SPEAKER INFORMATION - Talk Title, Abstract, Bio


Title: Tomorrowland: The changing face of contaminants and monitoring in California

Abstract: Water quality monitoring has traditionally consistent of grab sampling plus analytical chemistry.  Historically long residence time chemicals such as PCB’s and Chlorinated Hydrocarbons were sampled through infrequent yet representative monitoring. With changes to more organic and short half-life chemicals, including pesticides, monitoring strategies have had to change as well. Additionally chemicals are present now in sub-lethal amounts, but concern over additive stressors are changing how we monitor and assess contaminates in the California waters.

Also new and emerging concerns are driving new monitoring efforts. Our awareness of Harmful Algal Blooms has led to more intensive monitoring and response.  Mercury, though not new, is still a concern in wildlife and fish, and to those who rely on sports fish for subsistence.  Urbanization and increasing populations has seen a corresponding increase in Emerging Chemicals of Concern such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, as well as increased use of urban pesticides to combat residential pests. My talk is how our monitoring assessment strategies are changing to adapt to these new concerns.

Bio:  Richard Scott Breuer has a B.S. in Agronomy, CSU Chico, and an M.S. in Integrated Pest Management from UC Davis. Research and management of land and water use, drinking and environmental water quality, and biological impact issues in California for 30 years. Department of Food and Agriculture 1986-1991. Worked on the Rice herbicide reduction program, which successfully created a reduction in mass loading of rice herbicides to the Sacramento River. California Department of Water Resources (DWR) 1991 to 2012. Managed the Municipal Water Quality Investigations (MWQI) Program drinking water research and monitoring program for 9 years.  Chief of Environmental Water Quality Estuarine Studies Branch for 8 years.  Managed the DWR component of the Interagency Ecological Program, including field and research staff, contract management, budgeting, work plan development and implementation .Currently the Assistant Director of the Office of Information Management and Analysis (OIMA) with the State Water Resources Control Board. This includes the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP), the California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS), and the California Environmental Data Exchange Network (CEDEN).


Title:  The roll of the microbiome in susceptibility to chronic pesticide exposure

Abstract:   Chronic pesticide exposure affects over one hundred million people world wide each year, and costs in excess of $1.2B per year in the United States alone. In metazoans, chemical exposures impact both the host and the microbiome. Many chemicals, including collateral dietary pesticides, resist host metabolism and are transformed primarily by microbes. Hence, health affects of pesticide exposures may be moderated by microbial metabolism. We applied a multi-omics, systems biology approach to map host-microbiome interactions during chronic pesticide exposure in two distant metazoas, the model organisms Mus musculus and Drosophila melanogaster. We studied the widely used herbicides paraquat, atrazine and glyphosate, and observed changes in host gene expression, microbiome community architecture, and the gut metabolome that occur during low and moderate dietary exposures. We identified host and microbial response pathways that mediate individual susceptibility. In Drosophila, we show through gnotobiotic and rescue experiments that the levels of Acetobacter tropicalis are predictive of robustness to Atrazine exposure, and trace that robustness to three genes encoded on a single plasmid. This study illustrates the importance of considering the microbiome in toxicology.       

Bio:   Prof. Brown is the Department Head for Molecular Ecosystem Dynamics in the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, and the inaugural Chair of Environmental Bioinformatics at the University of Birmingham, UK. He leads integrative analysis for the Consortium for Environmental Omics and Toxicology (CEOT), and is involved in the Microbes to Biomes Initiative, leading analysis for a project aimed at understanding host-microbiome interactions in adaption to environmental challenges. He is a founding member of the EcoFAB project, which aims to re-invent ecosystems biology through the innovation of reproducible bench-top ecologies. He has participated in the ENCODE Project since the Pilot, where his lab develops statistical and machine learning technologies to facilitate foundational genomic science. His lab studies how information encoded in genomes gives rise to complex systems at scales from cells to populations and ecosystems. This work is funded by the National Institutes of Health (USA), the Department of Energy (USA), the National Environmental Research Council (UK), and his company, Preminon, LLC. 


