Pat Shea

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Title Xenobiotics/Environmental Chemist
Address 102C Kiesselbach Crop Research Laboratory
1870 North 37th Street
Lincoln NE
68583-0817
Phone 402-472-1533
FAX 402-472-7904
E-mail pshea1@unl.edu
Vitae Download file

I'm Pat Shea, professor of xenobiotic chemistry and toxicology at the UNL School of Natural Resources (SNR). I hold courtesy appointments in the UNL Department of Agronomy and Horticulture and the Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health (EAOH) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. My interests include protection and management of natural resources and ecosystems, ecological and environmental toxicology, chemicals in agricultural production systems, remediation and restoration of contaminated environments, and protection of public health.

Patrick Shea

Dr. Pat Shea visits a soil remediation project in Minnesota.

What are xenobiotics? Xenobiotics are biologically foreign substances that did not exist in nature before being synthesized by humans. These substances often become environmental contaminants. Our research encompasses adsorption-desorption, transformation, transport, bioavailability and toxicology of herbicides and other pesticides, munitions, pharmaceuticals, solvents and petroleum products, and heavy metals in water and soil. We've also conducted research in the remediation of contaminated water and soil, including abiotic and biotic treatment processes. In addition, we've been involved in the development of process-based models to assess landscape vulnerability to agrichemical leaching and runoff. Much of my research is interdisciplinary and involves collaborations with other faculty members.

I've taught, team-taught and assisted in courses concerning the fate and impacts of xenobiotics in soil, water and biota, a graduate seminar in environmental health, occupational health and toxicology, and a graduate writing seminar. I've advised or co-advised Ph.D. and M.S. students with majors in natural resource sciences, agronomy and toxicology, supervised postdoctoral associates, and hosted visiting scientists. I hold a partial extension appointment and contribute to outreach education programs.

This diagram shows ways that pesticides move through soil  and water.

This diagram shows ways that pesticides move through soil and water. Click on image to enlarge.

I've been at UNL since completing a Ph.D. in 1981 at North Carolina State University, with a focus on agricultural and environmental chemistry in soil-water-plant systems. I also have an M.S. in Plant Science (agricultural management systems) from the University of Connecticut and a B.S. in Biology (general and premedical) from Fordham University in New York City. In addition to my academic appointments, I'm a member of the intercampus Center for Environmental Health and Toxicology (CEHT) and an affiliate of the Nebraska Water Center, Center for Biotechnology, and the Environmental Engineering Program. I previously served as Associate Director and Research Coordinator for SNR, Vice Chair of the EAOH at UNMC, interim co-Director of the CEHT, and have served multiple terms as Senator and Secretary of the UNL Faculty Senate.

Pesticide diagram

The map, developed as part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded project, shows landscape vulnerability to atrazine loss in runoff water for Saunders County, NE. The most vulnerable areas are steep hill slopes on the south side of the current Platte river channel and on the western edge of the county. Least vulnerable are the relatively flat playas and depressions of the Todd Valley.

