Columbia Environmental Research Center

Fish and Invertebrate Toxicology

CERC scientists develop, apply, and validate methods for assessing the bioavailability and toxicity of contaminants in aquatic systems. Our research focuses on bioaccumulation and toxicity of contaminants from water, sediment, and food; the physical, chemical, and biological factors affecting these processes; and relationships between lab responses and characteristics of contaminated aquatic ecosystems. Current studies include developing toxicity bioassay methods using sensitive species such as freshwater mussels, incorporating bioavailability processes to accurately assess exposure to contaminants, and improving the confidence of water and sediment guideline values.  These methods and state-of-the-art techniques are applied to assess environmental contamination, bioavailability, and toxicity to inform risk within environmental risk assessment and utilized for injury determination in support of the DOI's Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program.

Jeffery Steevens, PhD, Branch Chief

Filter Total Items: 3
Date published: July 25, 2018
Status: Active

Validation of Zinc and Nickel Biotic Ligand Models Based on Toxicity Testing in Natural Waters with Ceriodaphina dubia

Most states use outdated hardness-based criteria to regulate metals in surface waters. The slow adoption of new criteria based on biotic ligand models (BLMs) reflects uncertainty about whether these models can reliably predict toxic effects of metals on aquatic biota across the wide range of water quality conditions affecting bioavailability.

Contacts: John Besser, Ph.D., Chris Ivey, Danielle Cleveland, Ph.D., Chris Schlekat, Eric VanGenderen
Date published: July 25, 2018
Status: Active

An Evaluation the Chronic Toxicity of Metals in Water and Sediment to the Unionid Mussel, Fatmucket (Lampsilis siliquoidea), in Exposures Representing Conditions in the Tri-States Mining District

The Tri-State Mining District (TSMD) is a large (about 500 sq. mi.) historical lead and zinc mining area that includes portions of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The TSMD yielded about 460 million tons of ore between 1885 and 1970, resulting in contamination of surface water, groundwater, sediments, and soils in the Spring River and Neosho River basins by lead, zinc, and other heavy metals....

Contacts: John Besser, Ph.D., Danielle Cleveland, Ph.D., James Kunz, Dave Mosby, Suzanne Dunn, Heidi Dunn
Date published: July 24, 2018
Status: Active

An assessment of Deep Fork River Effluent Toxicity to the Unionid Mussel Fatmucket (Lampsilis siliquoidea)

Nearly 70% of the 300 mussel species in North America are endangered, threatened, of special concern, or extinct. Environmental contaminants have been identified as a contributing factor to the decline of mussel populations.

Contacts: Ning Wang, James Kunz, Suzanne Dunn, David Martinez