• Image of a creek with trees

    Messer Research Group

Current Lab Members

Dr. Tiffany L. Messer (PI)

Messer Field

Dr. Messer joined the Biological Systems Engineering Department  and School of Natural Resources in January 2017. She holds degrees in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (University of Kentucky, B.S., 2008) and Biological and Agricultural Engineering (North Carolina State University, M.S. 2010, PhD, 2015). Messer completed a postdoctoral appointment in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University (2015-2016). Her research interests reside at the intersection of engineering, ecology, and agriculture with an emphasis on environmental biogeochemistry and water resources in agricultural landscapes.

Her research focuses on:

1. Fate and transport of contaminants of emerging concern and nutrients in surface waters

2. Innovative sensor technologies for water quality monitoring

3. Ecosystem based Best Management Practices (i.e., wetland and rivers adjacent to agroecosystems)

She currently teaches Biological Systems Engineering Seminar 1 (Fall Semesters, BSEN/AGEN 889), Introduction to Water Science (Fall 2017, NRES 281, Water Chemistry Section), and Introduction to Wetlands (Fall 2018, NRES 468/868). Additionally, she is an active member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and the American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES).

Honors and Awards

USDA AFRI NIFA Postdoctoral Fellowship (2016)

EPA STAR Fellowship (2012-2015)

North Carolina State University Certificate in Teaching (2014)

Sam Hansen (M.S. Biological Systems Engineering Graduate Student)

Sam was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota where he fell in love with nature and being outdoors. He received his B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Biological Systems Engineering and currently pursing his M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering. During his undergraduate degree, he emphasized in water resources and environmental engineering where he became interested in researching surface water quality. Sam joined the Messer Research Team in the summer of 2017 and is currently investigating fate and transport of emerging contamants (i.e. atrazine). In his free time, he enjoys taking his dog, Rosie, to the dog park, biking around Lincoln, and grilling out with his friends.

Mary Keilhauer (M.S. School of Natural Resources Graduate Student)

Mary is originally from El Salvador, but grew up near Atlanta, Georgia. She received her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from North Carolina State University. During her time as an undergraduate Doris Duke Conservation Scholar, she found her passion while studying aquatic ecology and hydrology from the Caribbean to New England. She has a particular interest in water chemistry, groundwater, and fishery populations. These experiences led her to joining the Messer Research Team and pursuing her M.S. in Hydrological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Fall of 2017. Outside of academics, she enjoys outdoor activities, especially backpacking and kayaking, and hanging out with her dog, Watson.

Jess Satiroff (M.S. Environmental Engineering Graduate Student)

Jessica Satiroff was raised in Omaha, Nebraska and resided there until college. She went on to The University of New Mexico to complete her B.S. in Civil Engineering. Jess focused on water resources and environmental engineering because those are both things that she is passionate about. In the summer of 2018 she started working with the Messer team. Her research is concerned with the by-products from insecticides reacting with sunlight, which may impact honeybees. Jess loves the environment and nature, which is why she is taking this initial step in researching treatment practices that may enhance  honeybee populations. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors, rock climbing, and cuddling with her dogs. 

Brittany Trejo (M.S. Environmental Engineering Graduate Student)

Brittany was born and raised in Hatch, New Mexico. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Environmental and Construction from the University of New Mexico. She is passionate about renewable energy, pollution, water quality, and environmental conservation. Brittany joined the Messer Research Team in the summer of 2018 and is currently investigating antibiotic resistant genes in beef feedlots. Outside of academics, Brittany is interested in outdoor activities (especially hiking and fishing), volunteering at the local LGBTQ+ center, and weightlifting.

Bailey Monroe (Undergraduate in Biological Systems Engineering)

Bailey Monroe was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Bailey is currently an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, pursuing her B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering with an emphasis on environmental and water resources.   She is passionate about water quality, environmental restoration, and resource conservation.  Bailey joined the Messer Research Team in the fall of 2018 and will be assisting the team on a number of projects.  In her free time, Bailey enjoys photography, exploring new recipes from around the world, and spending time outdoors with her friends.

Maddie Johnson (Undergraduate in Biological Systems Engineering)

Helen Little (Undergraduate in Biological Systems Engineering)



Alexa Davis, Undergraduate UCARE Researcher for the MESOLab (UNL School of Natural Resources Master's Student, Expected Gradaution 2020)

Autumn DunnUndergraduate UCARE Researcher for the MESOLab (Master's Student in Biological Sciences at Mississippi State, Expected Gradaution 2020)

Brody ZabelUndergraduate  Researcher for the US MARC Project (Biological Systems Engineering Undergraduate, Expected Graduation 2020)

Rob Schroeder, Undergraduate Cabela's Apprenticeship for the MESOLab (UNL School of Natural Resources Master's Student, Expected Gradaution 2020)