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Marine Sciences Division

Jill Brandenberger

Jill Brandenberger

Marine Sciences Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
1529 West Sequim Bay Road
Sequim, Washington 98382


As a research scientist in the Coastal Biogeochemistry Group, Ms. Brandenberger manages programs involving trace metals speciation and monitoring in marine and freshwater environments. Her research programs are focusing on correlations between storm water loading of contaminants and land-use classifications, watershed scale contaminant mass balances, evaluating hypoxia trends over the last several hundred years in Puget Sound, and the atmospheric deposition of various toxics. She has a strong background in water quality issues and serves as the program manager for the watershed-scale contaminant loading program (Project ENVVEST) for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on Sinclair/Dyes Inlet, Puget Sound, WA. In addition, Ms. Brandenberger is a Co-Principle Investigator on determining the historical trends in dissolved oxygen in the Puget Sound. She has experience in leading scientific teams to achieve program goals and deliverables. Ms. Brandenberger has over 15 years of trace metal chemistry experience and has taught many classes to students, industrial clients, U.S. Navy clients, and international programs.

Research Interests

  • The biogeochemistry of trace elements in natural waters, with particular experience and interest in environmental and analytical studies concerning mercury, uranium, arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, rhenium, and selenium.
  • Trace element analysis using ultra-clean laboratory and environmental sampling techniques.
  • The chemical speciation of trace elements in natural waters.
  • The reconstruction of historical trends using paleoecological indicators, organic biomarkers, and trace metals preserved in sediment cores.
  • The characterization of storm-water contaminants, event mean concentrations, contaminant loading, and relationships with land-use classifications.
  • The determination of contaminant mass balances for marine receiving waters and the proportion of atmospherically derived contaminants to the overall source budget.

Education and Credentials

  • M.S., Environmental Chemistry, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, 2001
  • B.S., Marine Chemistry, Texas A&M University, Galveston, 1993

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

Awards and Recognitions

  • Intercomparison laboratory for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration mussel watch program.
  • Exceptional performance award for assisting in the strategic development of new research focuses for the marine and environmental chemistry group.
  • Invited member to the Stormwater Toxics Work Group for Puget Sound.

PNNL Publications




  • Brandenberger JM, P Louchouarn, and EA Crecelius. 2011. "Natural and Post-Urbanization Signatures of Hypoxia in Two Basins of Puget Sound: Historical Reconstruction of Redox Sensitive Metals and Organic Matter Inputs." Aquatic Geochemistry 17(4-5):645-670.  doi:10.1007/s10498-011-9129-0
  • Kuo LJ, P Louchouarn, B Herbert, JM Brandenberger, TL Wade, and EA Crecelius. 2011. "Combustion-derived substances in deep basins of Puget Sound: Historical inputs from fossil fuel and biomass combustion." Environmental Pollution 159(4):983-990.  doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2010.12.012



  • Brandenberger JM, EA Crecelius, and P Louchouarn. 2008. "Historical Inputs and Natural Recovery Rates of Heavy Metals in Puget Sound during the 20th Century." Environmental Science & Technology 42(18):6786-6790.  doi:10.1021/es703099c
  • Miracle AL, AL Bunn, JM Brandenberger, DJ Gaspar, and JA Ward. 2008. "Fate and transport of titania nanoparticles in freshwater mesocosms." In Proceedings of the International Environmental Nanotechnology Conference: Applications and Implications, October 7-9, 2008, Chicago, Illinois.  Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC. 
  • Brandenberger JM, CR Suslick, and RK Johnston. 2008. Biological Sampling and Analysis in Sinclair and Dyes Inlets, Washington: Chemical Analyses for 2007 Puget Sound Biota StudyPNNL-17948, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 




  • Brandenberger JM, P Louchouarn, B Herbert, and P Tissot. 2004. "Geochemical and hydrodynamic controls on arsenic and trace metal cycling in a seasonally stratified US sub-tropical reservoir." Applied Geochemistry 19(10):1601-1623. 
  • Kohn NP, MC Miller, JM Brandenberger, and RK Johnston. 2004. Metals Verficiation Study for Sinclair and Dyes Inlets,Washington PNNL-14872, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 


  • Crecelius EA, RK Johnston, J Leather, J Guerrero, MC Miller, and JM Brandenberger. 2003. "Contaminant Mass Balance for Sinclair and Dyes Inlets, Puget Sound, WA." In 2003 Georgia Basin/Puget Sound Research Conference Proceedings, Vancouver, BC, March 31 - April 3, 2003, ed. TW Droscher and DA Fraser.  Puget Sound Action Team, Olympia, WA. 

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Marine Sciences Laboratory
1529 W. Sequim Bay Road
Sequim, WA 98382
Phone: (360) 683-4151
Fax: (360) 681-3699