Title:  PhyloToxicology: breaking the artificial divide between human- and eco-toxicology

Abstract: Toxicology is traditionally pursued by two distinct research communities that either focus on human health or environmental health concerns. This division is arguably counter-productive, by splitting research and policy attention away from a common goal to understand how chemicals, advanced materials and their mixtures adversely impact biological processes, and how to best manage their potential health risks.  Considering the scale of the current problem, and realistic future projections, a shift to next-generation assays is both timely and necessary. The proposed solution is Phylogenetic Toxicology, which applies high-throughput toxicity testing with data-rich genomics assays applied to 3R compliant model species representing animal biology. These include biomedical and ecologically relevant organisms that altogether can deliver experimentally derived predictions of a chemical’s modes of actions and key events in the etiology of illness or injury. This solution to chemical risk assessment incorporates an important discovery made within the past 10 years in studies of the functional elements in animal genomes; a significant suite of elements and their functional associations for growth, maintenance and reproduction is shared among animals (including humans) representing over 60% of transcribed and epigenetically modified genomes. This crucial finding is reinvigorating the use of experimental, scientifically and legally accepted biomedical alternative model species for understanding the human condition. This finding also provides a proven platform for the necessarily big and transformative set of experiments that combine genomics, metabolomics, evolutionary theory, bioinformatics and toxicology to meet the regulatory challenges of today and tomorrow.

Bio:  John Kenneth Colbourne joined the University of Birmingham in 2012 and holds its inaugural Chair of Environmental Genomics. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, a founding member of the Daphnia Genomics Consortium (DGC) and Director of the Joint Centre for Environmental Omics (JCEO) in partnership with the China National GeneBank. Colbourne obtained his PhD in evolutionary biology (University of Guelph), was awarded a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (University of Oregon), then moved to Indiana University where he served as Genomics Director of the Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics (2005-12). During this time, his work was primarily funded by the U.S. NSF, NIH and DOE to help pioneer the application of genomics for the study of how the environment influences gene structures, interactions and gene functions, primarily using the freshwater crustacean Daphnia as an evolutionary, ecological and toxicological model system. This work, in conjunction with the global efforts of the DGC, resulted in Daphnia's designation as a biomedical model species by the US National Institutes of Health. His arrival in Birmingham sparks an industrial approach at obtaining comprehensive knowledge on the effects of synthetic compounds and emerging advanced materials on biology, using new genomic model species (Colbourne et al. 2011. Science 331: 555-561; Alföldi et al. 2011. Nature 477:587-591; Werren et al. 2010. Science 327:343-348; Reid et al. 2016. Science 354: 1305-1308). He received the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2012 for this work.

COLLIER, TRACY  (Delta Independent Science Board)

Title: Policy and management challenges related to chemical contaminants in the Delta

Abstract: California’s Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta is a critical source of water to much of the state, and water quality is carefully monitored for beneficial uses, especially for agriculture and drinking water.  However, other aspects of water quality, such as pesticide residues and chemicals in storm water and waste water, are not as carefully measured, and have potentially severe effects on animals and plants in the Delta.  In this presentation I will discuss the thorny issues that are raised due to a lack of information about these aspects of water quality.  An illustrative example is the relationship between chemical contaminants and disease in native fish, where it has been shown that sublethal exposures to chemical contaminants can markedly increase mortality rates in young salmon when pathogens are present.  As temperatures rise, and alter host–pathogen interactions in the Delta, chemical contaminants can be expected to exert even more pressure on already severely threatened fish populations.

Bio: Tracy Collier was the Science Director (2012-2014) for the Puget Sound Partnership, a Washington State agency charged with protecting and recovering Puget Sound, protecting ecosystem services that it provides, and with using science to inform management and policy.  He also served as the science advisor for NOAA’s Oceans and Human Health Initiative from 2010-2014.  He is beginning his second 5-year term on the Delta Independent Science Board in California, having just finished serving for 2 years as the chair of that Board.  Dr. Collier also is a technical advisor to NOAA and other natural resource trustees charged with assessing injuries to marine mammals and sea turtles after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  He has been consulting with Vietnam on regional planning in the Mekong River Delta, specifically to protect both wild capture and cultured fisheries, and he also consults with First Nations in British Columbia on environmental and human health risks associated with proposed pipeline projects.  Before having these positions he worked for more than 30 years at NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, ending up as the Director of the Environmental Conservation Division, where his research portfolio included environmental toxicology and chemistry, assessing oil spill impacts, harmful algal blooms, seafood safety, and watershed processes.  He 'retired' from that position in 2010, and plans to retire again some day.  Dr. Collier received his PhD from the University of Washington in 1988, and has over 160 scientific publications.


