university of tulsa logo

Estelle Levetin, PhD

Estelle Levetin, PhD
Department Chairperson of Biological Science
Professor of Biological Science
College of Engineering & Natural Sciences
Biological Science
918-631-2764 Oliphant Hall Room 304


PhD – University of Rhode Island BS – State College-Boston (UMass-Boston)


The research in Estelle Levetin's laboratory is largely in the field of Aerobiology, often considered the "microbiology" of the atmosphere. Aerobiology is the study of the movement of biological particles (bioaerosols) within the atmosphere or the indoor environment. Within the field of aerobiology, her focus has been on the study of airborne allergens. She is interested in airborne fungal spores, especially those spores that have been poorly studied in outdoor environments, such as basidiospores, smut spores, ascospores, and Penicillium/Aspergillus spores. Levetin also has an ongoing interest in conifer pollen allergens for the past 25 years. Mountain cedar (Juniperus ashei) pollen is one of the most potent allergens in the United States. Populations of mountain cedar occur in south central Oklahoma and Texas. Although none occur within 200 miles of Tulsa, her lab has presented evidence for significant concentrations of mountain cedar pollen being carried to Tulsa by prevailing southerly winds. Research in Levetin's lab has also focused on the identification of the specific allergenic proteins in mountain cedar pollen and related species of conifers.

Research Interests

Fungal Ecology
Pollen Forecasting
Climate Change and Pollen

Teaching Interests

Fungal Biology
Medical Botany
Environmental Microbiology
Plant Anatomy


  • Levetin E. 2015. Aerobiology of Agricultural Pathogens, p 3.2.8-1-3.2.8-20. In Yates M, Nakatsu C, Miller R, Pillai S (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, 4th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818821.ch3.2.8.

  • Levetin E. Airborne Pollen Prevalence in the United States. In: Grammer LC and Greenberger PA ed. Patterson’s Allergic Diseases, 8th edition. Kluwer Health Pub.

  • Shaughnessy, R. J., Levetin, E. and Sublette, K. L., “Effectiveness of Portable Indoor Air Cleaners in Particulate and Gaseous Contaminant Removal”, Proceedings of Indoor Air ’93, vol. 6, Helsinki, Finland (July 1993).

  • Shaughnessy, R.; Levetin, E.; Blocker, J.; and Sublette, K. L., “Effectiveness of Portable Air Cleaners: Sensory Testing Results,” Indoor Air, 4, 179-188 (1994).

  • Mohanty, R. P., Buchheim, M. A., Anderson, J. & Levetin, E. 2017. Molecular analysis confirms the long distance transport of Juniperus ashei pollen. PLoS ONE 12 (3): e0173465.

  • Mohanty, R. P., Buchheim, M. A. & Levetin, E. 2017. Molecular approaches for the analysis of airborne pollen: A case study of Juniperus pollen. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 118 (2): 204-211

  • Schwartz, Ilan et al. “Molecular Detection of Airborne Emergomyces Africanus, a Thermally Dimorphic Fungal Pathogen, in Cape Town, South Africa.” PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 12.1 (2018): n. pag. Print.

  • Galán, C. et al. “Recommended Terminology for Aerobiological Studies.” Aerobiologia 33.3 (2017): 293–295. Print.

  • Flonard, Michaela, Esther Lo, and Estelle Levetin. “Increasing Juniperus Virginiana L. Pollen in the Tulsa Atmosphere: Long-Term Trends, Variability, and Influence of Meteorological Conditions.” International Journal of Biometeorology 62.2 (2018): 229–241. Print.

  • Green, Brett et al. “Landscape Plant Selection Criteria for the Allergic Patient.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice (2018): n. pag. Print.

  • Helfman-Hertzog, I. et al. “The Impact of Sharav Weather Conditions on Airborne Pollen in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (Israel).” Aerobiologia (2018): 1–15. Print.

Courses Taught

  • Dissertation Research
  • Environmental Microbiology

Professional Affiliations

  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
  • Pan American Aerobiology Association
  • International Aerobiology Association
  • British Mycology Society
  • Botanical Society of America
  • Mycological Society of America

Awards & Honors

  • Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
  • Honary Member of the International Aerobiology Assocation