Tiffany Messer

Tiffany Messer, PhD

Contact Information:
217 L.W. Chase Hall
Lincoln: East Campus
(402) 472-2232
Personal Links:
Messer Research website
Professional Memberships:
• American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
• American Ecological Engineering Society

Water Quality Engineer, Assistant Professor
Academic Degrees
  • PhD., Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • M.S., Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • B.S., Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky
Position Openings

The Messer Research Lab at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln is seeking two highly motivated graduate students for a M.S. in Biological Systems Engineering or Natural Resources. Undergraduate students interested in gaining research experience in water quality applications are also welcome to contact Dr. Messer. Primary research areas include, but are not limited to, fate and transport of nutrients and/or emerging contaminants (e.g., antibiotics), innovative sensor technologies (e.g., in-situ UV-vis spectrometer, Hydrosphere), stable isotope enrichment (e.g., 15N), and biogeochemical processes in agroecosystems (e.g., carbon and nitrogen cycling).


Applicants will need a background in one or more of the following areas: agricultural/biological engineering, natural resources, biogeochemistry, soil science, agronomy, and/or civil engineering. Candidates with general programming skills (e.g., Matlab, R Studio, SAS) and strong technical writing records are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be able to perform fieldwork in rivers/lakes along with on-campus laboratory work.


Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Tiffany Messer directly at with their resume/CV and research interests.

  • 60% Research
  • 40% Teaching
Areas of Research and Professional Interest
  • Nitrogen and Carbon Cycling in Agroecosystems
  • Agricultural Fate and Transport
  • Wastewater Fate and Transport
  • Emerging Contaminants
  • Tracer Enrichment Modeling
  • Innovative Sensor Technology

Honors and Awards

  • USDA AFRI NIFA Fellow (2016)
  • EPA STAR Fellow (2012-2015)

Selected Publications

  • Messer, T. L., M.R. Burchell, J. K Böhlke, and C. Tobias (Under Review in Journal of Ecological Engineering) Tracing the Fate of Nitrate through Restored Wetlands: A Mesocosm Scale 15N Enrichment Tracer Study.
  • Messer, T. L., M.R. Burchell, F. Birgand, G. Chescheir, and S. Broome (Under Review in Journal of Ecological Engineering) Nitrate Removal in Restored Wetlands Receiving Agricultural Drainage Water – A Mesocosm Scale Experimental Approach.
  • Messer, T. L., M.R. Burchell, D.L. Osmond, and G.L. Grabow (2012) Groundwater Nitrate Reductions within Upstream and Downstream Sections of a Riparian Buffer. Ecological Engineering 47: 397-407.
  • Wiseman, J., M.R. Burchell, G.L. Grabow, D.L. Osmond, and T.L. Messer (2014) Groundwater nitrate concentration reductions in a riparian buffer enrolled in the NC Conservation Reserve   Enhancement Program. Journal of American Water Resources Association 50(3): 653-664.