Curriculum Vitae

Spencer J. Tassone


United States Geological Survey

Virginia-West Virginia Water Science Center |


2023 Ph.D. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia (Advisor: Dr. Michael Pace)

2019 Graduate Certificate - Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Virginia Commonwealth University

2017 M.S. Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University (Advisor: Dr. Paul Bukaveckas)

2014 B.S. Environmental Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University

2011 A.S. Social Science, Tidewater Community College

Professional Experience

2024 - Present Biologist - United States Geological Survey

2023 - 2024 Postdoctoral Scholar - Michigan Technological University

2019 - 2023 Research & Teaching Assistant - University of Virginia

2017 - 2019 Research Specialist - Virginia Commonwealth University

2015 - 2017 Research & Teaching Assistant - Virginia Commonwealth University

2013 - 2015 Scientific Aide - Virginia Commonwealth University

Awards and Honors

2023 Student Excellence Award

2023 Rath Public Service Focused Research Award

2022 Trout Unlimited Award

2022 Certified Ecologist

2020 Editor's Choice Paper

2017 Outstanding Biology Masters Student in Ecology

2017 Runner-Up Best Environmental Science Paper 2016

2017 Outstanding Graduate Student Presentation

2017 Fundamentals of Ecosystem Ecology Certificate

2014 Leo Bourassa Scholarship

2014 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Poster Presentation

2014 Academic Achievement Award


Grants & Fellowships

2023 Project Collaborator: Coastal Marine Heatwave Interdisciplinary Research Group

2023 Project Collaborator: Spatiotemporal patterns of aquatic heatwaves in western US rivers

2023 Eco-DAS XV Fellow

2022 Kenneth L. Bazzle Dissertation Year Fellow

Scientific Media

2024 UVA Office of Advancement: Testing the Waters

2023 Environmental Professional's Radio: Heatwaves, Researching, and Shiny Apps with Spencer Tassone.

2023 Utah Public Radio, Undisciplined: Here's why heatwaves in our rivers are increasing - and why that's a problem.

2023 UVA News, Q&A: As rivers recover from last year's drought, winter may pose untold threats.

2023 Chesapeake Bay Journal: The heat is on: Warming water threatens aquatic life in Chesapeake Bay region.

2022 Fox Weather: Heatwaves in U.S. rivers are on the rise, new study says.

2022 Cavalier Daily: Extreme temperatures in rivers could foreshadow environmental damage in Charlottesville.

2022 Science News Magazine: Heatwaves in U.S. rivers are on the rise. Here's why that's a problem.

2021 The Coastal Current Podcast: Episode 3 - Coastal Heatwaves

2016 VCU News: Nature Walks: Out and about with researchers at VCU Rice Rivers Center.

Scientific Presentations

2024 Tassone, S. J. Impact of aquatic heatwaves on river metabolism in the United States

2023 Tassone, S. J. Ecological implications of increasing heatwaves in streams and rivers of the United States

2023 Tassone, S. J. Increasing heatwave frequency in streams and rivers of the United States

2022 Tassone, S. J. Extreme events in relation to aquatic ecosystem resilience: heatwaves & seagrass disturbance

2022 Tassone, S. J. and M. L. Pace. Seagrass resilience experiment

2022 Brownson, K., S. J. Tassone. Ecological implications for rising stream and river water temperature in the watersheds of Chesapeake Bay

2020 Tassone, S. J. and M. L. Pace. Linkage between atmospheric heatwaves, estuarine heatwaves, and water quality

2018 Tassone, S. J. Water quality of the James River

2017 Tassone, S. J. and P. A. Bukaveckas. Presence and persistence of the cyanotoxin Microcystin in aquatic and riparian consumers

2017 Tassone, S. J. and P. A. Bukaveckas. Seasonal and interannual variation in metabolism of the tidal freshwater James River

2016 Moy, N. J. J. Dodson, S. J. Tassone, P. A. Bukaveckas, L. P. Bulluck. Biotransport of algal toxins to riparian consumers

2016 Tassone, S. J. and P. A. Bukaveckas. Estuarine metabolism and zooplankton dynamics in the tidal freshwater segment of the James River, VA

2015 Tassone, S. J., J. Lesutienė, Z. Gasiūnaitė, L. Ložys, R. Pilkaitytė, Ž. Pūtys and P.A. Bukaveckas. Algal toxins in the food chain – a comparative study of Chesapeake Bay and Baltic coastal food webs

2014 Tassone, S. J., P. A. Bukaveckas, J. Wood. Effects of dissolved and dietary Microcystin on clearance rates of Wedge Clams (Rangia cuneata) in the tidal fresh James River

Public Datasets

Teaching Experience

Professional Service

Ongoing Reviewer – Environmental Science & Technology, Limnology & Oceanography: Methods, Estuarine Coastal & Shelf Science

2024 Search Committee Member for Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Estuaries and Coasts

2020 - 2023 Website Manager - UVA Dept. of Environmental Sciences

2017 - 2019 Website Manager - Atlantic Estuarine Research Society

2016 - 2017 Student Representative - Atlantic Estuarine Research Society

2016 - 2017 Vice President - VCU Graduate Organization of Biology Students