Research

You can get a copy of my CV here.

Current research: Ecotoxicology of neuroactive pharmaceuticals

Neuroactive drugs (including  drugs like antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiety medication, etc.) are a rapidly growing group of pharmaceuticals in the developed world. People who are taking these drugs excrete small amounts into municipal water systems, which collect and concentrate these drugs. Due to ineffective wastewater treatment methods, many of these drugs (and their metabolites) end up in the aquatic ecosystems, and sometimes even in drinking water. We’re seeing more and more of these drugs being detected in surface waters around the world. While these drugs are still at fairly low concentrations (typically less than 1 ug/L of surface water), this has only recently become a concern for us and thus the issue has not been well studied.

My current research focuses on evaluating the potential impacts neuroactive pharmaceuticals derived from wastewater effluent might have on fish development and behavior.

I’m studying this issue by using a combination of behavioral neurobiology, molecular biology, and quantitative modeling to begin to address the potential impacts these pharmaceuticals might have on the environment. 

Previous research

My research experience spans may ecosystems and systems: from the Coastal Range in California, to invertebrates in coastal ecosystems, to the laboratory. I’ve worked extensively in the field with black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus), eastern fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus), solitary tunicates (Ascidia ceratodes and Ciona intestinalis) and various laboratory fish species (Delta smelt, Japanese medaka, sheepshead minnows, zebrafish). If you’re interested, just ask!