support the application of continuous water quality technology for the Office of Water Quality and the National Water Quality Program.

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Creed IF, DM McKnight, BA Pellerin, MB Green, BA Bergamaschi, GR Aiken, DA Burns, SEG Findlay, JB Shanley, RG Striegl, BT Aulenbach, DW Clow, H Laudon, BL McGlynn, KJ McGuire, RA Smith and SM Stackpoole. 2015. The river as a chemostat: fresh perspectives on dissolved organic matter flowing down the river continuum. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 10.1139/cjfas-2014-0400. [Link]

Miller, MA, AJ Tesoriero, PD Capel, BA Pellerin, and KE Hyer. Accepted (pending revisions). Quantifying groundwater loading and in-stream fate of nitrate using high-frequency water quality data. Water Resources Research.

Hansen AM, TEC Kraus, BA Pellerin, JA Fleck, BD Downing and BA Pellerin. Accepted (pending revisions). The effects of biological and photolytic degradation on optical properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition. Limnology and Oceanography.

BA Pellerin, BA Bergamaschi, RJ Gilliom, CG Crawford, J Saraceno, CP Frederick, BD Downing and JC Murphy. 2014. Mississippi River Nitrate Loads from High Frequency Sensor Measurements and Regression-Based Load Estimation. Environmental Science and Techology, [Download File]

Pellerin BA and BA Bergamaschi. 2014. Optical sensors for water quality. Lakeline, Spring 2014, 13-17. [Download File]

Pellerin, B.A., Bergamaschi, B.A., Downing, B.D., Saraceno, J.F., Garrett, J.A., and Olsen, L.D., 2013, Optical techniques for the determination of nitrate in environmental waters: Guidelines for instrument selection, operation, deployment, maintenance, quality assurance, and data reporting: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 1–D5, 37 p. [Link]

Wollheim WM, MB Green, BA Pellerin, N Morse and CS Hopkinson. 2013. Causes and consequences of ecosystem service regionalization in a coastal suburban watershed. Estuaries and Coasts, DOI 10.1007/s12237-013-9646-8. [Download File]

Oh NH, BA Pellerin, PAM Bachand, PJ Hernes, S Bachand, N Ohara, ML Kavvas, BA Bergamaschi and WR Horwath. 2013. The Role of irrigation runoff and winter rainfall on dissolved organic carbon loads in an agricultural watershed. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 179: 1-10. [Download File]

Vorosmarty CJ, LB de Guenni, WM Wollheim, BA Pellerin, D Bjerklie, M Cardoso, C D'Almeida, P Green and L Colon. 2013. Extreme rainfall, vulnerability and risk: a continental-scale assessment for South America. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 371: 2120408. [Download File]

Hernes PJ, RGM Spencer, RY Dyda, BA Pellerin, PAM Bachand and BA Bergamaschi. 2013. DOM composition in an agricultural watershed: Assessing patterns and variability in the context of spatial scales. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 13: 599-610. [Download File]

Pellerin BA, BA Bergamaschi and JS Horsburgh. 2012. In situ optical water-quality sensor networks—Workshop summary report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1044, 13 p. [Link]

Bergamaschi BA, JA Fleck, BD Downing, E Boss, BA Pellerin, NK Ganju, DH Schoellhamer, AA Byington, WA Heim, M Stephenson and R Fujii. 2012. Mercury dynamics in a San Francisco estuary tidal wetland: Assessing dynamics using in situ measurements. Estuaries and Coasts, doi: 10.1007/s12237-012-9501-3. [Download File]

Downing BD, BA Pellerin, BA Bergamaschi, J Saraceno and TEC Kraus. 2012. Seeing the light: The effects of particles, temperature and inner filtering on in situ CDOM fluorescence in rivers and streams. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 10: 767-775. [Download File]

Pellerin, BA, Bergamaschi, BA, Murdoch, PS, Downing, BD, Saraceno, J, Aiken, GR, and Striegl, RG. 2011, The aquatic real-time monitoring network; in-situ optical sensors for monitoring the nation's water quality: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011-3061, 2 p. [Link]

Pellerin BA, J Saraceno, J Shanley, S Sebestyn, G Aiken, WM Wollheim and BA Bergamaschi. 2011. Taking the pulse of snowmelt: In situ sensors reveal seasonal, event and diurnal patterns of nitrate and dissolved organic matter variability in an upland forest stream. Biogeochemistry, DOI 10.1007/s10533-011-9589-8. [Download File]

Bergamaschi BA, JA Fleck, BD Downing, E Boss, BA Pellerin, MA Lionberger, D Schoellhamer, W Heim, M Stephenson and R Fujii. 2011. Methyl mercury dynamics in a tidal wetland quantified using in situ optical measurements. Limnology and Oceanography, 56(4): 1355-1371. [Download File]

Florsheim JL, BA Pellerin, ML Kavvas, N Ohara, BA Bergamaschi, PJ Hernes, PAM Bachand, S Bachand and NH Oh. 2011. From Deposition to Erosion: Spatial and Temporal Variability of Sediment Sources Storage, and Transport in a Small Agricultural Watershed. Geomorphology, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.04.037 [Download File]

