Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

A DOE Office of Science User Facility

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Scientific Capabilities

We focus on helping you solve problems by providing an unparalleled integration of experts, facilities and instrumentation. Our goal is to team with you to understand the problem you're trying to solve and offer innovative ways to address it.

We collaborate with early career scientists who haven't yet built up the arsenal of instruments needed to address major challenges and who can benefit from using a variety of our instruments. And we work closely with established scientists who may have their own collection of NMRs, for example, but could benefit from integrating with our computational capabilities or other instrumentation.

EMSL's capabilities are available to researchers through a peer-reviewed proposal process, typically at no cost, if research results are published in the open literature (see Proposal Opportunities). Remote access to EMSL's supercomputer, called Cascade, and NMR resources is also available to help EMSL users save time and travel costs. Have questions on how to collaborate with us? Check out "Working With Us."

Key research opportunities provide the user community with novel insights into microbial community functions and dynamics, the rhizosphere, and plant function in natural systems and highly controlled environments. Information about the focus within each of these areas and the capabilities most commonly utilized may help as you consider EMSL for your next research endeavor.

We invite you to search through a filtered list of "All Instruments" or individual capabilities. If you're uncertain which instrument would be best for your project, you can search by research area to view a list of commonly used instruments. If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact our leadership.

Or view our recent science highlights to read about recent publications of research conducted by EMSL staff and our users and collaborators.

Capability Leads

The EMSL Capability Leads  are an integral part of the EMSL team, from working with EMSL leadership on research strategies and capability advancement to maintaining safe and efficient daily operations. Their responsibilities include assessing user proposals for technical feasibility. Once proposals are accepted, they assign EMSL’s scientists to assist users with their research and then manage costs and schedules for successful user project completion.

Galya OrrCell Isolation and Systems Analysis (CISA) Dr. Galya Orr (509) 371-6127 galya.orr@pnnl.gov.
The function of proteins, cells and cell communities can be investigated using super resolution, quantitative fluorescence microscopy with single molecule sensitivity, cell sorting and transcriptomic analysis, together with proteomics, metabolomics and electron microscopy.


Deposition and MicrofabricationDr. Mark Bowden (509) 371-7816 mark.bowden@pnnl.gov.
Physical structures ranging in size from miniature objects (nanomaterials) to electrical devices (thin films) with planned properties can be made using deposition and microfabrication. Materials with specific surface, bulk and interfacial properties for energy and environmental applications can be designed and made using this integrated capability.

Mary LiptonMass SpectrometryDr. Mary Lipton (509) 371-6589 mary.lipton@pnnl.gov.
Systems biology and complex mixture studies in biofuels, microbial communities, climate and environmental remediation can be analyzed with world-class separations and mass spectrometry capabilities, providing sensitive compositional and structural information at the molecular level.

Dr. Scott LeaMicroscopyDr. Scott Lea  (509) 371-6233 scott.lea@pnnl.gov. Advancement in energy, environment and biology research relies heavily on micro-, nano- and atomic-scale chemical and structural imaging. Many of EMSL’s microscopy instruments have high resolution imaging capabilities including complementary chemical, structural and phase information, in-situ imaging in native environments and imaging dynamic processes with high temporal resolution.

Dr. Lee Ann McCueMolecular Science ComputingDr. Lee Ann McCue (509) 375-2912  leeann.mccue@pnnl.gov. Environmental molecular research goes to the next level when combined with advance data analytics and visualization, computational modeling and simulation, and efficient parallel software.


Dr. Nancy WashtonNuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR)Dr. Nancy Washton  (509) 371-7094 nancy.washton@pnnl.gov. Molecular systems important to biology, environmental remediation and sustainability are studied using a suite of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers with frequencies ranging from 300 to 850 MHz. An ELDOR-capable, 9.5-GHz electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer complements the capability.

Dr. Mark Bowden Spectroscopy and Diffraction: Dr. Mark Bowden (509) 371-7816 mark.bowden@pnnl.gov.
Molecular level solid-, liquid- and gas-interactions can be investigated through structural, chemical and compositional analysis with remarkable atomic-scale spatial and high-energy resolution spectrometers and diffractometers for novel fundamental research.


Dr. Mark Bowden
Plant, Soil, and Subsurface Flow and Transport
Dr. Mark Bowden (509) 371-7816 mark.bowden@pnnl.gov.
Researchers can explore physical and biogeochemical processes in the subsurface contaminant transport, biogeochemical nutrient cycles, plant physiology, and plant-microbe-ecosystem interactions, and in the plant-soil ecosystem across a range of scales.