The ELF lab explores a range of organismal and environmental health issues. Over the past 18 years, the ELF lab has been funded over $6.5 million to carry out oil spill and industrial contaminant pollution research, nationally and internationally. While the most fundamental research done in our lab is the quantification of environmental levels of organic contamination from petroleum, PCBs, flame retardants, pesticides and other industrial contaminants, we are also strongly engaged in developing novel techniques for understanding cause and effects of stressors on species, populations and overall environmental health.  Towards this end, we develop and employ a variety of cutting edge approaches based on human health models. Our lab supports environmental conservation through biochemical assessment technique innovation. Our ultimate challenge is to develop technologies that allow us to effectively identify key biological attributes of health assessment, like fatty acid composition and lipid class characterization, compromises of immune function and fertility potential, measuring genotoxicity and predicting heritable responses from exposure to a variety of environmental stressors. These stressors are often the result of organic contaminants in water, sediments, air and organisms but also include noise, climate change, salinity and pH changes. Large scale exposure studies of select marine organisms exposed to a suite of stressors resulting in targeted responses are compared with field collected samples to be able to elucidate pathways of adverse outcomes to the response. The organisms we study range from polychaete worms to Arctic whales and polar bears. The geographic range of our projects extends from the Arctic to the Caribbean, north and south and from Malalysia to Europe, west and east. Defining a health status diagnostic panel evaluation for wildlife using a suite of key biological parameters is our main goal in order to be able to support wildlife health, conservation and management.  

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