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Insights into the impact of emerging contaminants in marine and freshwater ecosystems: perspectives into contaminant ecology

Seminar speaker, Dr. Austin Gray, smiling and wearing a dark gray suit jacket over a light blue button-down shirt
Thursday, January 26, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Austin Gray, PhD, Virginia Tech
Integrated Toxicology & Environmental Health Seminar Series

Human activity has profoundly influenced the environment on a global scale. As a result of sustaining our planet's growing population, we have increased our use of synthetic chemicals and organic contaminants. Due to emerging contaminants like pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and microplastics, aquatic systems are hot spots for pollution. The continued release of these contaminants has resulted in an alteration to biodiversity and ecosystem processes and functions. As urbanization extends into previously unimpacted areas, it is necessary to better understand the ecological consequences of emerging contaminants. Topics my research has focused on span from assessing the acute toxicity of eco-friendly or "green" personal products before and after degradation, microplastic contamination in inland and coastal waters, comparative assessment of microplastic impact on marine and freshwater organisms, and the presence/impact of antibiotics on environmental health. Although research centered around ecotox has been historically categorized or referenced by funding agencies as "applied research" instead of basic science. Institutions must recognize universally that contaminants act as agents of global change, impacting multiple parts of the biosphere.

This seminar will be held in Field Auditorium (room 1112), Grainger Hall.
Visit the seminar website for a livestream link to tune in virtually.

Contact: Alexis Sharp