Contaminants in Aquatic Ecosystems

As a society, we produce thousands of novel organic compounds a year.  Some of these compounds are wonderful panaceas for many common ailments.  Think of the emotional uplifting associated with taking Viagra for example.  Other chemicals are designed to make our lives pest-free or weed-free.  Regardless of the chemical, its use in our daily lives often results in unforeseen consequences to the ecosystem.  Because organic geochemistry involves being able to isolate and analyze organic chemicals in the environment, our group is able to assess just how much these chemicals may be affecting our ecosystem.

Our group tries to identify organic contaminant bioavailability and bioaccumulation in the environment.  In addition to polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons, many of which are toxic or carcinogenic, nasty pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls, our group also quantifies pharmaceuticals and personal care product chemicals in aquatic ecosystems.