Contaminant Biology

Publications

Dive into our publications and explore the science from the Environmental Health Program (Toxic Substances Hydrology and Contaminant Biology).

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

The GeoHEALTH–USGS Newsletter—published since 2004—provides information on USGS science activities pertinent to safeguarding the health of fish, wildlife, domesticated animals, and people from environmental exposures to contaminants and pathogens.

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Featured Science Activities

Featured Science Activities

Learn about our Featured Science Activities through our pages that highlight recent studies, publications, and results.

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Filter Total Items: 438
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Year Published: 2018

Temporal evaluation of estrogenic endocrine disruption markers in smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) reveals seasonal variability in intersex

A reconnaissance project completed in 2009 identified intersex and elevated plasma vitellogenin in male smallmouth bass inhabiting the Missisquoi River, VT. In an attempt to identify the presence and seasonality of putative endocrine disrupting chemicals or other factors associated with these observations, a comprehensive reevaluation was...

Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Pinkney, A.E.; Guy, C.P.; Major, A.M.; Munney, K.; Blazer, Vicki S.; Alvarez, David; Walsh, Heather L.; Sperry, Adam J.; Sanders, Lakyn R.; Smith, D. R.
Iwanowicz, Luke R. et al. "Temporal Evaluation Of Estrogenic Endocrine Disruption Markers In Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus Dolomieu) Reveals Seasonal Variability In Intersex". Science Of The Total Environment, vol 646, 2018, pp. 245-256., doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.167.

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Year Published: 2018

Female hatchling American kestrels have a larger hippocampus than males: A link with sexual size dimorphism?

The brain and underlying cognition may vary adaptively according to an organism’s ecology. As with all raptor species, adult American kestrels (Falco sparverius) are sexually dimorphic with females being larger than males. Related to this sexual dimorphism, kestrels display sex differences in hunting and migration, with females ranging more widely...

Guigueno, Melanie F.; Karouna-Renier, Natalie K.; Henry, Paula F. P.; Head, Jessica A.; Peters, Lisa E.; Palace, Vince P.; Letcher, Robert J.; Fernie, Kimberly J.
Guigueno, M. F., Karouna-Renier, N. K., Henry, P. F. P., Head, J. A., Peters, L. E., Palace, V. P., Letcher, R. J., and Fernie, K. J., 2018, Female hatchling American kestrels have a larger hippocampus than males: A link with sexual size dimorphism?: Behavioral Brain Research, v. 349, p. 98-101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2018.04.037

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Year Published: 2018

Toxicity assessment of sediments collected upstream and downstream from the White Dam in Clarke County, Georgia

The White Dam in Clarke County, Georgia, has been proposed for breaching. Efforts to determine potential risks to downstream biota included assessments of sediment collected in the vicinity of the dam. Sediments collected from sites upstream and downstream from the dam were evaluated for toxicity in 42-day exposures using the freshwater amphipod...

Lasier, Peter J.
Lasier, P.J., 2018, Toxicity assessment of sediments collected upstream and downstream from the White Dam in Clarke County, Georgia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1036, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181036.

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Year Published: 2018

Critically assessing the utility of portable lead analyzers for wildlife conservation

Lead (Pb) exposure in wildlife is a widespread management and conservation concern. Quantitative determination of Pb concentrations in wildlife tissues is the foundation for estimating exposure and risk. Development of low‐cost, portable instruments has improved access and cost‐effectiveness of determining Pb concentrations in blood samples, while...

Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Bedrosian, Bryan; Craighead, Derek; Domenech, Robert; Langner, Heiko W.; Parish, Chris N.; Shreading, Adam; Welch, Alacia; Wolstenholme, Rachel
Herring, G., Eagles-Smith, C.A., Bedrosian, B., Craighead, D., Domenech, R., Langner, H.W., Parish, C., Shreading, A., Welch, A., Wolstenholme, R., 2018, Critically assessing the utility of portable lead analyzers for wildlife conservation: Wildlife Society Bulletin, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1002/wsb.892.

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Year Published: 2018

Assessment of skin and liver neoplasms in brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) collected at the Ashtabula River Area of Concern and associated reference site, Ohio, in 2016

Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) is a commonly used indicator species for tumor surveys at Great Lakes Areas of Concern. The “fish tumors or other deformities” is one of the beneficial use impairments at the Ashtabula River Area of Concern. In May 2016, 150 brown bullhead were collected in the lower Ashtabula River and 150 were collected in the...

Blazer, Vicki S.; Walsh, Heather L.; Braham, Ryan P.
Blazer, V.S., Walsh, H.L., and Braham, R.P.. 2018 Assessment of skin and liver neoplasms in brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) collected at the Ashtabula River Area of Concern and associated reference site, Ohio, in 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1072, 18 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181072.