Selected Publications

You, Y., Y. Shim, C-H. Cho, M-H. Ryu, P.J. Shea, S. Kamala-Kannan, and B-T. Oh. 2012. BTEX interactions during biodegradation by Pseudomonas putida YNS1 isolated from oil-contaminated soil. Journal of Basic Microbiology 52:1-6.
Velmurugan, P., H. Hur, V. Balachandar, S. Kamala-Kannan, K-J. Lee, S-M. Lee, J-C. Chae, P.J. Shea, and B-T. Oh. 2011. Monascus pigment production by solid-state fermentation with corn cob substrate. Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 112:590-594.
Wei, H-R., M.G. Rhoades, and P.J. Shea. 2011. Formation, adsorption, and stability of N-nitrosoatrazine in water and soil. Pages 3-19 In: It's All in the Water: Studies of Materials and Conditions in Fresh and Salt Water Bodies, M.A. Benvenuto, ed. American Chemical Society Symposium Series. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.
Boparai, H.K., S.D. Comfort, T. Satapanajaru, J.E. Szecsody, P.R. Grossl, and P.J. Shea. 2010. Abiotic transformation of high explosives by freshly precipitated iron minerals in aqueous FeII solutions. Chemosphere 79:865-872.
Vasilyeva, G.K., E.R. Strijakova, S.N. Nicolaeva, A.T. Lebedev and P.J. Shea. 2010. Dynamics of PCB removal and detoxification in historically contaminated soils amended with activated carbon. Environmental Pollution 158:770-777.
Kolok, A.S., C.L. Beseler, X-H. Chen, and P.J. Shea. 2009. The watershed as a conceptual framework for the study of Environmental and human health. Environmental Health Insights. 3:1-10.
Langell, M.A., E.B. Kadossov, H.K. Boparai, and P.J. Shea. 2009. Surface composition of iron-containing aquifer sediment after treating with sodium dithionite. Journal of Surface and Interface Science 41:941-950.
Boparai, H.K., P.J. Shea, S.D. Comfort, and T.A. Machacek. 2008. Sequencing zerovalent iron treatment with carbon amendments to remediate agrichemical-contaminated soil. Water, Air and Soil Poll. 193:189-196.
Boparai, H.K., S.D. Comfort, P.J. Shea, and J.E. Szecsody. 2008. Evaluating in situ redox manipulation of a perched aquifer to remediate explosive-contaminated groundwater. Chemosphere 71:933-941.
Kim, J., M. Cho, J. Yoon, P.J. Shea, and B-T. Oh. 2007. Surficial disinfection of Escheriachia coli contaminated playground soil by UV irradiation. Environ. Geochem. Health 12:64-71.
Kim, J.S., P.J. Shea, J.E. Yang, and J-E. Kim. 2007. Halide salts accelerate degradation of high explosives by zerovalent iron. Environmental Pollution 147:634-641.
Onanong, S. S.D. Comfort, P.D. Burrow, and P.J. Shea. 2007. Using gas-phase molecular descriptors to predict dechlorination rates of chloroalkanes by zerovalent iron. Environ. Sci. Technol. 41:1200-1205.
Boparai, H.K., P.J. Shea, S.D. Comfort, and D.D. Snow. 2006. Dechlorinating chloroacetanilide herbicides by dithionite-treated aquifer sediment and surface soil. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40:3043-3049.
Onanong, S., P.D. Burrow, S.D. Comfort, and P.J. Shea. 2006. Electron capture detector response and dissociative electron attachment cross sections in chloroalkanes and chloroalkenes. J. Phys. Chem. A 110:4363-4368.
Tyess, D.L., P.J. Shea, and A.M. Parkhurst. 2006. Mineralization potential of atrazine and degradation intermediates from clustered characteristics in inoculated soils. J. Soil Sediment Contamination 15:87-102.
Vasilyeva, G.K., E.R. Strijakova, and P.J. Shea. 2006. Use of activated carbon for soil bioremediation, p. 309-322. In: I. Twardowska, H.E. Allen, M.M. Häggblom and S. Stefaniak (eds.), Soil and Water Pollution Monitoring: Protection and Remediation, NATO Sci. Ser. IV-Earth and Environ. Sci., Vol. 69. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.
Park, J., S.D. Comfort, P.J. Shea, and J.S. Kim. 2005. Increasing Fe0-mediated HMX destruction in highly contaminated soil with didecyldimethylammonium bromide surfactant. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39:9683-9688.

Educational Background

  • BS - Fordham University, Biology
  • MS - University of Connecticut, Plant Science
  • PhD - North Carolina State University, Agricultural and environmental chemistry in soil-water-plant systems (1981)

SNR Faculty Area(s)

Affiliations (index)

Expertise

  • Agroecosystems - Services
  • Aquatic Ecosystems - Restoration
  • Ecotoxicology - Ecotoxicology
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) - Land Use/Land Cover
  • Geography - Physical Geography
  • Grassland Ecosystems - Restoration
  • Grassland Ecosystems - Services
  • Land Use/Land Cover - GIS
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Lawns and Landscape
  • Physical Geography - AAGeneral
  • Soils - Chemistry
  • Soils - Fate/Transport
  • Water - Pollution
  • Water - Toxicology
  • Wetland Ecosystems - Restoration

Areas of Interest (Keyword)

