Endocrine Disrupting Compounds and Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomeiu) in the Juniata River: a frontier in fisheries research

Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) have the ability to mimic estrogen in many aquatic organisms and pollute waterways across the globe. Here, I investigated pollution of agricultural herbicides including Atrazine, which has been outlawed in the European Union for its environmental harm. My thesis documented regionally high concentrations of endocrine disrupting compounds in ecologically important tributaries, alongside 100% vitellogenin presence in male smallmouth bass, and potential morphological vulnerabilities due to cascading food web effects.

Martin B, and Grant C. 2019. Potential Threats to Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) in the Juniata River Basin, Pennsylvania, USA. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 34(1), 591–602. https://doi.org/10.1080/02705060.2019.1642244

 

SENIOR THESIS

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Geometric morphometrics showed potential food web vulnerabilities in EDC polluted streams

Vitellogenin was confirmed in 100% of male smallmouth bass blood samples. Vitellogenin is a egg protein precursor expressed in female fishes.

Polar Organic Integrative Samplers (POCIS) were used to collect an integrative estimate of EDC pollution throughout the Juniata River Basin, Pennsylvania

Morphological Variation in Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) from Pennsylvania and Maine
  • Found significant differences in body morphology between two states

  • Maine bass had smaller jaws and wider caudal peduncles with potential for suction feeding implications as opposed to Pennsylvania's ram feeding morphologies

Hall ES, Martin BE, Brubaker K,  Grant CJ. 2018. Latitudinal variation in the geometric morphology of the largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides. Marine and Freshwater Research. 69(9), 1480-1485.

Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction (fracking) on Brook Trout in North Central Pennsylvania
  • Investigated potential degradation of brook trout communities alongside natural gas development and extraction

  • Noted significantly decreased pH, fish diversity, and trout abundance in relation to density of fracking wells and well pad density

Grant CJ, Hall E, Martin B. 2017. Fracked fish? Effects of Unconventional Natural Gas

Extraction on wild brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Wild Trout XII Proceedings: Science, politics, and wild trout management. Vol. 12.

Abnormalities Map Turtles that Nest Along the Juniata River, Pennsylvania
  • Investigated shell abnormalities in a population of adult map turtles

  • Utilized geometric morphometrics to verify shell shape abnormalities

Nagle RD, Rowe CL, Grant CJ, Sebastian ER,  Martin, BE. 2018. Abnormal Shell Shapes in Northern Map Turtles of the Juniata River, Pennsylvania, USA. Journal of Herpetology, 52(1), 59-66.