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Contact Information:
University of North Texas
Dept. of Biological Sciences
1155 Union Circle #310559
Denton, TX 76203-5017
Office: 940-369-8392
Fax: 940-565-4297


Click here for my CV.

Research Interests

My research interests lie in the areas of aquatic toxicology and fish physiology. Specifically, I study the impacts of stressors from both anthropogenic (i.e., pollutants, such as crude oil and metals) and natural (e.g., salinity, pH and temperature) sources, as well as their interactions, on aquatic organisms. I use an integrative approach to understand the mechanisms of toxicity, studying effects from the molecular to the organismal level. I am also interested in studying the swimming and respiratory physiology of fishes and how the stressors mentioned above may impair these important physiological functions.

Recent Research

Most recently my research has focused on examining the acute and chronic effects in commercially important pelagic fish species that result from exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the primary class of toxic agents released from crude oil. Specifically, I am characterizing the PAH concentrations that cause acute mortality during the most sensitive early life stages (i.e., embryonic and larval), as well as examining the long-term effects of PAH exposure by evaluating various physiological parameters. Previous research has shown that exposure to PAHs during the early life stages of fishes cause various developmental abnormalities, most notably cardiac deformations, that may ultimately impair the ecological fitness of fish populations by reducing swimming performance (e.g. by affecting migration, foraging and/or predator avoidance). I am investigating such potential effects on swimming performance and aerobic scope using swim tunnel respirometery and evaluating impairment to cardiac development utilizing in vivo microscopic morphometrics.

Read more here about recent research by PhD student, Fabrizio Bonatesta, investigating the effects of crude oil exposure on early life stage kidney development and function in fishes.

Read more here about recent research by PhD student, Cameron Emadi, in collaboration with TPWD investigating the swimming performance of four TX fish species of greatest conservation need.

Juvenile mahi-mahi in a miniature swim tunnel respirometer.