Title: Menidia beryllina as a model for estuarine health

Abstract: Estuaries and bays are increasingly becoming contaminated with multiple chemicals, some of which act as endocrine disruptors.   Many of these chemicals are routinely permitted in discharges and their receiving waters.  There are few analytical methods for contaminants of emerging concern (CECs); thus demanding newer quicker assays to determine whether these discharges should be of concern. In addition, there is concern that global warming will exacerbate the effects of contaminants.  The common silversides, Menidia beryllina, is an excellent sensitive model to determine the overall health of these waterways.  Silversides are small minnow type fish that inhabit San Francisco Bay and are sensitive to environmental contaminants. They exhibit temperature dependent sex determination.  Newly available genomic resources for this fish are enabling its use as a model for recovery of habitat.

Bio: Nancy Denslow is a professor in the Department of Physiological Sciences and in the Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology at the University of Florida.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  She was the past director of the Proteomics Core Facility in the Biotechnology Program at the University of Florida.  Nancy has pioneered the use of molecular technologies for environmental toxicology especially focusing on high throughput in vitro assays, biomarker development and toxicogenomics approaches for evaluating contaminants of emerging concern. She has used several fish models in her research to understand multiple stressors in the environment.   Nancy has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on 4 patents relating to protein factors, biomarkers for endocrine disruption and proteomics methodologies.  Nancy’s research has received funding from EPA, NSF, USGS and NIH.


Title: Developing mechanism-based biomarkers to assess the risk from multiple chemical exposures in fish

Abstract: A formidable task for aquatic toxicologists is developing and validating biomarkers to identify fish species at risk to toxicity in polluted estuaries, as well as identifying particular components of chemical mixtures that contribute most strongly to sublethal toxicity. These issues are relevant in estuaries that are receiving waters for emerging contaminants discharged through wastewater treatment plants, as well as in waterways impacted by mixtures of industrial chemicals and pesticides. We have addressed these issues using transdisciplinary approaches in the field and laboratory in Pacific salmon, which are ecologically important species at risk to chemical injury. Our salmon studies are augmented by studies in zebrafish, a well-defined laboratory model that is amenable to genetic manipulation and gene regulation techniques that are needed to validate the molecular biomarkers generated via toxicogenomics. The current talk will highlight case studies from our work that are identifying molecular biomarkers and cellular pathways that are targets of chemical exposures. Highlighted are genomics, microRNA and biochemical techniques applied to salmon and zebrafish that also incorporate an understanding of mechanisms of toxicity (e.g. cellular oxidative stress) for chemicals of interest.

Bio: Dr. Evan Gallagher is a Professor of Environmental Toxicology in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington, School of Public Health. Dr. Gallagher also serves as the Director of the UW NIEHS Superfund Research Program, and is a core faculty member in the University of Washington NIEHS Interdisciplinary Center for Exposures, Diseases, Genomics, and the Environment (EDGE), as well as the UW NIEHS Environmental Pathology/Toxicology Training Grant.  He received his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemical Toxicology from Duke University, and completed an NIEHS-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Environmental Carcinogenesis. He was formerly an Associate Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida.  He has been a recipient of the Sheldon D. Murphy Endowed Chair at the University of Washington, and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar award from CSIRO Land and Water (Australia).  Dr. Gallagher maintains an active research and teaching program in the area of molecular toxicology with an emphasis in aquatic toxicology, biochemical determinants of species’ differences in susceptibility, cellular oxidative stress, and molecular biomarkers. His current extramural funding support is through NIEHS, the Washington Department of Ecology, the National Science Foundation, and Washington Sea Grant.


Title: Biodiversity Genomics for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring

Abstract: Rapid advancements in genome technologies and computational tools have revolutionized biological sciences. The sheer volume of sequence information generated by a single DNA sequencing platform has increased almost 250 million times in less than a decade. Although this sequencing throughput has mainly been used for biomedical research and applications, the use of genomics technologies have also significantly aided biodiversity science. Comparative analysis of a small number of genes can provide a basis for the taxonomic identification of all species—from microbes to mammals. Over the last decade this “DNA barcoding” approach has gained much momentum and the global sequence database includes over 5M records from 0.5M species. Additionally, bulk DNA extracted from environmental samples (e.g. eDNA) such as soil or seawater have been shown to provide comprehensive biodiversity information of entire ecosystems. The widespread availability of genomics technologies and their automation-friendly nature further aid their rapid adoption by various stakeholders from academic researchers to regulatory agencies—and even to non-experts. The integration of biodiversity genomics in environmental monitoring programs will transform our ability to understand and manage the impact of various socio-economic activities on the environment at any setting.

