Heather Preisendanz, Ph.D.

Heather Preisendanz, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Natural Resource Engineering
252 Agricultural Engineering Building
Shortlidge Road

University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Emerging Contaminants
  • Contaminant Fate and Transport
  • Environmental Hydrology


  • B.S. Civil Engineering, Rutgers University, May 2007
  • M.S. Civil Engineering, Purdue University, Dec 2008
  • Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Purdue University, May 2011

Research Interests

My research interests center around the fate, transport, and impacts of emerging contaminants. We conduct extensive field work to quantify the occurrence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment and to understand how natural processes and anthropogenic activities influence their presence in aquatic ecosystems. In particular, we are interested in understanding how these contaminants may impact sensitive aquatic ecosystems. We also study the ability of wastewater and drinking water treatment plants to remove these contaminants. Finally, we seek to leverage the knowledge we gain from our field studies to design and test methods to reduce the presence and impact of these contaminants in surface and groundwater bodies.


I teach the following courses every fall semester:

  • ASM (ERM): 309 Measurement & Monitoring of Hydrologic Systems (3)
  • BE 467: Design of Stormwater and Erosion Control Facilities (3)

For information about courses please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog.

EDC Footprint Calculator

Products we use in our everyday lives can be a source of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment. Access our Endocrine Disrupting Compounds Footprint Calculator to estimate the amount of EDCs in your personal care and household products. You can watch a webinar on the topic, too!



  • Kibuye, F.A., H.E. Gall, T.L. Veith, K.R. Elkin, H.A. Elliott, J.P. Harper, and J.E. Watson. 2020. Influence of hydrologic and anthropogenic drivers on emerging organic contaminants in drinking water sources in the Susquehanna River Basin. Chemosphere: 125583 doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125583
  • Veith, T.L., H.E. Gall, K.R. Elkin. 2020. Characterizing transport of natural and anthropogenic constituents in a long-term agricultural watershed in the northeastern U.S. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. In press.


  • Sharma, S., H.E. Gall, J. Gironas, and A. Mejía. 2019. Seasonal hydro climatic ensemble forecasts anticipate nutrient and suspended sediment loads using a dynamical-statistical approach. Environmental Research Letters, 14: 084016 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab2c26
  • Kibuye, F.A., H.E. Gall, K.R. Elkin, B. Swistock, T.L. Veith, J.E. Watson, and H.A. Elliott. 2019. Occurrence, concentrations, and risks of pharmaceutical compounds in private wells in Central Pennsylvania. Journal of Environmental Quality. 48(4):1057-1066. doi:10.2134/jeq2018.08.0301
  • Kibuye, F.A., H.E. Gall, K.R. Elkin, B. Ayers, T.L. Veith, M. Miller, S. Jacob, K.R. Hayden, J.E. Watson, and H.A. Elliott. 2019. Fate of pharmaceuticals in a spray-irrigation system: From wastewater to groundwater. Science of the Total Environment. 654:197-208. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.442
  • Miller, M.D., H.E. Gall, A.R. Buda, L.S. Saporito, T.L. Veith, C.M. White, C.F. Williams, K.J. Brasier, P.J.A. Kleinman, and J.E. Watson. 2019. Load-discharge relationships reveal the efficacy of manure application practices on phosphorus and total solids losses from agricultural fields. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 272:19-28. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2018.11.001


  • Mina, O., H.E. Gall, H.A. Elliott, J.E. Watson, M.L. Mashtare, T. Langkilde, J.P. Harper, and E.W. Boyer. 2018. Estrogen occurrence and persistence in vernal pools impacted by wastewater irrigation practices. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment257:103-112. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2018.01.022
  • Gall, H.E., D. Schultz, T.L. Veith, S.C. Goslee, A. Mejía, C.J. Harman, R. Cibin, and P.H. Patterson. 2018. The effects of disproportional load contributions on quantifying vegetated filter strip trapping efficiencies. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment. In Press. doi:10.1007/s00477-017-1505-x
  • Saha, D., A. Kemanian, F. Montes, H.E. Gall, P. Adler, B. Rau. 2018. Lorenz curve and Gini coefficient reveal hot spots and hot moments for nitrous oxide emissions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. In Press. doi:10.1002/2017JG004041


  • Mina, O., H.E. Gall, J.W. Chandler, J. Harper, and M. Taylor. 2017. Continuous hydrologic and water quality monitoring of vernal ponds. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 129, e56466, doi:10.3791/56466
  • Mina, O., H.E. Gall, L.S. Saporito, H.A. Elliott, and P.J.A. Kleinman. 2017. Relative role of transport and source-limited controls for estrogen, TDP, and DOC export for two manure application methods. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 247:308-318. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2017.06.045


  • Mina, O., H.E. Gall, L.S. Saporito, and P.J.A. Kleinman. 2016. Estrogen transport in surface runoff from agricultural fields treated with two application methods of dairy manure. Journal of Environmental Quality, 45:2007-2015. doi:10.2134.jeq2016.05.0173
  • Hopkins, I., H.E. Gall, and H. Lin. 2016. Natural and anthropogenic controls on the frequency of preferential flow occurrence in a wastewater spray irrigation field. Agricultural Water Management, 178:248-257. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2016.09.011
  • Jovanovic, T., S. García., H.E. Gall, and A. Mejía. 2016. Complexity as a streamflow metric of hydrologic alteration. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 1-13. doi:10.1007/s00477-016-1315-6
  • Jovanovic, T., A. Mejía, H.E. Gall, and J. Gironás. 2016. Effect of urbanization on the long-term persistence of streamflow records. Physica A, 447:208-221. doi:10.1016/j.physa.2015.12.024 
  • Gall, H.E., N.B. Basu, M.L. Mashtare, P.S.C. Rao, and L.S. Lee. 2016. Assessing the impacts of anthropogenic and hydro-climatic drivers on estrogen legacies and trajectories. Advances in Water Resources, 87:19-28. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.10.012


