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Third year ITEHP, Nicholas School of the Environment PhD Student, Jessica Brandt has been awarded a 2016 EPA STAR (Science to Achieve Results) Fellowship in the amount of $132,000 for three years. The title of Jessica’s project is “Persistence of coal combustion residues in freshwater ecosystems and consequences for native biota.”
Jessica’s primary research goal is to address the legacy-specific consequences of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) in lentic waters that receive, or have historically received, coal-fired energy facility effluents. Jessica’s project involves a combination of of field work to collect water, sediment, primary producers, and fish from impacted and reference sites for contaminant analysis and laboratory-based toxicity research using fish model species. Her preliminary results suggest that these contaminants will be retained by, and impact, freshwater systems for many years even though the sources of contamination have been terminated.
Jessica’s advisers are Emily Bernhardt, Professor of Biology, and Richard T. Di Giulio, professor of environmental toxicology and Director of Duke University’s Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program.