Bio:  Dr. Mehrdad Hajibabaei is an expert in evolutionary/environmental genomics and bioinformatics. His research has focused on the use of genomics information in biodiversity analysis, ranging from the elucidation of deep branches of the tree of life to the establishment and application of marker genes (DNA barcodes) for species identification. Hajibabaei has been one of the pioneers in the use of high-throughput genomics technologies, such as Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) for the assessment of biodiversity in samples as varied as bulk environmental water, soil and sediments to food and natural health products. Hajibabaei has played a leadership role in establishing and managing large-scale research projects and collaborative networks such as the Canadian Barcode of Life Network and the International Barcode of Life (iBOL). Since 2011, Hajibabaei has been leading Biomonitoring 2.0 (www.biomonitoring2.org), a large-scale applied genomics project involving seven research groups. This project uses NGS technologies for comprehensive assessment of biodiversity in Canada’s priority ecosystems including regions exploited for Oil Sands operations. Hajibabaei has served on advisory and review panels for major initiatives (iBOL, NEON), international organizations (e.g. IUCN) and funding agencies, and has collaborated with regulatory agencies (e.g. US EPA, US FDA, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada) and various industries. Hajibabaei is currently the Associate Editor of four scientific journals. He has trained 9 Postdocs and 11 graduate students and his research publications have generated 7828 citations with an h-index of 34.


Title: Binding and inhibition of P-glycoprotein by persistent pollutants

Abstract:  P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is an evolutionarily conserved defense protein that functions to protect cells against xenobiotics, and which is well known for its important role in drug disposition of humans. Until recently little has been known about how this protein interacts with the panoply of environmental chemicals to which we are exposed. In this presentation I will report on the identification of specific congeners of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers that bind and inhibit mouse and human P-gp, the environmental levels of these congeners in fish, and on the first co-crystal structure of P-gp bound to a pollutant.  The results demonstrate the specific binding and inhibition of mammalian P-gp by ubiquitous congeners of persistent organic pollutants present in the human body, and argue for further consideration of transporter inhibition in the assessment of the risk of exposure to these chemicals.

Bio: Dr. Amro Hamdoun, is an Associate Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) of UC San Diego. He is a leading researcher in the fields of cell and developmental biology of marine organisms and xenobiotic transporter biology. The Hamdoun lab has conducted pioneering studies of the molecular interactions of the drug transporter P-glycoprotein with environmental contaminants and on the unconventional functions of xenobiotic transporters in developmental signaling.  Dr. Hamdoun earned his PhD at the University of California, Davis and completed his postdoctoral training at Stanford University. He was the recipient of the NIH Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award and the NIH Pathway to Independence Award. At SIO he has been the recipient of the Charles Kennel Career Development Award and the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award. He was named a Poptech Science and Public Leadership Fellow for public communication of science. He is a faculty member in the NIH funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) at UCSD (http://bit.ly/2gKgzOn). He is also a faculty member in the UCSD Department of Reproductive Medicine Oncofertility Science Academy, a program that serves minority high school girls (http://bit.ly/2gMpVIs).


Title: New molecular indicators for adverse impacts of oil spills in fish

Abstract:  Beginning with the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and with further stimulation from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, a major goal has been the development of molecular indicators for adverse outcomes in fish related to exposure to crude oil and other sources of PAHs. We have used both hypothesis-driven and exploratory functional genomics approaches to identify potential candidates. PAHs disrupt heart development in a dose-dependent manner, with higher levels leading to serious heart malformation and larval lethality, and lower levels leading to subtle heart malformation with prolonged physiological impacts in juvenile survivors. With these well-characterized effects as phenotypic anchors, we have identified potential molecular indicators of both acute and long-term adverse impacts in a variety of species, including salmonids, forage fish such as Pacific herring, and commercially important gadids such as Atlantic haddock. These studies may serve as a model for approaches to other pollutant adverse outcome pathways.

