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Rylie Ellison

Ph.D Student

Contact Information:

Office: 1138 Plant & Environmental Sciences

Email: rjellison@ucdavis.edu


Ph.D: Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry; 2015- Present

University of California, Davis

B.S.: Chemistry (Math Minor); 2015

Valedictorian and summa cum laude

Pacific University

REU Student; 2014

Portland State University


I am researching a method to convert dairy manure into a better fertilizer to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, minimize environmental impacts, and enhance the economic feasibility of dairy operations. The chemical and physical variability of animal wastes makes it difficult to predict the carbon and nitrogen mineralization rates and nutrient value. Storage and agricultural applications of manure often results in high nutrient runoff and volatilization of greenhouse gases including nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon dioxide. I am testing and optimizing a process that has been developed to physically and chemically alter animal wastes to stabilize and standardize their C and N mineralization properties. The process uses hydrodynamic cavitation and chemical reactions using nitrogenous, iron, and oxidizing compounds to homogenize and create a predictable N source for agricultural crops. Gas analysis performed using advanced Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) with stable isotope analysis is used to understand the sources and pathways of GHG emissions to optimize the processed waste and its behavior in soil.


  1. DeBenedetti, W. J.; Chiu, S. K.; Radlinger, C. M.; Ellison, R. J.; Manhat, B. A.; Zhang, J. Z.; Shi, J.; Goforth, A. M. Conversion from Red to Blue Photoluminescence in Alcohol Dispersions of Alkyl-Capped Silicon Nanoparticles: Insight into the Origins of Visible Photoluminescence in Colloidal Nanocrystalline Silicon Phys. Chem. C 2015, 119 (17), 9595-9608
  2. 45th AgChem Graduate Group Winter Colloquium. Converting Manure to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Minimize Environmental Impacts, and Enhance the Economic Feasibility of Dairy Operations. 2017.
  3. 249th ACS National Meeting & Exposition. Radical Scavenger Effect of TEMPO on Silicon Nanoparticle Photoluminescence. 2015.


  • Outstanding Senior in Chemistry Award, Pacific University
  • Eva C. Krebs Boxer Spirit Award, Pacific University
  • Dean’s List (seven placements), Pacific University
  • American Association for the University of Women Award in Mathematics


  • Environmental Science Monitoring Teacher’s Assistant,  2016
    • Land, Air, and Water Resources Department at UC Davis
  • Under2 MOU Consulting Project, 2016
    • UC Davis & CA Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
  • Research Lab Assistant, 2015
    • Chemistry Department at Portland State University
  • Organic Chemistry Teacher’s Assistant, 2013 – 2015
    • Chemistry Department at Pacific University
  • Chemistry Tutor, 2013 – 2014
    • Tutoring and Learning Center at Pacific University