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Bio. Sci. Seminar - Gordon Paterson

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Thursday, October 17, 2019 3 pm to 4 pm

This is a past event.


Gordon Paterson
Assistant Professor 
Biological Sciences  
Michigan Tech University  

Presentation Title: Fingerprinting fishes: What legacy pollutants can tell us about Great Lakes fish populations

Abstract: Historical pollution of Great Lakes ecosystems with persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) has left a legacy of contamination that continues to pose risks to aquatic and terrestrial species and human consumers to this day.  For fishes, the primary path of exposure to these pollutants is through dietary consumption and assimilation.  Further, the highly recalcitrant nature of these pollutants coupled with extremely long half-lives in fish tissues renders these pollutants as lifetime indicators of prey and diet energy consumption.  Through relatively simple chemical extraction procedures and analytical instrumentation techniques, it is routine to quantify 50+ individual PCB congeners and chlorinated pesticides in Great Lakes fish tissues.  In this study, we demonstrate how these pollutants can be used to discriminate among individual fishes, populations and species in Lakes Huron and Ontario.  Specifically, concentrations and proportions of these types of pollutants quantified in fish tissues provide insight into species resource partitioning and also individual and population level responses to environmental stressors such as invasive species introductions.

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