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CLU-IN Studio
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Using Ecological-Based Tools and Approaches to Assess Bioavailability
Sponsored by: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Superfund Research Program
Original Time/Date of Presentation:

June 30, 2010, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM, EDT (17:30-19:30 GMT)

Presentation Overview:

The Superfund Research Program (SRP) presents "Using Ecological-Based Tools and Approaches to Assess Bioavailability" featuring Dr. Kim Anderson (Oregon State University) and Dr. Celia Chen (Dartmouth College). Dr. Anderson's presentation will demonstrate the sensitivity of the BRIDGES bio-analytical tool for detecting spatially distinct toxicity in aquatic systems; bridging environmental exposure to biological response. Dr. Chen's presentation will cover work conducted in both freshwater and estuarine ecosystems through a combination of field and experimental studies that investigated the factors that influence the trophic transfer of methylmercury from the bottom of the food web up to fish that humans consume. This is the second session of the RiskeLearning Spring/Summer 2010 series "Ecological Risk: New Tools and Approaches." For more information on the series visit: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/srp/events/riskelearning/.


Biological Response Indicator Devices for Gauging Environmental Stressors (BRIDGES), Kim Anderson - Oregon State University
The BRIDGES bio-analytical tool was developed in response to the need for a quantitative technology for assessing the toxicity of environmentally and biologically relevant contaminant mixtures. This tool combines passive samplers with the embryonic zebrafish model. When applied in an urban river it effectively linked site specific, bioavailable contaminant mixtures to multiple biological responses. Embryonic zebrafish exposed to extracts from lipid-free passive samplers that were deployed at Portland Harbor Superfund mega-site, displayed different responses. Six of the eighteen biological responses observed in 941 exposed zebrafish were significantly different between sites. This demonstrates the sensitivity of the bio-analytical tool for detecting spatially distinct toxicity in aquatic systems; bridging environmental exposure to biological response.

Bioaccumulation and Trophic Transfer of Mercury in Aquatic Food Webs, Celia Chen - Dartmouth College
Mercury is a global contaminant known to pose a risk to human and environmental health. The main vector for human exposure is through consumption of fish. Although sources of mercury to the environment are known, the physical, chemical, and ecological factors influencing the fate of mercury, and in particular, methylmercury, in aquatic food webs are poorly understood. Through a combination of field and experimental studies, we have investigated the factors that influence the trophic transfer of methylmercury from the bottom of the food web up to fish that humans consume. The lecture will cover work conducted in both freshwater and estuarine ecosystems.

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