Bio:  John is the principle investigator for the Conservation Medicine Group within the Ecotoxicology Program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. John has a BS with Honors in Biology from Indiana University (1987), and a PhD in Genetics (1995) and MD degree (1996) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. From 1996 through 2001, he completed a fellowship in Birth Defects at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle, and post-doctoral research in developmental biology at the University of Washington, working on natural compounds that affect vertebrate development. According to his mother he has been a biologist since about age 2 when he was first allowed to roam their backyard in the rural Florida Panhandle. A fish biologist at heart, scuba diving in Washington’s Puget Sound rekindled his love for fish, especially big ugly ones like lingcod, cabezon and wolf eels that lurk in the cold, dark waters of the Pacific Northwest. A desire to apply his biomedical training to the conservation of marine natural resources in the Northwest drew him to the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, where he has been studying the effects of pollution on fish health since 2002. His team led NRDA fish studies for the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay and 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Title: Current-use pesticide mixtures in the San Francisco Bay/Delta

Abstract: Pesticide use in the San Francisco Bay/Delta is continually evolving and poses a potential threat to aquatic organisms, highlighting the need for up-to-date and robust data characterizing the occurrence of these contaminants. The USGS Pesticide Fate Research Group is currently conducting multiple research projects focused on understanding the occurrence of over 150 current-use pesticides in surface waters within the Delta watershed. Locations being sampled during these studies include small watercourses receiving runoff from adjacent agricultural lands or suburban neighborhoods, larger streams and rivers with direct input to the Delta, as well as sites located within sensitive habitats within the Delta. Data acquired during these projects shows that waters entering the Delta contain mixtures consisting of a wide variety of both agricultural and urban use pesticides, with a total of over 70 different fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and their degradates detected. The exact makeup of these pesticide mixtures varies seasonally due to changes in pesticide application patterns, as well as in response to rainfall and irrigation runoff events. In combination with associated toxicity testing results these data can provide valuable information to scientists and resource managers working to understand the occurrence of current-use pesticides in Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and their potential effects on aquatic organisms.

Bio: James Orlando (jorlando@usgs.gov) has been working as a hydrologist with the USGS Pesticide Fate Research Group since 1998. He received his M.S. in Geology from California State University: Sacramento in 2006. His research focuses on examining spatial and temporal trends of pesticide applications, and the concentrations of pesticides and other contaminants found in surface waters. Jim's research interests include using GIS to display, analyze and model environmental and anthropogenic variables in an effort to better understand their impacts on sensitive ecosystems.


Title: Supporting decision making through biological effects based monitoring of chemical stressors in water bodies in the Great Lakes Region

Abstract: While great progress has been made in restoring highly contaminated areas, an increasing number of chemicals are being released into the environment including personal care products and pharmaceuticals in addition to agricultural and industrial chemicals. The US the Army Corps of Engineers, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife, the US Geological Survey, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have developed a partnership to assess the potential impacts of these contaminants on fish and other ecological populations in the Great Lakes Region. We will present progress by this group in developing a tiered approach for biological effects based assessment of contaminants and applying a number of new tools to monitor the impacts of complex mixtures of chemicals in water bodies. In the laboratory, we are screening for chemical effects in field collected water using cell and fish embryo based assays combined with metabolomics and gene expression. To assess chemical stressor impacts in the field, we are combining exposures of caged fish, caged mussel, and field caught fish with water and tissue chemistry, biochemical assays, behavioral assays, metabolomics and gene expression assays. These assays have enabled us to identify specific biological effects caused by contaminants in water and link the presence of specific chemicals in mixtures to impacts on gene expression and metabolomics.  The data from these efforts is being integrated in an Adverse Outcome Pathway network and exposure pathway context to help decision makers understand the impact of complex chemical mixtures and the contribution of specific components in the mixtures.

Bio: Edward J. Perkins, Senior Research Scientist (ST), Environmental Networks and Genetic Toxicology, Environmental Laboratory, ERDC, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, MS.

