Patuxent Wildlife Research Center


Ecotoxicology is the study of how contaminants affect wildlife and their habitats. Chemicals of concern include both those purposefully released into the environment (for example, pesticides) and those that are inadvertently released (for example, mining waste or combustion exhaust).  Our research is helping to understand potential health hazards posed by chemicals used for pest and weed control, those used in agriculture and industry, and in processes such as mining or other energy development activities.  We study the connections between air, water, soil, and living things to identify the environmental pathways that expose wildlife to contaminants.

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Date published: April 11, 2018
Status: Active

Contaminants and Environmental Pathways

Living things are intricately connected to each other and to the air, water, and soil that surrounds them. Our research looks at how contaminants move through the environment and living things to understand the chemical and physiological processes and ecological factors that influence exposure and risk in wildlife.