Professor and Principal Investigator

sepulvada holding a fish

Dr. Maria S. Sepúlveda

Curriculum Vitae September 2022

Dr. Maria Sepúlveda’s main area of research is ecotoxicology. Over the last two decades, she has conducted extensive research evaluating the sublethal effects of a wide-range of environmental contaminants on the physiology of numerous terrestrial and aquatic species. She earned a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine degree from Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile; her MS from University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (Wildlife Ecology); and her PhD from the same University (Veterinary Sciences/Toxicology). Dr. Sepúlveda’s research focuses on understanding the sublethal effects of legacy and emerging pollutants to fish and wildlife. Her laboratory uses a diverse number of animal models and techniques to advance the field of aquatic toxicology.


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Elizabeth (Lizz) Allmon

Lizz completed her B.S. in Biology and Ecological Sciences at Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV in 2012 and her M.S. in Marine Science at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas, TX in 2015. She earned her PhD in Aquatic Toxicology as a member of the Sepulveda Lab at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN in 2021. Her research includes fish physiology, ecotoxicology, responses to contaminants and abiotic stressors, transcriptomics, acid-base physiology, cardiac development, and immune responses in fish. Currently, she is involved in the Florida pompano project with the USDA and Florida Atlantic University where she is assessing salinity tolerances and the effects of salinity on the immune response in juvenile pompano.

Hoskins holding a fish

Tyler Hoskins

Ty obtained his B.S. in Biology from Butler University in Indianapolis and his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology from Miami University, in Oxford OH. He is studying accumulation and effects of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) on aquatic and estuarine wildlife. Current projects include establishment of PFAS toxicity reference values for amphibians, effects of PFAS on brain accumulation and neurotransmission, assessment of biosolid-derived PFAS in farm pond ecosystems, evaluation of PFAS toxicity to blood midges with emphasis on developing QSAR models for hemoglobin binding, and in vitro metabolism of precursor PFAS in aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates.

Sini Infront of a pond

Sini Macheri

Sini obtained her DVM from Kerala Agricultural University, India in 2008, and a MS in Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, India in 2012. Sini is working with PFAS with fish and amphibians.

Laboratory Managers

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Matthew Hamilton

Matt manages the Aquatic Sciences labs on campus in the Forestry Building. Matt obtained his first B.S. in 2008, Organizational Leadership & Supervision, Purdue University, IN and the got a
B.S., 2012, Wildlife Science, Purdue University, IN, and got a
M.S., 2016, Wildlife and Forest Resources, University of Georgia, GA

Abigail with a bird

Abigail Valachovic

Abby manages and facilitates the building and labs at the new Wildlife Ecology Research Facility (WERF) out at Purdue Wildlife Area. Abby received her B.S. in Biology from Union College in Schenectady, NY in 2020 and her M.S. in biology from Miami University of Ohio in May 2022. Abby’s master’s thesis research focused on understanding the role a nuclear receptor pathway (PPAR) on fat accumulation and mobilization in the migratory Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis).

Graduate Students

Anna Bushong

Anna received her B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Centre College in Danville, KY in 2021. Her master’s thesis research is focused on elucidating the effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on lipid metabolism using the amphibian model Xenopus laevis (African Clawed Frog).

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Erin Christian

Erin graduated with her B.S. in Wildlife Biology and Rehabilitation at Lees-McRae College in NC. Her M.S. work focuses on the effects of PFAS and hypoxia on midges in the Great Lakes.

Meredith Scherer

Meredith is currently a M.S. student examining the neurotoxicity of PFAS in Northern leopard frogs and the toxicokinetic of PFAS in Xenopus laevis. She received her B.S. in Biology from Purdue University.

Undergraduate Students

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Sophia Horn

Sophia is a junior majoring in Biology at Purdue’s College of Science. She leads a genetic sexing project with the purpose of adding sex as a covariate to our ecotoxicology projects involving the species Xenopus Laevis.

Trip holding a catch

Trip Newton

Trip is in her fourth year as a Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences major at Purdue. She is helping with PFAS research with amphibians.