Messer - Team

  • Image of a creek with trees

    Messer Research Group


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.

Alexa Davis (B.S. School of Natural Resources Undergraduate Student)

Alexa Davis grew up in Nebraska and came to UNL in a nontraditional way with an associate's degree. She is currently studying environmental restoration science and minoring in lake and stream restoration as well as soil science. She has always loved being in nature making her major the perfect career choice. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, hiking and spending time with her family. Alexa joined the Messer research team in August of 2017 with a UCARE project investigating wetland plant species potential to remove excess nutrients. Alexa hopes to further her education focusing on the remediation side of the environment.

Autumn Dunn (B.S. School of Natural Resources Undergraduate Student)

Autumn grew up in Fresno, California, where she first found her passion for the environment working on a forestry project. It wasn't until she came to the Nebraska that she fell in love with grassland and wetland ecosystems. In the Spring, she will receive 3 B.S. in Environmental Restoration Science, Grassland Ecology and Management, and Wildlife and Fisheries from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her interest in wetland ecology led her to the Messer team to work on an undergraduate research project (UCARE) focusing on the use of floating wetlands as a way to combat eutrophication. In her free time she enjoys playing video games, traveling locally and abroad, discussing soils in great depth, and rocking out to her favorite bands, Knuckle Puck and The Front Bottoms.