Chemical Resistance of Sea Lampreys to TFM

Using a combination of toxicity tests coupled with next generation sequencing tools, we are studying whether sea lampreys have developed resistance to TFM which has been used to control lampreys in the Great Lakes for over 65 years.

Sea Lamprey

PI: Mark Christie
Funding: Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)

The objectives of this work are several-fold: 1) Develop toxicity reference values for PFASs in amphibians; 2) Decipher the mechanisms of toxicity of PFASs using several in vitro and in vivo models; and 3) to evaluate the effects of mixtures.

Fluorotelomer sulfonate Fluorotelomer sulfonate
PFAS Perfluorohexanoic sulfonate acid
Hoover GM et al. (2017) Uptake and depuration of four per/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in northern leopard frog Rana pipiens tadpoles. Environmental Science & Technology Letters 4:399-403.
Godfrey A et al. (2017) Thyroid disrupting effects of halogenated and next generation chemicals on the swim bladder development of zebrafish. Aquatic Toxicology 193:228-235. PubMed

PhD Students: Gary Hoover, DVM and Amy Godfrey
Funding: Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP, ER-2626), Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)

Digital Environment for Enabling Data-Driven Science (DEEDS)

We are building a web platform that provides a full spectrum of data services, connects data to computational resources and statistical software, and tracks research workflows to link data, algorithms and results.

Post-Doctoral Researcher: Wes Flynn
Funding: The National Science Foundation Award #1724728
PI: Ann Christine Catlin

Toxicology of Nanoplastics

We are evaluating the organ distribution of nanoplastics in zebrafish.
Schematic Diagram
Schematic diagram showing plastic pollution in the marine environment. Plastic waste moves into the oceans through waste water, river, and air and are broken down into micro and nanoplastics via abiotic and biotic processes. Persistent organic pollutants and metals can attach to their surface. Some settle to the benthos and are taken up by invertebrates and from there move up the food chain. Freshwater systems are also being polluted with plastics
PhD Student: Rui Zhang
Funding: China Scholarship Council and Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

Integrating Teleost Transcriptomes to Identify Ecologically meaningful Responses Following Oil Exposure

Using high throughput sequencing tools, we are identifying: 1) conserved patterns of response to oil across multiple species; 2) subtle effects resulting from exposure to oil that may have implications for future fisheries management practices, and; 3) novel hypotheses regarding the effects of oil on ecologically important fish species in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fundulus Grandis 
Gulf of Mexico Killifish
Sciaenops ocellatus
Red Drum
Micropogonias undulatus
Atlantic Croaker
MS Student: Maggie Wigren
PhD Student: Elizabeth Allmon
Funding: Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative RFP VI
PI: Robert J Griffitt

Temperature and Sex Differentiation in Fathead Minnows

We evaluated how temperature influences sex differentiation in fathead minnows. We induced non-directional sex reversal after exposing embryos and larvae from 0 h post fertilization to 45 days post hatch to fluctuating temperatures. Expression of hsp70 cycled with temperature.

Fathead Minnows
Fathead Minnows

Coulter D et al. (2015) Fluctuating water temperatures affect development, physiological responses and cause sex reversal in fathead minnows. Environmental Science and Technology 49:1921-1928. PubMed
Student: David Coulter (PhD) (was co-advised with Tomas Höök)
Funding: Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Fish Diseases

The objectives of this study was to determine the prevalence of diseases (virus, bacteria, and helminths) from exotic silver and bighead carps from the Wabash River, IN.

Diseases of Fishes

Student: Kensey Thurner (PhD) (major advisor: Reuben Goforth)
Thurner K, Goforth RR, Chen S, Amberg J, Leis E, Kinsella JM, Mahapatra C, Sepúlveda MS. (2017) Viruses, bacteria and helminths of invasive carp: Insights from an in vitro assay and a survey with native fishes in a large Midwestern River. Journal of Fish Pathology 30:000-000. 
Funding: Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs)

We quantified PPCPs at the Baca Wildlife Refuge, CO and evaluated their impact to native fish such as the Rio Grande chub. We also conducted laboratory experiments with fathead minnows and examined mechanisms of toxicity of DEET, triclocarban, cotinine, and complex mixtures.