  • Gall, H.E., S.A. Sassman, B. Jenkinson, L.S. Lee, and C.T. Jafvert. 2015. Comparison of export dynamics of nutrients and animal-borne estrogens from a tile-drained Midwestern agroecosystem. Water Research, 72:162-173. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2014.08.041


  • von Freyberg, J., D. Radny, H. Gall, and M. Schirmer. 2014. Implications of hydrologic connectivity between hillslopes and riparian zones on streamflow composition. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 169:62-74. doi:10.1016/j.jconhyd.2014.07.005


  • Gall, H.E., J. Park, C.J. Harman, P.S.C. Rao, and J. Jawitz. 2013. Landscape filtering of hydrologic and biogeochemical responses in managed landscapes. Journal of Landscape Ecology, 28:651-664. doi:10.1007/s10980-012-9829-x
  • Gall, H.E., S.A. Sassman, B. Jenkinson, L.S. Lee, and C.T. Jafvert. 2013. Hormone loads exported by a tile-drained agroecosystem receiving animal manure wastes. Hydrological Processes, doi:10.1002/hyp.9664
  • Park, J., H.E. Gall, D. Niyogi, and P.S.C. Rao. 2013. Temporal trajectories of wet deposition across hydro-climatic regimes: Role of urbanization and regulations at U.S. and East Asia sites. Atmospheric Environment, 70:280-288. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.01.033


  • Leet, J., L.S. Lee, H.E. Gall, R.R. Goforth, S.A. Sassman, J.M. Lazorchak, M.E. Smith, C.T. Jafvert, and M.S. Sepulveda. 2012. Assessing impacts of land-applied wastes from concentrated animal feeding operations on fish populations and communities. Environmental Science & Technology, 46:13440-13447. doi:10.1021/es302599t


  • Gall, H.E., S.A. Sassman, L.S. Lee, and C.T. Jafvert. 2011. Hormone discharges from a Midwest tile-drained agroecosystem receiving animal wastes. Environmental Science & Technology. 45:8755-8764. doi:10.1021/es2011435
  • Leet, J., H.E. Gall, and M.S. Sepulveda. 2011. A review of studies on androgen and estrogen exposure in fish early life stages: Effect on gene and hormonal control of sexual differentiation. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 31:379-398. doi:10.1002/jat.1682


  • Gall, H.E., C.T. Jafvert, and B. Jenkinson. 2010. Integrating hydrograph modeling with real-time monitoring to generate hydrograph-specific sampling schemes. Journal of Hydrology, 393:331-340. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.08.028

Conference Papers

  • Kibuye, F.A., H.E. Gall, T.L. Veith, K.R. Elkin, J.P. Harper, H.A. Elliott, and J.E. Watson. 2019. Seasonal variations of emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) in drinking water sources in the Susquehanna River Basin. ASABE Paper No. 1901742. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, MI. doi:10.13031/aim.201901742
  • Jiang, F., H.E. Gall, T.L. Veith, C. Raj, and P.J. Drohan. 2019. Assessment of riparian buffers' effectiveness in controlling nutrient and sediment loads as a function of buffer design, site characteristics and upland loadings. ASABE Paper No. 1901516. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, MI. doi:10.13031/aim.201901516
  • Kibuye, F.A., H.E. Gall, K.R. Elkin, H.A. Elliott, J.E. Watson, and B.R. Swistock. 2018. Occurrence and concentrations of pharmaceutical compounds in private wells in Central Pennsylvania. ASABE Paper No. 1800970. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, MI. doi:10.13031/aim.201800970
  • Miller, M.D., L.S. Saporito, A.R. Buda, H.E. Gall, T.L. Veith, C.M. White, C.F. Williams, K.J. Brasier, P.J.A. Kleinman, and J.E. Watson. 2018. The importance of intra-management practice variability in sediment and phosphorus loss from agricultural fields. ASABE Paper No. 1801434. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, MI. doi.10.13031/aim.201801434
  • Saha, G.K., R. Cibin, H. Elliott, H. Gall, J. Shortle, and D. Abler. 2018. Geospatial analysis for livestock manure management in Western Pennsylvania. ASABE Paper No. 1801218. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, MI. doi:10/13031/aim.201801218
  • Ayers, B., K. Elkin, F. Kibuye, and H.E. Gall. 2017. Pharmaceuticals at Penn State's Living Filter: From wastewater to groundwater. St. Joseph, MI. ASABE. doi:10.13031/aim.201700255
  • Opalinski, N., D. Schultz, H.E. Gall, and M. Royer. 2016. Development of a decision-making framework for BMP design to reduce loads during "hot moments". St. Joseph, MI. ASABE. doi:10.13031/aim.20162456929
  • Gluberman, M., L. Garcia, R. Taylor, and H.E. Gall. 2016. Development of an endocrine disrupting compounds footprint calculator. St. Joseph, MI. ASABE. doi:10.13031/aim.2016202455889
  • Mina, O., H.E. Gall, B. Carlson, and T. Langkilde. 2014. A preliminary assessment of endocrine disrupting compounds in vernal pools in Central Pennsylvania. St. Joseph, MI. ASABE. doi:10.13031/aim.20141910944