Development of Techniques for Analysis of Epiphytic Mosses for Source Apportionment of Airborne Pollutants

Grants and Contracts Details


Scope of work for Joint Venture Agreement between University of Kentucky and USDA Forest Service – Development of techniques for analysis of epiphytic mosses for the purpose of source apportionment of airborne pollutants. UK PI – Jason Unrine USDA-FS PI – Sarah Jovan April 18, 2022 Period of performance – July 1st 2022-June 30th 2024 Budget - $150,000 from USDA forest service, UK cost share (indirect costs) $67,500 This joint venture agreement between the Forest Service and UK concerns joint research into methods for using epiphytic moss for source apportionment of airborne pollutants. The Forest Service is conducting research, led by Dr. Sarah Jovan, on the use of epiphytic mosses as bioindicators of air quality in communities in the Pacific Northwest region. The Forest Service will collect moss samples and samples collected on filter media from communities of interest in and send them to the University of Kentucky for analysis. The University of Kentucky will hire a postdoctoral scholar to be supervised and mentored by Dr. Jason Unrine. The postdoc will explore novel methods for characterization of metal-bearing particulates in the moss samples for the purpose of source apportionment. Methods to be explored include particle size fractionation followed by ICP-MS analysis, single particle ICP-MS analysis of extracted particles (sp-ICP-MS), and high-resolution scanning TEM including fast Fourier transform crystallography, and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). The analytical equipment for this project is located within the Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at UK along with the Electron Microscopy core facility. The postdoc will also explore the use of machine learning techniques for the classification and source apportionment of particulates found in the samples. It is expected that the research will be jointly published by UK and the Forest Service in a high-quality peer-reviewed journal.
Effective start/end date7/28/229/30/25


  • Forest Service: $150,000.00


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