Aquatic toxicology research at TIEHH currently involves a number of our faculty as well as collaborations with faculty in other departments at Texas Tech University. One of the primary goals and applications of most of the aquatic toxicology research at TIEHH is to expand the knowledge base of the fate and effects of anthropogenic stressors in order to accurately assess and minimize exposure risk to species and communities within the aquatic environment. In general, research has addressed the fate and effects of contaminants and other anthropogenic stressors on aquatic vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant species. Effect endpoints have ranged from physiological to ecological, while anthropogenic stressors have included numerous classes of pesticides, energetic compounds, persistent organic compounds, nanomaterials, and abiotic stressors. One current research focus area within the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory addresses questions that lie at the interface of aquatic toxicology and aquatic ecology, utilizing a variety of tools and approaches from each of these fields. The goal is to improve our understanding of the influence of anthropogenic stressors such as contaminants on ecological processes. Our laboratory is equipped for conducting a variety of experiments ranging from multi-species microcosm experiments to standardized toxicity testing, with equipment support for quantifying physicochemical parameters and sample preparation for chemical analysis. In addition, laboratory-based research has often been complemented with field-based aquatic assessments and research effort.
Current Research Projects:
• Interaction of predation/competition stress and contaminants in aquatic invertebrates
• Effects of nanomaterials on toxicity of organic contaminants: sublethal responses in aquatic organisms
• Effects of environmental contaminants on reproduction and development of amphibians and reptiles
• Endocrine disruption in amphibians and reptiles
• Acute toxicity of metal oxide nanomaterials on an amphibian model
• Fate and partitioning of perchlorate and explosives in constructed wetlands
• Agrichemical resistance in fairy shrimp, Thamnocephalus platyurus
• Potential toxicity effects of fullerenes on algae
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The Department of Environmental Toxicology (ENTX) is the academic home for the core faculty of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) and the Institute for Forensic Science (IFS) at Texas Tech University. TIEHH and IFS provide faculty and graduate students opportunities for multidisciplinary research and scholarly engagement related to environmental, forensic and human health sciences.