Alan Shiller received his B.S. in Chemistry, graduating with Honors from Caltech and earned his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institution. After postdoctoral work at MIT and elsewhere, he landed a faculty position in Marine Science at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1987. In his faculty position, Alan has guided graduate students through their studies and research in Marine and Environmental Chemistry.
His research has focused on the transport of metals through rivers and oceans, though he has also worked on topics as diverse as the ocean’s uptake of carbon dioxide and chemical effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The results of his work have helped the US Geological Survey produce better water quality data, shed light on controls on heavy metals in rivers, and improved our understanding of estuarine and open ocean processes. He has frequently been an invited speaker at international scientific meetings and is a reviewer for prominent journals and funding agencies. A
lan’s work has allowed him to travel extensively, giving lectures throughout the U.S., in Europe, Asia, and New Zealand. His travels also include participation in field work such as research cruises in the North Atlantic Ocean and sampling along the length of the Yukon River in Alaska. Alan was raised in Downey, CA and attended Rancho Santa Gertrudes Elementary School (now closed), East Junior High, and Downey High School.
His father was a metallurgical engineer who became a vice-president of Norris Industries. His mother was active in PTA and ultimately opened Commerce Travel. His brother Jerry (also a Downey High graduate) is a consulting geologist in the San Diego area. He is married to a fellow scientist and faculty member at University of Southern Mississippi and lives on the Bayou.