I am interested in the exposure and effects of contaminants including current-use pesticides and other endocrine active compounds on fish and wildlife with a focus on amphibian populations.
I am an environmental organic chemist who has been working with the USGS since 2004. My current research focuses on the occurrence, fate and effects of emerging contaminants including current-use pesticides in the environment. I am the lead for the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative's Contaminants Project, the project coordinator of the "EDC effects on fish and wildlife in the Cheseapeake Bay Watershed" project through the Contaminants Biology Program, and a member of the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program's Pesticide Fate Research Team.
I received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1999 and a MSPH in Environmental Health Science from the University of South Carolina in 2003.
Science and Products
The background information required to support listing decisions is not always current or available, and additional information or tools to model potential future condition can greatly improve the confidence in Species Status Assessments. We are working closely with multiple partners to provide updated information, model potential outcomes, and identify key uncertainties relevant to amphibian...
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States and provides critical resources to fish, wildlife and people. For more than a decade, recreational fish species have been plagued with skin lesions and intersex conditions (the presence of male and female sex characteristics in the same fish) that biologists attributed to exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)....
Adult frog exposure to pesticides in aquatic and terrestrial habitats was quantified using a novel combination of radio telemetry and passive sampling techniques to better understand factors affecting frog health and survival in agricultural landscapes.
The endocrine system in animals produce hormones to regulate essential life processes, such as metabolism, tissue function, reproduction, and development. A large group of natural and synthetic chemicals are known to disrupt endocrine function. Examples include plant hormones, plastic components, flame retardants, surfactants, fragrances, pesticides, etc. Endocrine disrupting chemicals, or...
Point and Nonpoint Sources of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds and the Potential effects on Fish and Frogs in the New Jersey Pinelands
The New Jersey Water Science Center in collaboration with the New Jersey Pinelands Commission and Montclair University, conducted a 4 year study to assess the functional equivalency of ponds and stormwater basins in the New Jersey Pinelands by comparing indicators of hydrologic condition, water quality (including pesticides) and biological metrics (amphibian pathogens).
NJ WSC and Leetown Science Center scientists in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection were tasked with characterizing endocrine disruption in smallmouth bass from New Jersey.
Associations between environmental pollutants and larval amphibians in wetlands contaminated by energy-related brines are potentially mediated by feeding traits
Energy production in the Williston Basin, located in the Prairie Pothole Region of central North America, has increased rapidly over the last several decades. Advances in recycling and disposal practices of saline wastewaters (brines) co-produced during energy production have reduced ecological risks, but spills still...Smalling, Kelly L.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Honeycutt, R. Ken; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Preston, Todd M.; Hossack, Blake R.
Critical review: Grand challenges in assessing the adverse effects of contaminants of emerging concern on aquatic food webs
Much progress has been made in the past few decades in understanding the sources, transport, fate, and biological effects of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in aquatic ecosystems. Despite these advancements, significant obstacles still prevent comprehensive assessments of the environmental risks associated with the presence of CECs. Many...Nilsen, Elena; Smalling, Kelly L.; Ahrens, Lutz; Gros, Meritxell; Miglioranza, Karina S. B.; Pico, Yolanda; Schoenfuss, Heiko L.
Reconnaissance of mixed organic and inorganic chemicals in private and public supply tapwaters at selected residential and workplace sites in the United States
Safe drinking water at the point-of-use (tapwater, TW) is a United States public health priority. Multiple lines of evidence were used to evaluate potential human health concerns of 482 organics and 19 inorganics in TW from 13 (7 public supply, 6 private well self-supply) home and 12 (public supply) workplace locations in 11 states. Only uranium (...Bradley, Paul M.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Romanok, Kristin M.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Focazio, Michael J.; Brown, Juliane B.; Cardon, Mary C.; Carpenter, Kurt; Corsi, Steven R.; DeCicco, Laura A.; Dietze, Julie E.; Evans, Nicola; Furlong, Edward T.; Givens, Carrie E.; Gray, James; Griffin, Dale W.; Higgins, Christopher P.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R. ; Journey, Celeste A.; Kuivila, Kathryn ; Masoner, Jason R.; McDonough, Carrie A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Orlando, James L.; Strynar, Mark J.; Weis, Christopher P.; Wilson, Vickie S.
Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines
A research priority can be defined as a knowledge gap that, if resolved, identifies the optimal course of conservation action. We (a group of geographically distributed and multidisciplinary research scientists) used tools from nominal group theory and decision analysis to collaboratively identify and prioritize information...Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Adams, M.J.; Fisher, Robert N.; Grear, Daniel A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Walls, Susan C.; White, C. LeAnn
Effects of persistent energy-related brine contamination on amphibian abundance in national wildlife refuge wetlands
To inform sustainable energy development, it is important to understand the ecological effects of historical and current production practices and the persistence of those effects. The Williston Basin is one of North America's largest oil production areas and overlaps the Prairie Pothole Region, an area densely...Hossack, Blake R.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Preston, Todd M.; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Honeycutt, R. Ken
Exploring the amphibian exposome in an agricultural landscape using telemetry and passive sampling
This is the first field study of its kind to combine radio telemetry, passive samplers, and pesticide accumulation in tissues to characterize the amphibian exposome as it relates to pesticides. Understanding how habitat drives exposure in individuals (i.e., their exposome), and how that relates to individual health is critical to managing species...Swanson, Jennifer E.; Muths, Erin L.; Pierce, Clay; Dinsmore, Stephen J.; Vandever, Mark W.; Hladik, Michelle; Smalling, Kelly L.
An initial comparison of pesticides and amphibian pathogens between natural and created wetlands in the New Jersey Pinelands, 2014–16
A study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Jersey Pinelands Commission and Montclair State University, was designed to compare pesticide concentrations and the presence and prevalence of amphibian pathogens between natural ponds and two types of created wetlands, excavated ponds and stormwater basins, throughout...Smalling, Kelly L.; Bunnell, John F.; Cohl, Jonathan; Romanok, Kristin M.; Hazard, Lisa; Monsen, Kirsten; Akob, Denise M.; Hansen, Angela M.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Abdallah, Nicole; Ahmed, Quratulain; Assan, Araba; De Parsia, Matthew; Griggs, Amaryl; McWayne-Holmes, Megan; Patel, Naisargi; Sanders, Corey; Shrestha, Yesha; Stout, Sean M.; Williams, Brianna
Leaching and sorption of neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides from seed coatings
Seed coatings are a treatment used on a variety of crops to improve production and offer protection against pests and fungal outbreaks. The leaching of the active ingredients associated with the seed coatings and the sorption to soil was evaluated under laboratory conditions using commercially available corn and soybean seeds to study the fate and...Smalling, Kelly L.; Hladik, Michelle; Sanders, Corey; Kuivila, Kathryn
Placement of intracoelomic radio transmitters and silicone passive sampling devices in northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens)
Historically, wetland toxin exposure studies have relied on single time point samples from stationary sampling devices. Development of passive sampling devices (PSDs) that can be attached to individual animals within wetland habitats has greatly improved in recent years, presenting an innovative sampling technology that can potentially yield...Yaw, Taylor; Swanson, Jennifer E.; Pierce, Clay; Muths, Erin L.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Vandever, Mark W.; Zaffarano, Bianca Anne
Widespread legacy brine contamination from oil production reduces survival of chorus frog larvae
Advances in drilling techniques have facilitated a rapid increase in hydrocarbon extraction from energy shales, including the Williston Basin in central North America. This area overlaps with the Prairie Pothole Region, a region densely populated with wetlands that provide numerous ecosystem services. Historical (legacy) disposal practices often...Hossack, Blake R.; Puglis, Holly J.; Battaglin, William A.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Honeycutt, R. Ken; Smalling, Kelly L.
Amphibians, pesticides, and the amphibian chytrid fungus in restored wetlands in agricultural landscapes
Information on interactions between pesticide exposure and disease prevalence in amphibian populations is limited, especially from field data. Exposure to certain herbicides and insecticides has the potential to decrease the immune response in frogs, which can potentially lead to increased abundance of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) zoospores...Reeves, Rebecca A.; Pierce, Clay; Vandever, Mark W.; Muths, Erin L.; Smalling, Kelly L.
Expanded target-chemical analysis reveals extensive mixed-organic-contaminant exposure in USA streams
Surface water from 38 streams nationwide was assessed using 14 target-organic methods (719 compounds). Designed-bioactive anthropogenic contaminants (biocides, pharmaceuticals) comprised 57% of 406 organics detected at least once. The 10 most-frequently detected anthropogenic-organics included eight pesticides (desulfinylfipronil, AMPA,...Bradley, Paul M.; Journey, Celeste A.; Romanok, Kristin M.; Barber, Larry B.; Buxton, Herbert T.; Foreman, William T.; Furlong, Edward T.; Glassmeyer, Susan T.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R. ; Jones, Daniel K.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Kuivila, Kathryn M. ; Loftin, Keith A.; Mills, Marc A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Orlando, James L. ; Reilly, Timothy J.; Smalling, Kelly L. ; Villeneuve, Daniel L.
As wildlife diseases increase globally, an understanding of host-pathogen relationships can elucidate avenues for management and improve conservation efficacy. Amphibians are among the most threatened groups of wildlife, and disease is a major factor in global amphibian declines.