Project 3 – Developmental PAH Exposures in Fish: Mechanisms of Toxicity, Adaptation, and Later Life Consequences
What do we do?
This project is based on our long relationship with a Superfund site on the Elizabeth River in Virginia at the Atlantic Wood Industries, Inc. site, where polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were discharged into the river from this wood treatment facility. A species of native fish, killifish, that were found at the site had developed resistance to the PAHs in the river. Mainly, these fish show resistance to developmental cardiovascular defects; however, they may show other health problems later in life. Now, even though the site is in the process of being remediated, we continue to study how the developed resistance to PAHs may, in fact, be a “cost” to the killifish. We will also try to understand how the resistance occurs and how exposure to PAHs at levels below those able to cause cardiovascular defects may affect killifish in later life stages.
How do we do it?
We are looking at killifish exposure to PAHs in two different ways. The first is to look at a real world population that has developed resistance over several generations of exposure in the Elizabeth River. The second is to catch killifish caught from a “control” site (meaning the water is not contaminated with PAHs or other contaminants) in King’s Creek, bring them back to the lab, and control the levels of PAHs to which they are exposed.
Who are we?
Dr. Richard Di Giulio
Dr. David Hinton
Dr. Joel Meyer
Dr. Bryan Clark, post-doctoral student
Dr. Joshua Osterberg, post-doctoral student
Dr. Nishad Jayasundara, post-doctoral student
Dan Brown, PhD candidate
Audrey Bone, PhD candidate
Alex Ji, Meyer lab manager