Tracy Quirk headshotTracy Quirk

Position: Associate Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences

Phone: 225-578-6426


Office: 3173 Energy, Coast & Environment Building, Baton Rouge LA 70803

Bachelor's Degree(s): University of Vermont, 1998

Master's Degrees(s): University of Louisiana Lafayette, 2005

Ph.D.(s): University of Delaware, 2009

Research Website 

Research Interests

Wetland ecology and restoration including plant and microbial processes, nutrient and carbon cycling and accretion dynamics, human impact on wetland ecosystems, and organic matter and nutrient linkages between coastal wetlands and rivers, estuaries, and submerged aquatic ecosystems.

Classes Taught

OCS 4006 Wetland Field Experience: Florida Everglades, Mangroves, and Seagrasses

OCS/BIO 4308 Plants in Coastal Environments

OCS 7124 Applied Coastal Plant Ecology

Current Research Projects

2016 – 2018 T. Elsey-Quirk and R.D. DeLaune. Evaluation of Blue Carbon Potential in Created Marshes of Louisiana. LA Sea Grant

2013 – 2018 Geyer, W.R., P. Hoagland, D.K. Ralston, C.K. Sommerfield, G.R. Parsons, B. J. Chant, T. Elsey-Quirk. Toward Sustainable Urban Estuaries in the Anthropocene. NSF Coastal SEES.

2012 – 2013 T. Elsey-Quirk. Changes in Salt Marsh Morphology Due to Hurricane Sandy February 2013-January 2014. NSF RAPID

2011 – 2014 Velinsky, D.J. and T. Elsey-Quirk. Ecosystem services of Tidal Wetlands in Barnegat Bay: Nitrogen Removal. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

2011 – 2013 T. Elsey-Quirk and D.J. Velinsky. The Influence of Estuary Geomorphology on Accretion of Coastal Wetlands: a Potential for Priority Planning for New Jersey Coastal Areas Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise. New Jersey SeaGrant

Recent Publications

Google Scholar Profile

Mariotti, G., T. Elsey-Quirk, G. Bruno, and K. Valentine. 2020. Mud-associated organic matter

and its direct and indirect role in marsh organic matter accumulation and accretion.  Limnology and Oceanography 9999, 1 – 15.

Wasson, K., Ganju, N.K., Defne, Z. Endris, C., Elsey-Quirk, T., Thorne, K.M., Freeman, C., Guntenspergen, G., Nowacki, D.J., and K. B. Raposa. 2019. Understanding tidal marsh trajectories: evaluating multiple indicators of marsh persistence. Environmental Research Letters 14: 124073.

Guan, B., Chen, M., Elsey-Quirk, T., Yang, S., Shang, W., Li, Y., X. Tian, and G. Han. 2019. Soil seed bank persistence and vegetation shifts following channel diversion in the Yellow River Delta. Science of the Total Environment 693: 133600 doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133660.

*Abbott, K.M., T. Elsey-Quirk, and R.D. DeLaune. 2019. Factors influencing blue carbon accumulation across a 32-year chronosequence of created coastal marshes. Ecosphere 10: e02828.

*Muench, A. and T. Elsey-Quirk. 2019. Competitive reversal between plant species is driven by species-specific tolerance to flooding stress and nutrient acquisition during early marsh succession. Journal of Applied Ecology doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13458.

Bao, F., T. Elsey-Quirk, M.A. de Assis, E.B. de Souza, and A. Pott. 2019. Do aquatic macrophytes limit the invasion potential of exotic species in Pantanal grasslands? Wetlands doi:10.1007/s13157-019-01168-5.

Ganju, N., Z. Defne, T. Elsey-Quirk, and J. Moriarty. 2019. Role of tidal wetland stability in lateral fluxes of particulate organic matter. Journal of Geophysical Research- Biogeosciences 124: 1265-1277. doi:10.1029/2018JG004920.

Elsey-Quirk, T., G. Mariotti, K. Valentine, and K. Raper. 2019. Retreating marsh shorelines create hotspots of high-marsh plant diversity. Nature Scientific Reports 9: 5795.

Elsey-Quirk, T., S.A. Graham, I.A. Mendelssohn, G. Snedden, J.W. Day, G. Shaffer, L.A. Sharp, R.R. Twilley, J. Pahl, and R.R. Lane. 2019. Mississippi River sediment diversions and coastal wetland sustainability: Synthesis of responses to freshwater, sediment and nutrient inputs. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 221:170-183.

DeLaune, R.D., J.R. White, T. Elsey-Quirk, H.H. Roberts, and D. Wang. 2018. Differences in long-term vs short-term carbon sequestration in a coastal river delta wetland: implications for global budgets. Organic Geochemistry 123: 67-73.

Middleton, B.A., E. Anemaet, T. Elsey-Quirk, and N.P. Tippery. 2018. Nymphoides humboltiana (Menyanthaeceae) in Florida, U.S.A. verified by DNA data. Journal of Botanical Research Institute of Texas 12: 257-263.

**Matzke, S. and T. Elsey-Quirk. 2018. Spartina patens productivity and soil organic matter response to sediment deposition and nutrient enrichment. Wetlands. DOI: 10.1007/s13157-018-1030-9.

Bao, F., T. Elsey-Quirk, M.A. de Assis, R. Arruda, and A. Pott. 2018. Seasonal flooding, topography and organic debris on seedling emergence and distribution in a tropical grassland. Biotropica DOI: 10.1111/btp.12550.

Elsey-Quirk, T. and V. Unger. 2018. Geomorphic influences on the contribution of vegetation to soil carbon accumulation and accretion in Spartina alterniflora marshes. Biogeosciences 15: 379-397.

Bao, F., T. Elsey-Quirk, M. Antonio de Assis, and A. Pott. 2017. Seed bank of seasonally flooded grassland: experimental simulation of flood and post-flood. Aquatic Ecology 52:  doi: 10.1007/s10452-017-9646-y

Velinsky, D.J., B. Paudel, T. Elsey-Quirk, M. Piehler, and A. Smyth. 2017. Salt marsh denitrification provides a significant nitrogen sink in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Edition 78: 70 -78. doi:10.2112/SI78-007.1         

Boyd, B., C.K. Sommerfield, and T. Elsey-Quirk. 2017. Hydrogeomorphic influences on salt marsh sediment accumulation and accretion in two estuaries of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast. Marine Geology 132-145.

Elsey-Quirk, T. 2016. Impact of Hurricane Sandy on salt marshes of New Jersey. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 183: 235-248.

*Unger, V., T. Elsey-Quirk, C. Sommerfield, and D.J. Velinsky. 2016 Stability of organic carbon accumulating in Spartina alterniflora-dominated marshes of the mid-Atlantic U.S.A. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 182: 179-189.