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Year Published: 2018

Science support for evaluating natural recovery of polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations in fish from Crab Orchard Lake, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois

IntroductionCrab Orchard Lake in southern Illinois is one of the largest and most popular recreational lakes in the state. Construction of the nearly 7,000-acre reservoir in the late 1930s created employment opportunities through the Works Progress Administration, and the lake itself was intended to supply water, control flooding, and provide...

Kunz, Bethany K.; Hinck, Jo Ellen; Calfee, Robin D.; Linder, Greg L.; Little, Edward E.
Kunz, B.K., Hinck, J.E., Calfee, R.D., Linder, G.L., and Little, E.E., 2017, Science support for evaluating natural recovery of polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations in fish from Crab Orchard Lake, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1006, 20 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181006.

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Year Published: 2018

Examining speed versus selection in connectivity models using elk migration as an example

ContextLandscape resistance is vital to connectivity modeling and frequently derived from resource selection functions (RSFs). RSFs estimate relative probability of use and tend to focus on understanding habitat preferences during slow, routine animal movements (e.g., foraging). Dispersal and migration, however, can produce rarer, faster movements...

Brennan, Angela; Hanks, Ephraim M.; Merkle, Jerod; Cole, Eric; Dewey, Sarah; Courtemanch, Alyson B.; Cross, Paul C.
Brennan, A, EM Hanks, JA Merkle, EK Cole, SR Dewey, AB Courtemanch, and PC Cross. 2018. Examining speed versus selection in connectivity models using elk migration as an example. Landscape Ecology. 00:000-000

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Year Published: 2018

Acquisition and dissemination of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli in migratory birds sampled at an Alaska landfill as inferred through genomic analysis

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacterial pathogens threatens global health, though the spread of AMR bacteria and AMR genes between humans, animals, and the environment is still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the role of wild birds in the epidemiology of AMR Escherichia coli. Using next-generation sequencing, we characterized...

Ahlstrom, Christina Ann; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Woksepp, Hanna; Hernandez, Jorge; Bjorn, Olsen; Ramey, Andrew M.

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Year Published: 2018

Reproductive success and contaminant associations in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) used to assess a Beneficial Use Impairment in U.S. and Binational Great Lakes’ Areas of Concern

During 2010-2014, tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) reproductive success was monitored at 68 sites across all 5 Great Lakes, including 58 sites located within Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs) and 10 non-AOCs. Sample eggs were collected from tree swallow clutches and analyzed for contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins...

Custer, Christine M.; Custer, Thomas W.; Etterson, Matthew A.; Dummer, Paul; Goldberg, Diana R.; Franson, J. Christian
Custer, C.M., Custer, T.W., Etterson, M.A., Dummer, P.M., Goldberg, D., Franson, J.C. 2018. Reproductive success and contaminant associations in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) used to assess a Beneficial Use Impairment in U.S. and Binational Great Lakes’ Areas of Concern. Ecotoxicology. 27:457-476. DOI: 10.1007/s10646-018-1913-9.

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Year Published: 2018

Disentangling the effects of low pH and metal mixture toxicity on macroinvertebrate diversity

One of the primary goals of biological assessment of streams is to identify which of a suite of chemical stressors is limiting their ecological potential. Elevated metal concentrations in streams are often associated with low pH, yet the effects of these two potentially limiting factors of freshwater biodiversity are rarely considered to interact...

Fornaroli, Riccardo; Ippolito, Alessio; Tolkkinen, Mari J.; Mykrä, Heikki; Muotka, Timo; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Schmidt, Travis S.
Riccardo Fornaroli, Alessio Ippolito, Mari J. Tolkkinen, Heikki Mykrä, Timo Muotka, Laurie S. Balistrieri, Travis S. Schmidt, Disentangling the effects of low pH and metal mixture toxicity on macroinvertebrate diversity, Environmental Pollution, Volume 235, 2018, Pages 889-898, ISSN 0269-7491.

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Year Published: 2018

Quantifying differences in responses of aquatic insects to trace metal exposure in field studies and short-term stream mesocosm experiments

Characterizing macroinvertebrate taxa as either sensitive or tolerant is of critical importance for investigating impacts of anthropogenic stressors in aquatic ecosystems and for inferring causality. However, our understanding of relative sensitivity of aquatic insects to metals in the field and under controlled conditions in the laboratory or...

Iwasaki, Yuichi; Schmidt, Travis S.; Clements, William H.
Iwasaki, Y., Schmidt, T.S., and Clements, W.H., 2018, Quantifying Differences in Responses of Aquatic Insects to Trace Metal Exposure in Field Studies and Short-Term Stream Mesocosm Experiments: Environmental Science & Technology, v.52, no.7, p.4378-4384. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b06628