Dr. Edward J. Perkins currently serves as Senior Research Scientist (ST) in Environmental Networks and Genetic Toxicology in Environmental Laboratory at the U.S. Corps Engineers Army Engineer Research and Development Center. Dr. Perkins received his PhD at Washington State University investigating the molecular biology of 2,4-D degradation by Alcaligenes eutrophus JMP4. Prior to joining ERDC, Dr Perkins worked in development of transgenic plants for phytoremediation and molecular measures of soil quality.  Dr. Perkins joined the ERDC Environmental Laboratory in 1996 where he established a genetics research lab to examine chemical impacts on a wide range of species including rat, bobwhite quail, Japanese quail, earthworms, fish (Fathead Minnow and Zebrafish), invertebrates (daphnia) and coral. His current work focuses on development and application of new tools and approaches for regulatory toxicology and understand the impact of chemicals on animals in the environment.


Title: Using Adverse Outcome Pathways to characterize mixture interactions of San Francisco Bay Delta contaminants on fish feminization and the potential impact of climate change as a non-chemical stressor

Abstract: Pelagic and commercial fisheries are in decline within the San Francisco Bay and Delta. While water content is viewed as a primary contributor to the decline, contaminants may also be playing a role in diminishing populations of fish.  To explore the potential role of endocrine disruption in the decline, a combination of in vitro cell-based bioassays coupled with in vivo laboratory fish bioassays were used to identify 4 compounds that when given in mixtures displayed feminization in vivo.  Using an Adverse Outcome Pathway paradigm, the modes of action of each agent was assessed to provide a better understanding of the mixture interactions as well as the potential impacts of climate change on endocrine targets which are shared by the contaminants. 

Bio: Daniel Schlenk, Ph.D. is Professor of Aquatic Ecotoxicology and Environmental Toxicology at the University of California Riverside.  Dr. Schlenk received his PhD in Toxicology from Oregon State University in 1989.  He was supported by a National Institute of Environmental Health Science postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University from 1989-1991.  A Fellow of AAAS, he has served on two Scientific Advisory Panels supported by the California State Water Board focused on the monitoring of recycled and surface waters for Emerging Contaminants.   Since 2016, he has been a permanent member of the USEPA Chemical Safety Advisory Committee and from 2007-2014, he was a permanent member of the USEPA FIFRA Science Advisory Panel which he Chaired from 2012-2014. He is currently an Associate Editor for Environmental Science and Technology, and ES&T Letters.  He was co-editor-in chief of Aquatic Toxicology from 2005-2011 and currently serves on its editorial board as well as the editorial boards of Toxicological Sciences, Marine Environmental Research. He has published more than 230 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters on identification of Molecular Initiating and Key Events within Adverse Outcome Pathways for emerging and legacy contaminants in wildlife and humans. He has particular expertise in the linkage of molecular and bioanalytical responses associated with neuroendocrine development and whole animal effects on reproduction, growth and survival.  He has been a recipient of the Ray Lankester Investigatorship of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; a visiting Scholar of the Instituto Del Mare, Venice Italy; a visiting Scholar in the Department of Biochemistry, Chinese University of Hong Kong; a Visiting Scientist at the CSIRO Lucas Heights Laboratory, in Sydney Australia,  a Distinguished Fellow of the State Key Laboratory for Marine Environmental Science of Xiamen University, China, and Outstanding Foreign Scientist at Sungkyunkwan University in Korea.  His research is His laboratory is funded from USGS, NIEHS (Superfund Research Program), USDA, and USEPA.


Title:  Stormwater runoff, complex chemical mixtures, and coho spawner mortality in urban watersheds

Abstract:  For more than a decade, NOAA and a network of partners in Puget Sound have been studying a syndrome of premature coho salmon spawner mortality in urban and urbanizing watersheds.  The effort has encompassed forensic investigations, population modeling, land cover and land use analyses, and the potential for clean water technologies (green stormwater infrastructure) to protect coho from the harmful effects of toxic runoff.  Recent research has also focused on the vulnerability of juvenile coho and their macroinvertebrate prey species.  Lastly, the team is closing in on the cause of death via detailed analyses of blood chemistry in healthy and symptomatic fish.  The collective results show how a high value, high visibility species (coho) can serve as a sentinel for degraded water quality, as well as an indicator of effectiveness for non-point source pollution reduction strategies.

Bio: Nat Scholz leads the Ecotoxicology Program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.  He joined the Center as a postdoc with the National Research Council (National Academies of Science) after completing a Ph.D. in (marine) zoology at the University of Washington.  He also holds masters and undergraduate degrees in biology from Boston University’s Marine Program in Woods Hole.