John Besser, Ph.D.

Biography

Dr. John M. Besser is a research scientist in the Toxicology branch at the Columbia Environmental Research Center in Columbia Missouri, where he has been employed by USGS (and formerly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) since 1985.  He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Michigan State University in 1995 and holds degrees from the University of Missouri and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  John has over 20 years of research experience in in sediment toxicology, with an emphasis on metal bioavailability in sediments.  Other research interests include food-web transfer and dietary toxicity of trace elements, and relationships between laboratory toxicity and responses of aquatic communities.  John has acted as member and leader of multidisciplinary research teams investigating mining impacts on aquatic biota throughout the United States, including efforts supported by the USGS Abandoned Minelands Initiative, the Superfund program, and the National Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) program.  He is author or co-author of over 75 peer-reviewed scientific publications and over 90 technical presentation. His current research focuses on the effects of hard-rock mining and smelting on freshwater mussels and other benthic organisms and on the influence of water quality on toxicity of metals to aquatic biota.

Education

Ph.D. Fisheries and Wildlife-Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University, 1995

M.S. Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1985

B.S. Environmental Science/Biology, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 1979

Professional Experience

1995-present  Research Fish Biologist, USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, MO. 

1990-95 Student Trainee (Biology), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/National Biological Service, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.  

1985-1990 Fisheries Biologist (Research), National Fisheries Contaminant Research Center, Ecotoxicology Section, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbia, MO. 

1982-1985 Research Assistant/Research Associate, University of Missouri-Columbia, Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, Columbia, MO.  

1980-1982 Biological Aide, National Fisheries Contaminant Research Center, Field Research Laboratory, LaCrosse, WI.