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Albert Rivas-Ubach

Environmental Dynamics & Simulations
Post Doctorate RA B
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: K8-83
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Albert Rivas-Ubach is a postdoctoral research associate in the mass spectrometry group at EMSL. Albert’s expertise is especially in the field of ecometabolomics detecting and quantifying crucial metabolic shifts in organisms under environmental stressors. He has widely worked in the understanding of the relationship between the shifts of the elemental stoichiometry of organisms with the shifts of their metabolomes (set of metabolites) under environmental changes and gradients. Using EMSL capabilities, Albert is involved in several plant and soil metabolomic projects in collaboration with national and international universities. Furthermore, he participates in studies of soil metabolomics and in the advance of aerosol chemistry characterization by applying a self-developed technique, namely atmo-ecometabolomics.

Research Interests

  • Dr. Albert Rivas-Ubach is mainly interested is the understanding the metabolic shifts of organisms produced by the main global change drivers such as drought, warming, nitrogen deposition, among others. Furthermore, it has been widely described in the ecological stoichiometry the important role that the proportions among elements such as C, N and P play in the ecosystem structure and function. As elements do not actuate as themselves but as molecular compounds, the use of metabolomic techniques allow understanding the nutrient assignation to different molecular compounds of organisms under specific stressors. He is also interested in the optimization of experimental designs for ecological/plant physiology studies, in the sample preparation for metabolomic analyses and in any new emerging statistical approaches for the analyses of metabolomic datasets.

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D Degree in Terrestrial Ecology from Autonomous University of Barcelona (2013)
  • M.S Degree in Terrestrial Ecology from Autonomous University of Barcelona (2010)
  • B.S. Degree in Biology, specialization in Plant Biology and Ecology (2008)

PNNL Publications


  • Handakumbura P., B.A. Stanfill, A. Rivas-Ubach, D.C. Fortin, J.P. Vogel, and G.C. Jansson. 2019. "Metabotyping as a Stopover in Genome-to-Phenome Mapping." Scientific Reports 9, no. 1:Article Number 1858. PNNL-SA-135368. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-38483-0
  • Rivas-Ubach A., Y. Liu, A.L. Steiner, J. Sardans, M.M. Tfaily, G.R. Kulkarni, and Y. Kim, et al. 2019. "Atmo-ecometabolomics: a novel atmospheric particle chemical characterization methodology for ecological research." Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 191, no. 2:Article No. 78. PNNL-SA-118888. doi:10.1007/s10661-019-7205-x


  • Hatch L.E., A. Rivas-Ubach, C.N. Jen, M.S. Lipton, A.H. Goldstein, and K. Barsanti. 2018. "Measurements of I/SVOCs in biomass-burning smoke using solid-phase extraction disks and two-dimensional gas chromatography." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18, no. 24:17801-17817. PNNL-SA-137577. doi:10.5194/acp-18-17801-2018
  • Rivas-Ubach A., A.T. Poret-Peterson, J. Penuelas, J. Sardans, M. Perez-Trujillo, C. Legido-Quigley, and M. Oravec, et al. 2018. "Coping with Iron Limitation: A Metabolomic Study of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803." Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 40, no. 2:Article No. 28. PNNL-SA-132877. doi:10.1007/s11738-018-2603-1


  • Rivas-Ubach A., J. Sardans, J.A. Hodar, J. Garcia-Porta, A.B. Guenther, L. Pasa Tolic, and M. Oravec, et al. 2017. "Close and Distant: Contrasting the Metabolism of Two Closely Related Subspecies of Scots Pine Under the Effects of Folivory and Summer Drought." Ecology and Evolution 7, no. 21:8976-8988. PNNL-SA-121524. doi:10.1002/ece3.3343
  • White R.A., A. Rivas-Ubach, M.I. Borkum, M. Koberl, A. Bilbao Pena, S.M. Colby, and D.W. Hoyt, et al. 2017. "The state of rhizospheric science in the era of multi-omics: A practical guide to omics technologies." Rhizosphere 3, no. 2:212-221. PNNL-SA-124859. doi:10.1016/j.rhisph.2017.05.003
  • White R.A., M.I. Borkum, A. Rivas-Ubach, A. Bilbao Pena, J.P. Wendler, S.M. Colby, and M. Koberl, et al. 2017. "From data to knowledge: The future of multi-omics data analysis for the rhizosphere." Rhizosphere 3, no. 2:222-229. PNNL-SA-125262. doi:10.1016/j.rhisph.2017.05.001


  • Rivas Ubach A., J. Sardans, J.A. Hodar, J. Garcia-Porta, A.B. Guenther, M. Oravec, and O. Urban, et al. 2016. "Similar local, but different systemic, metabolomics responses of closely related pine subspecies to folivory by caterpillars of the processionary moth." Plant Biology 18, no. 3:484-494. PNNL-SA-110704. doi:10.1111/plb.12422
  • Rivas Ubach A., J.A. Hodar, J. Sardans, J.E. Kyle, Y. Kim, M. Oravec, and O. Urban, et al. 2016. "Are the metabolomic responses to folivory of closely related plant species linked to macroevolutionary and plant-folivore coevolutionary processes?." Ecology and Evolution 6, no. 13:4372-4386. PNNL-SA-116150. doi:10.1002/ece3.2206
  • Rivas-Ubach A., A. Barbeta, J. Sardans, A.B. Guenther, R. Ogaya, M. Oravec, and O. Urban, et al. 2016. "Topsoil depth substantially influences the responses to drought of the foliar metabolomes of Mediterranean forests." Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 21. PNNL-SA-117183. doi:10.1016/j.ppees.2016.06.001

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