  • Adaptive management
  • Agriculture and Livestock - Irrigation
  • Agroecosystems - Water
  • Aquatic Ecosystems - Services
  • Aquatic Ecosystems - Water
  • Climate - Change
  • Climate - Impacts
  • Climate - Mitigation/Adaptation
  • Climate - Variability
  • Conservation - Human Behavior
  • Conservation - Water
  • Conservation - Wetland Ecosystems
  • Drinking Water - Groundwater
  • Drought - Water
  • Ecohydrology
  • Ecology - Water
  • Ecosystems - Managed Ecosystems
  • Ecosystems - Natural Ecosystems
  • Ecosystems - Nutrient Cycling
  • Ecosystems - Services
  • Ecosystems - Watersheds and
  • Education - AAGeneral
  • Education - Water
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Forest Ecosystems - Restoration
  • Forest Ecosystems - Services
  • Forest Ecosystems - Water
  • Freshwater - Conservation
  • Freshwater - Quality
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) - Cartography, mapping
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) - Hydrology
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) - Remote Sensing
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) - Water Resources
  • Geography - Human Geography
  • Geology - Hydrogeology
  • Geology - Mapping
  • Geology - Soils
  • Grassland Ecosystems - Water
  • Groundwater - Drinking Water
  • Groundwater - Hydrogeology
  • Groundwater - Remediation
  • Groundwater - Surface Water
  • Human Geography - AAGeneral
  • Humans and the Environment - Adaptive Management
  • Humans and the Environment - Beliefs/Values
  • Humans and the Environment - Conservation
  • Humans and the Environment - Environmental Education
  • Humans and the Environment - Human Geography
  • Hydrogeology - AAGeneral
  • Hydrogeology - Groundwater
  • Hydrology - AAGeneral
  • Hydrology - Ecohydrology
  • Hydrology - GIS
  • Hydrology - Watersheds
  • Land Use/Land Cover - Changes In
  • Mapping, Cartography
  • Nutrient Cycling
  • Plant Ecophysiology
  • Remote Sensing - GIS
  • Remote Sensing - Water Resources
  • Resilience - Riparian Ecosystems
  • Restoration - Groundwater Remediation
  • Riparian Ecosystems - Climate
  • Riparian Ecosystems - Resilience
  • Riparian Ecosystems - Restoration
  • Riparian Ecosystems - Water
  • Soils - Geology
  • Soils - Survey
  • Surface Water
  • Water - Agroecosystems
  • Water - Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Water - Chemistry
  • Water - Conservation
  • Water - Drought
  • Water - Ecology
  • Water - Education
  • Water - Forest Ecosystems
  • Water - Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Water - Grassland Ecosystems
  • Water - Hydrogeology
  • Water - Management
  • Water - Public Health
  • Water - Quality
  • Water - Riparian Ecosystems
  • Water - Stormwater Runoff
  • Water - Wastewater
  • Water - Watersheds
  • Water - Wetland Ecosystems
  • Watersheds - AAGeneral
  • Watersheds - Ecosystems
  • Watersheds - Hydrology
  • Weather - Climate Change
  • Wetland Ecosystems - Conservation
  • Wetland Ecosystems - Water

Other Areas of Interest

Environmental chemistry and toxicology, Ecotoxicology, Xenobiotics, Agrichemicals, Environmental management, Environmental remediation and restoration

Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

There no Grants found for this selection.

Graduate Program(s) Master of Science with a Specialization in
  • Hydrologic Sciences
  • Soil Science
Doctor of Philosophy with a Specialization in
  • Hydrologic Sciences
  • Soil Science

Courses Taught in the Current Semester
Course Number Course Title Day Time Cross Listing
GEOG 484 Water Resources Seminar W 0330-0420 P AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484
GEOG 884 Water Resources Seminar W 0330-0420 P AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484
NRES 484 Water Resources Seminar W 0330-0420 P AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484
NRES 884 Water Resources Seminar W 0330-0420 P AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484
NRES 891 Seminar in Natural Resource Sciences F 0330-0420 P NRES 491
WATS 484 Water Resources Seminar W 0330-0420 P AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484
Courses Taught
Course Number Course Title Fall Even Years Fall Odd Years Spring Even Years Spring Odd Years Summer Session Cross Listing
GEOG 484 Water Resources Seminar X X AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484
GEOG 884 Water Resources Seminar X X AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484
NRES 484 Water Resources Seminar X X AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484
NRES 884 Water Resources Seminar X X AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484
NRES 920 Xenobiotics in the Environment X AGRO/ENTO/HORT/TOXI 920
WATS 484 Water Resources Seminar X X AGRO/GEOG/GEOL/484/884; WATS 484