Bain DJ, JAS Arrigo, MB Green, BA Pellerin and CJ Vörösmarty. 2011. Historical legacies, information, and contemporary water science and management. Water (3): 566-575, doi:10.3390/w3020566 [Download File]

Bergamaschi BA, BD Downing, BA Pellerin and J Saraceno. 2010. In Situ Sensors for Dissolved Organic Matter Fluorescence: Bringing the Lab to the Field. USGS Water Resources Discipline Instrument News, 125: 1-2. [Download File]

Pellerin BA, PJ Hernes, J Saraceno, RGM Spencer and BA Bergamaschi. 2010. Microbial degradation of plant leachates alters lignin phenols and trihalomethane precursors. Journal of Environmental Quality, 39: 946-954. [Download File]

Kraus TK, CA Anderson, K Morgenstern, BD Downing, BA Pellerin and BA Bergamaschi. 2010. Determining Sources of Dissolved Organic Carbon and Disinfection By-Product Precursors to the McKenzie River, Oregon: Use of Absorbance and Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Journal of Environmental Quality, 39: 2100-2112. [Download File]

Pastore CL, MB Green, DJ Bain, A Muñoz-Hernandez, CJ Vörösmarty, J Arrigo, S Brandt, J Duncan, F Greco, H Kim, S Kumar, M Lally, A Parolari, BA Pellerin, N Salant, A Schlosser and K Zalzal. 2010. Tapping Environmental History to Recreate America’s Colonial Hydrology. Environmental Science and Technology, 44: 8793-8803. [Download File]

Pellerin BA, BD Downing, C Kendall, RA Dahlgren, TEC Kraus, RG Spencer and BA Bergamaschi. 2009. Assessing the sources and magnitude of diurnal nitrate variability in the San Joaquin River (California) with an in-situ optical nitrate sensor and dual nitrate isotopes. Freshwater Biology, 54: 376-387. [Download File]

Saraceno J, BA Pellerin, BD Downing, E Boss, PAM Bachand and BA Bergamaschi. 2009. High frequency in situ optical measurements during a storm event: assessing relationships between dissolved organic matter, sediment concentrations and hydrologic processes. JGR - Biogeosciences, 114, G00F09, doi:10.1029/2009JG000989 [Download File]

Pellerin BA, WM Wollheim, XH Feng, and CJ Vörösmarty. 2008. The application of electrical conductivity as a tracer for hydrograph separation in urban catchments. Hydrological Processes, 22(12): 1810-1818. [Download File]

Hernes PJ, RGM Spencer, GY Dyda, BA Pellerin, PAM Bachand and BA Bergamaschi. 2008. Hydrologic controls on dissolved organic carbon composition in an agricultural watershed. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72: 5266-5277. [Download File]

Spencer RG, BA Pellerin, BA Bergamaschi, BD Downing, TE Kraus, DR Smart, RA Dahlgren and PJ Hernes. 2007. Diurnal variability in riverine dissolved organic matter composition determined by in-situ optical measurement. Hydrological Processes, 21(23): 3181-3189. (joint 1st author). [Download File]

Oczkowski AJ, BA Pellerin, CW Hunt, WM Wollheim, CJ Vörösmarty and TC Loder III. 2006. The role of snowmelt and spring rainfall in inorganic nutrient fluxes from a large temperate watershed, the Androscoggin River basin (Maine and New Hampshire). Biogeochemistry, 80: 191-203. [Download File]

Pellerin BA, SS Kaushal and WH McDowell. 2006. Does anthropogenic nitrogen enrichment increase organic nitrogen concentrations in runoff from forested and human-dominated watersheds? Ecosystems, 9: 852-604. [Download File]

Wollheim WM, BA Pellerin, CJ Vörösmarty and CS Hopkinson. 2005. Nitrogen retention in urbanizing headwater catchments. Ecosystems, 8: 871-884. [Download File]

Pellerin BA, WM Wollheim, CS Hopkinson, WH McDowell, CJ , MW Williams and ML Daley. 2004. Role of wetlands and developed land use on dissolved organic nitrogen concentrations and DON / TDN in northeastern U.S. rivers and streams. Limnology and Oceanography, 49: 910-918. [Download File]

Pellerin BA, IJ Fernandez, SA Norton and JS Kahl. 2002. Soil aluminum distribution in the near-stream zone at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine. Water Air and Soil Pollution, 134: 189-204. [Download File]


My Science Topics

Science Topic
Water Resourcesirrigation
Water Resourceslakes
Water Resourcesrunoff
Water Resourcessediment transport
Water Resourcesstreamflow
Water Resourcessurface water
Water Resourcessurface water quality
Water Resourceswater quality

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

Sensors and Water Quality

Image of Current Focus for Sensors and Water Quality
  • Nutrient and carbon dynamics in watersheds
  • Continuous water-quality monitoring
  • Optical and wet-chemical sensors
  • National water quality networks
  • Sensor methods development

Contact Information

Brian Pellerin
6000 J Street Placer Hall
Sacramento, CA 95819
916-278-3070 - Fax
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