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Opportunity at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Assessing the Effects of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals on Aquatic Organisms

Location

Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Div

RO# Location
22.02.06.B0399 Duluth, MN 55804

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Ankley, Gerald T ankley.gerald@epa.gov 218.529.5147

Description

Recent studies have suggested that animals in the environment may be adversely affected by low-level exposure to chemicals whose mode of action is to disrupt normal endocrine function. Although more widely publicized instances have involved feminization of male organisms or masculinization of females, contaminant-induced effects on endocrine systems are not restricted to these examples. This research focuses on identifying the types of chemicals that cause endocrine disruption, the mechanisms by which these disruptions occur, and the ecological consequences of the disruption on the population and community level. We are particularly interested in environmental contaminants that act within the gonadal or thyroidal systems, thus impairing normal development and reproduction. To better understand the potential importance of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, we need to develop laboratory assays to evaluate endocrine functions and relate these functions to responses at the organismal level. One aspect of this involves research as to the causes of endocrine disruption at the biochemical level to support structure/activity modeling to evaluate the key molecular characteristics associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals and subsequently predict potential activity of unknown chemicals. Methods also are needed to assess possible effects of endocrine-active chemicals in a field setting where animals are exposed to complex mixtures of chemicals. Model organisms include fish, amphibians, and possibly aquatic invertebrates, as well as in vitro systems.

 

Keywords:
Aquatic organisms; Amphibians; Fish and fisheries; Reproductive toxicology; Endocrine glands and processes; Water pollution;

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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