Allison is a biogeochemist who has been working on mercury for the last decade. She completed her PhD at UC Santa Cruz in 2007, where she looked at how a phytoplankton bloom affected the cycling of mercury and other metals in South San Francisco Bay. As a postdoc (2007 - 2009), she used radiotracers as a technique to look at the movement of mercury from water to phytoplankton. When she started at USF in 2009, Allison continued to use San Francisco Bay as her main field site. She has been working closely with her graduate student on a project investigating how mercury concentrations in biota have changed over time, using museum bivalve collections from two different regions of San Francisco Bay. Additionally, Allison has recently become involved in a much broader effort (the Western Mercury Synthesis) to compile everything that is known about mercury on the West Coast of the United States, including Western Canada and Mexico.
Calla Schmidt received a PhD in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before coming to USF she was a Delta Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park. Her research spans physical hydrology and biogeochemistry and aims to understand the connection between hydrology and the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients. She has done research on nutrient cycling during groundwater recharge, nitrogen pollution in highway runoff and presently she is working on a project investigating the transfer of nutrients discharged by wastewater treatment plants into the base of the food-web in San Francisco Bay. Dr Schmidt's research begins in the field with the collection of water and sediment samples and other supporting environmental data. In the lab she uses a combination of chemical and isotopic techniques as well as modeling to connect the physical hydrology of a system with changes in water quality. In all of her research her goal is to use insights into fundamental processes in hydrology to help inform sustainable management of water resources.