Cleaning supplies
Zenobio JE et al. (2015) Presence and effects of pharmaceutical and personal care products on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado. Chemosphere 120:750-755. PubMed
Zenobio JE et al. (2014) Effects of triclocarban, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide and a mixture of pharmaceuticals and personal care products on fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 33:910-919. PubMed
Student: Jenny Zenobio (MS)
Funding: United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

Function of miRNA's in Daphnia pulex

We have identified and validated a set of miRNAs from D. pulex that are responsive to heavy metal exposure. 

Daphnia pulex
Daphnia pulex
Chen S et al. (2015) Novel cadmium responsive microRNAs in Daphnia pulex. Environmental Science and Technology 49:14605-14613. PubMed
Chen S et al. (2015) In silico prediction and in vivo validation of (Daphnia pulex) microRNAs. PLOS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083708. PubMed
Chen S et al. (2016). MicroRNAs are involved in cadmium tolerance in Daphnia pulex. Aquatic Toxicology 175:241-248. PubMed
PhD Student: Shuai Chen (co-advised by Krista Nichols)
Funding: Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University


Toxicology of Nanosilver

The objective of these studies was to assess the mechanism of vascular toxicity of nanosilver.

Silver nano particles from socks
Zebrafish larvee exposed to nano particles
PhD Student: Jiejun Gao


Gao J et al. (2015) Nanosilver coated socks and their toxicity to zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos. Chemosphere. 119:948-952. PubMed

Gao J et al. (2016) Vascular toxicity of silver nanoparticles to developing zebrafish (Danio rerio). Nanotoxicology 10:1363-1372.  PubMed

Gao J et al. (2017) Protein corona analysis of silver nanoparticles exposed to fish plasma. Environmental Science & Technology Letters 4:174-179.

Funding: China Scholarship Council and Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

Molecular Markers of Gonadal Development and Intersex

We developed a transgenic Japanese Medaka model for detecting estrogens and anti-estrogens in water.

AcGFP expression in OSP1-AcGFP transgenic medaka at 70 dph (A and C) and hematoxylin and eosin stained lateral sections in the same individuals showing the location of ovary (black arrow, B, D).

Abdel-Moneim A et al. (2015) Ovarian structure protein 1: A sensitive molecular biomarker of gonadal intersex in female Japanese medaka after androgen exposure. ET&C 34:2087-2094. PubMed
Abdel-Moneim A et al. (2015) Intersex in fishes and amphibians: Population implications, prevalence, mechanisms and molecular biomarkers. Journal of Applied Toxicology 35:1228-1240. PubMed
Abdel-Moneim A et al. (2018) In vivo visual reporter system for estrogenic contaminant exposure using transgenic see-through Japanese medaka Oryzias latipes. Chemosphere 201:251-253. PubMed 
Student: Ahmed Abdel-Moneim (PhD)
Funding: Egyptian Government, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University

Combined Effects of Abiotic Stressors and Oil Contaminants

We evaluated the combined effects of extreme dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity and oil on growth and survival of Fundulus grandis

Breeding Population
Gulf Killifish

MS Students: Jennifer Serafin & Christopher Klinkhammer
Rodgers ML et al. (2018) Combined effects of Deepwater Horizon crude oil and environmental stressors on Fundulus grandis embryos. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 37:1916-1925. PubMed
Funding: Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

Epigenetic Mechanisms of Atrazine

Using the zebrafish, we evaluated how a developmental exposure to atrazine results in later-in-life effects.

Epigenetic Mechanisms of AtrazineAtrazine

Wirbisky SE et al. (2015) Developmental origins of neurotransmitter and transcriptome alterations in adult zebrafish exposed to atrazine during embryogenesis. Toxicology 333:156-167. PubMed
Weber GJ et al. (2013) Transcriptome alterations following developmental atrazine exposure are associated with disruption of neuroendocrine and reproductive system function, cell cycle, and carcinogenesis. Toxicological Sciences 132:458-466. PubMed
Horzmann⁠ KA et al. (2018) Embryonic atrazine exposure elicits proteomic, behavioral, and brain abnormalities with developmental time specific gene expression signatures. Journal of Proteomics. In Press. PubMed


PI: Jennifer Freeman
Funding: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences