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Morris, Ph.D.

Principal Associate, Health & Environment

Jeff Morris, Ph.D., has expertise in environmental toxicology, aquatic biology, biogeochemistry, and contaminant fate and transport related to the impacts of mining (hard rock and coal), oil and gas production, and industrial and municipal activities. He has designed and conducted hundreds of laboratory and field investigations on the fate of metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), ammonia, bacteria and pathogens and on their effects on aquatic biota, including fish, invertebrates, shellfish, and biofilm.

Additionally, he has expertise in technology development for environmental bioremediation, and holds patents on processes and equipment utilized to:

  • Prevent acid mine drainage,
  • Enhance microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in water and sediment using microbial fuel cell technology, and
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions utilizing microbial communities.

Morris leads Environmental Toxicology research and analysis at Abt and serves as a Project Director for projects in support of natural resource damage assessments (NRDAs) and other environmental investigations. He has worked and collaborated with a diverse client base, including state and federal agencies, indigenous groups in the United States and Canada, nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and private industry. Through these collaborations, Morris has conducted research and analysis in the United States, Canada, Central America, Australia, Europe and China.


  • Aquatic toxicology
  • Aquatic biology
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Environmental remediation

Key Projects

  • Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment
  • Portland Harbor Natural Resource Damage Assessment
  • Proposed Pebble Mine (Bristol Bay watershed, Alaska)

Selected Publications

  • “Copper toxicity in Bristol Bay headwaters: Part 1 – Acute Mortality and Ambient Water Quality Criteria in Low-Hardness Water.” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 38(1):190–197. Morris, J.M., S.F. Brinkman, M.W. Carney, and J. Lipton. 2019.
  • “Copper Toxicity in Bristol Bay Headwaters: Part 2 – Olfactory Inhibition in Low-Hardness Water.” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 38(1):198–209. Morris, J.M., S. Brinkman, R. Takeshita, A. McFadden, M. Carney, and J. Lipton. 2019.
  • “Crude Oil Cardiotoxicity to Red Drum Embryos is Independent of Oil Dispersion Energy.” Chemosphere 213:205–214. Morris, J.M., M. Gielazyn, M.O. Krasnec, R. Takeshita, H.P. Forth, J.S. Labenia, T.L. Linbo, B.L. French, J.A. Gill, D.H. Baldwin, N.L. Scholz, and J.P. Incardona. 2018.
  • “Influence of Variable Ultraviolet Radiation and Oil Exposure Duration on Survival of Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) Larvae.” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 37:2372–2379. Bridges, K., M. Krasnec, J.T. Magnuson. J.M. Morris, M.L. Gielazyn, J.R. Chavez, and A.P. Roberts. 2018.
  • “Photo-Induced Toxicity Following Exposure to Crude Oil and Ultraviolet Radiation in Two Australian Fishes.” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 37(5):1359–1366. doi: 10.1002/etc.4083. Sweet, L.E., A.T. Revill, J. Strzelecki, S.E. Hook, J.M. Morris, and A.P. Roberts. 2018.
  • “Characterization of Oil and Water Accommodated Fractions Used to Conduct Aquatic Toxicity Testing in Support of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment.” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 36(6):1450–1459. doi: 10.1002/etc.3672. Forth, H.P., C.L. Mitchelmore, J.M. Morris, and J. Lipton. 2017.
  • “Pacific Lamprey Ammocoetes (Entosphenus Tridentatus) Exposed to Contaminated Portland Harbor Sediments: Method Development and Effects on Survival, Growth, and Behavior,” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (in press). Unrein, J.R., J.M. Morris, R.S. Chitwood, J. Lipton, J. Peers, S. van de Wetering, and C.B. Schreck. 2016.
  • The Effects of Weathering and Chemical Dispersion on Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil Toxicity to Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena Hippurus) Early Life Stages,” Science of the Total Environment 543:644–651. Esbaugh, A.J., E.M. Mager, J.D. Stieglitz, R. Hoenig, T.L. Brown, B.L. French, T.L. Linbo, C. Lay, H. Forth, N.L. Scholz, J.P. Incardona, J.M. Morris, D.D. Benetti, and M. Grosell. 2016.
  • A Multiple Endpoint Analysis of the Effects of Chronic Exposure to Sediment Contaminated with Deepwater Horizon Oil on Juvenile Southern Flounder and Their Associated Microbiomes,” Aquatic Toxicology 165(August):197–209. Brown-Peterson, N.J., M. Krasnec, R. Takeshita, C.N. Ryan, K.J. Griffitt, C. Lay, G.D. Mayer, K.M. Bayha, W.E. Hawkins, I. Lipton, J. Morris, and R.J. Griffitt. 2015.
  • Enhanced Biodegradation of Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Sediments Using Microbial Fuel Cells,” Journal of Hazardous Materials 213-214:474–477. Morris, J.M. and S. Jin. 2012
  • Source Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage at a Backfilled Coal Mine Using Remote Sensing and Biochemistry. Water, Air and Soil Pollution188:205–212. Jin, S., P.H. Fallgren, J.M. Morris, and J.S. Cooper. 2008.
  • Does Biofilm Contribute to Diel Cycling of Zn in High Ore Creek, Montana? Biogeochemistry 76:233–259. Morris, J.M., D.A. Nimick, A.M. Farag, and J.S. Meyer. 2005.

Link to a full list of Jeff Morris’ publications

Selected Presentations

  • “Chemical and Physical Characteristics of Oil in Aquatic Environments: Comparison of Laboratory-Prepared Exposures to Field Observations.” 39th Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Sacramento, CA. November 4-8. Forth, H., J.M. Morris, C.R. Lay, J. Holmes, and C.L. Mitchelmore. 2018.
  • “Use of Benthic Community Structure and Metal Concentrations in Biota to Assess the Effectiveness of Mine Reclamation Activities.” 39th Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Sacramento, CA. November 4-8. Collyard, S. and J.M. Morris. 2018.
  • Photoperiod, Exposure Duration, and Latent Mortality: Photo-Induced Toxicity on Aquatic Organisms. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem.” Science Conference, New Orleans, LA. February 5–8. Bridges, K., L. Sweet, J. Gnau, M. Krasnec, M. Gielazyn, J. Morris, J. Stieglitz, D. Benetti, M. Grosell, and A. Roberts. 2018.
  • “Toxicological Effects of Deepwater Horizon Oil: Cross-Taxonomic Synthesis.” 19th International Symposium on Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms (PRIMO), Matsuyama, Japan. June 30–July 3. Lipton, J., J. Morris, R. Takeshita, K. Dean, M. Gielazyn, R. Ricker, and P. Tuttle. 2017
  • “Photo-Enhanced Toxicity of Oil to Aquatic Organisms: Photo-sensitization, Photo-Modification and Modeling.” 19th International Symposium on Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms (PRIMO), Matsuyama, Japan. June 30–July 3. Lipton, J., J. Morris, M. Alloy, K. Bridges, C. Damare, T. Garner, M. Gielazyn, S. Hook, M. Krasnec, C. Lay, J. Oris, J. Stoeckel, L. Sweet, and A. Roberts. 2017.
  • “Developmental Cardiotoxicity in Red Drum is Not Influenced by WAF Preparation Method.” Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, New Orleans, LA. February 6-9. Gielazyn, M., J. Incardona, J. Morris, R. Takeshita, M. Krasnec, C. Lay, M. Carney, and N. Scholz. 2017
  • “Exposure to Sediments Spiked with Deepwater Horizon Oil Inhibited Growth in Juvenile Red Drum and Pacific White Shrimp.” 37th Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Orlando, FL. November 6–10. Morris, J., I. Lipton, C. Lay, M. Carney, R. Takeshita, H. Forth, M. Krasnec, A. McFadden, R. Hall, J. Lipton, J. Cegan, S. Bonnot, M. Gielazyn. 2016.
  • “Photo-Induced Toxicity of North West Shelf Crude Oil in Australia: Early Life Stage Tests with Yellowtail Amberjack (Seriola Lalandi) and Black Bream (Acanthopagrus Butcheri),” 29th Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (RMSETAC), Fort Collins, CO. April 8. (Presenter) Morris, J.M., L. Sweet, J. Strzelecki, A. Revill, S. Hook, A. Roberts. 2016.
  • “Status and Results of the Trustee Toxicity Testing Program Conducted in Support of the Deepwater Horizon NRDA,” Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, Tampa, FL. February 1–4. (Presenter) Morris, J., C. Lay, M. Krasnec, H. Forth, R. Takeshita, A. McFadden, I. Lipton, M. Carney, D. Cacela, J. Lipton, M. Gielazyn, and R. Ricker. 2016.
  • “Toxicity of Very Thin Surface Slicks of Deepwater Horizon Oil to Pelagic Gulf of Mexico Fish Embryos and Invertebrates,” Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, Tampa, FL. February 1–4. (Presenter) Morris. J., H. Forth, C.R. Lay, R. Takeshita, M. Krasnec; J. Lipton, M. Alloy, C. Overturf, T. Garner, A. Roberts, E. Mager, J. Stieglitz, C. Pasparakis, Z. Yao, D. Benetti, M. Grosell, E. Chesney, K. O’Shaughnessy, and M. Gielazyn. 2016.
  • “Photo-Induced Toxicity of Deepwater Horizon Oil to Native Gulf of Mexico Fish and Invertebrate Species,” 25th Annual Meeting of SETAC Europe, geographic unit of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Barcelona, Spain. May 3–7. (Presenter) Morris, J.M., A. Roberts, J. Oris, C. Lay, J. Lipton. 2015.
  • “Acute and Olfactory Copper Toxicity to Fish Using Laboratory and Site-collected Water from Alaska,” 35th Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Vancouver, BC, Canada, November 9–13. (Presenter) Morris, J.M., J. Lipton, and S. Brinkman. 2014.
  • “Copper Toxicity to Rainbow Trout and Fathead Minnows in Low-hardness Waters: Comparisons of BLM Predictions of Toxicity to Bioassay Results Using Laboratory Water and Site-collected Water from Upper Talarik Creek in Bristol Bay,” Southwest Alaska Salmon Science Workshop, Anchorage, AK, December 4–5. (Presenter) Morris, J.M., J. Lipton, and S. Brinkman. 2013.
  • “Contaminated Sediment Affects Burrowing Behavior of Pacific Lamprey (Lampetra tridentata) Ammocoetes,” 33rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Long Beach, CA, November 11–15. (Presenter) Morris, J.M., J. Peers, J. Lipton, C. Schreck, R. Chitwood, and J. Unrein. 2012.
  • “Source Treatment of Acid Rock Drainage at a Backfilled Coal Mine and a Historic Gold Mine,” 19th Annual Meeting and West Coast Conference on Soils, Sediments, and Water for the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS), San Diego, CA, March 9–12. (Presenter) Morris, J.M., P.H. Fallgren, and M.L. Sait. 2009.
  • Invited lecture: Peking University, Beijing, P.R. China, June 2; Chang’an University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, P.R. China, June 5; Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, Anhui, P.R. China, June 7. (Co-presenter) Jin, S. and J.M. Morris. 2008. Microbial Techniques for Environmental Remediation.
Jeff Morris, Ph.D.