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Energy and Environment Directorate

Megan Nims

Megan Nims

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 371-7182


Megan has been at PNNL since 2012, beginning her career as a post-Master’s research associate. Her responsibilities have focused on investigating questions of fish migration and habitat use through the use of chemical markers. She has experience in the preparation and analysis of various types of samples (e.g. fish otoliths, fin rays, scales, and tissue, water, algal mat) via solution and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and isotope ratio mass spectrometry.

Research Interests

  • Fish migration and habitat use
  • Otolith microchemistry
  • Geochemistry

Education and Credentials

  • M.S., Marine Science, University of Texas at Austin, 2012
  • B.A., Evolution and Ecology, The Ohio State University, 2009
  • Ph.D., Interdisciplinary (Biogeochemistry), Washington State University, In Progress.

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Fisheries Society

PNNL Patents

PNNL Publications


  • Bourret S.L., J.M. Janak, T.J. Linley, M.K. Nims, and G.A. Mcmichael. 2023. "Inadvertent hatchery Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss discovered in native Westslope Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi habitat: A Cautionary Tale." Fisheries 48, no. 11:453-464. PNNL-ACT-SA-10716. doi:10.1002/fsh.10985
  • Ewing R.G., G.L. Hart, M.K. Nims, S.E. Murphy, S. Johnson, J. Chun, and E.H. Denis. 2023. "Reducing ion diffusion at atmospheric pressure through intermingled positive and negative ions." International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 492. PNNL-SA-185511. doi:10.1016/j.ijms.2023.117115
  • Nims M.K., T.J. Linley, and J.J. Moran. 2023. "Temperature-dependent oxygen isotope fractionation in otoliths of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)." Applied Geochemistry 155. PNNL-SA-175823. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2023.105723


  • Ewing R.G., M.K. Nims, K.A. Morrison, G.L. Hart, N.M. Avalos, and E.H. Denis. 2022. "Vapor detection and vapor pressure measurements of fentanyl and fentanyl hydrochloride salt at ambient temperatures." Analyst 147. PNNL-SA-174452. doi:10.1039/d2an01149b


  • Ewing R.G., E.H. Denis, M.K. Nims, G.L. Hart, and N.M. Avalos. 2021. Interfacing Atmospheric Flow Tube to Ion Mobility Spectrometry: FY 2021 Final Report. PNNL-32466. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Interfacing Atmospheric Flow Tube to Ion Mobility Spectrometry: FY 2021 Final Report
  • Morrison K.A., E.H. Denis, M.K. Nims, A.M. Broderick, R.C. Fausey, H.J. Rose, and P.E. Gongwer, et al. 2021. "Vapor Pressures of RDX and HMX Explosives Measured at and Near Room Temperature: 1,3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5-triazinane and 1,3,5,7-Tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocane." Journal of Physical Chemistry A 125, no. 5:1279-1288. PNNL-SA-157995. doi:10.1021/acs.jpca.0c10409


  • Morrison K.A., B.R. Valenzuela, E.H. Denis, M.K. Nims, D.A. Atkinson, B.H. Clowers, and R.G. Ewing. 2020. "Non-Contact Vapor Detection of Illicit Drugs via Atmospheric Flow Tube-Mass Spectrometry." Analyst 145, no. 20:6485-6492. PNNL-SA-154280. doi:10.1039/D0AN00691B


  • Moran J.J., C.G. Fraga, and M.K. Nims. 2018. "Stable-Carbon Isotope Ratios for Sourcing the Nerve-Agent Precursor Methylphosphonic Dichloride and Its Products." Talanta 186. PNNL-SA-130651. doi:10.1016/j.talanta.2018.04.021


  • Szecsody J.E., M.J. Truex, B.D. Lee, C.E. Strickland, J.J. Moran, M. Snyder, and C.T. Resch, et al. 2017. Geochemical, Microbial, and Physical Characterization of 200-DV-1 Operable Unit Cores from Boreholes C9552, C9487, and C9488, Hanford Site Central Plateau. PNNL-26266. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  • Truex M.J., J.E. Szecsody, N. Qafoku, C.E. Strickland, J.J. Moran, B.D. Lee, and M. Snyder, et al. 2017. Contaminant Attenuation and Transport Characterization of 200-DV-1 Operable Unit Sediment Samples. PNNL-26208. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. doi:10.2172/1368134.Contaminant Attenuation and Transport Characterization of 200-DV-1 Operable Unit Sediment Samples


  • Linley T.J., E.J. Krogstad, M.K. Nims, and R.B. Langshaw. 2016. "Geochemical signatures in fin rays provide a nonlethal method to distinguish the natal rearing streams of endangered juvenile Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in the Wenatchee River, Washington." Fisheries Research 181. PNNL-SA-117248. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2016.04.004

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas