Toxicologists and environmental chemists at VIMS use cutting-edge analytical instruments to detect, identify, and assess the risks of marine pollutants such as brominated flame retardants (PBDEs), Kepone©, heavy metals like mercury, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and tributyl tin (TBT).
Research sheds light on importance of submarine groundwater (November 2010)
Research by professor Aaron Beck suggests that flows of underground water may play a bigger role in marine ecosystems than previously thought.
Diaz briefs Congress on environmental effects of oil dispersants (July 2010)
VIMS professor Robert Diaz briefs Congress on the ecological effects of the chemical dispersants used in the Gulf oil spill.
Study can help minimize impact of dredge spoils (July 2010)
VIMS professor Linda Schaffner provides data that can help in-water disposal of dredge spoils proceed with minimal environmental impact.
VIMS helps bring science to Gulf spill (June 2010)
VIMS researchers and alumni are helping to craft the nation's immediate and long-term scientific responses to the Gulf oil spill.
Facilities Management earns wastewater awards (April 2010)
VIMS has received two prestigious awards in recognition of exemplary performance in managing wastewater on its 40-acre campus in Gloucester Point.
VIMS assists in oil-spill drill (October 2009)
Oil-spill exercise on the York River helps emergency-management teams better coordinate their responses to such an event.
VIMS researchers use contaminants to reveal origin of Atlantic tuna (October 2009)
Professor Rebecca Dickhut and colleagues use chemical contaminants to reveal the birthplace of bluefin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean.
Team detects deep-sea contamination (June 2008)
VIMS researchers have detected manmade contaminants in the tissues of deep-sea squid and octopi. The team's discovery helps explain elevated contaminant levels recently found in whales and other marine mammals, many species of which depend on deep-sea squid and octopi for food.
DDT persists in Antarctic ice (May 2008)
Research by VIMS graduate student Heidi Geisz and colleagues shows that DDT and its breakdown products persist within the tissues of Adélie penguins, three decades after use of the powerful pesticide was banned in most countries. The findings raise concern about the potential cumulative effects of contaminants on penguins and other Antarctic predators.
PBDEs in Chinese raptors (Feb 2007)
A study led by VIMS researchers Da Chen and Rob Hale reveals that birds of prey in China have some of the highest levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) ever recorded in an animal.
Dickhut puts pollutants to good use
Professor Rebecca Dickhut is attempting to use persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs and chlordane to help measure the degree of mixing between Mediterranean and western Atlantic stocks of bluefin tuna—a finding with important implications for management of the bluefin fishery
Biosensors promise new era in research
VIMS researchers are tapping the immune system’s power—and the latest advances in electronic instruments—to create antibody-based sensors that can recognize and bind with viruses, bacteria, and toxins.
Hale takes PBDE research to the air
VIMS Professor Dr. Rob Hale is collaborating with avian experts from around Chesapeake Bay to determine the exposure of osprey to new and traditional environmental contaminants
Research questions environmental safety of flame retardant
A study by VIMS graduate student researcher Mark La Guardia provides new evidence of the release and environmental accumulation of a common flame-retardant chemical. His findings come in light of a voluntary decision by the main U.S. manufacturer to discontinue production of two other closely related flame retardants.
TBT or not TBT: Collaborators Search for a Solution to Pollution
VIMS researcher Dr. Mike Unger and colleagues at ODU are developing a mobile treatment plant to keep the toxic compound TBT from entering seawater.
VIMS environmental scientists spearhead PBDE research in USA
Dr. Rob Hale and colleagues lead the nation in studies of the source, fate, and effects of polybrominated flame retardants (PBDEs) in the environment.
VIMS scientists explore pollution of Antarctic sea ice
VIMS researchers investigate the role that sea ice plays in injecting “persistent organic pollutants,” or POPs, into polar food webs.
Researchers discover new pollutants infiltrating Virginia rivers
Prof. Rob Hale discovers that PBDEs are dispersed thoughout the Roanoke and Dan rivers in southeastern Virginia.
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- Lim, H. S., R. J. Diaz, J. S. Hong, and L. C. Schaffner. 2006. Hypoxia and benthic community recovery in Korean coastal waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin 52(11):1517-1526.
- Ranger, B. S., and coauthors. 2006. Globally distributed mycobacterial fish pathogens produce a novel plasmid-encoded toxic macrolide, mycolactone F. Infection and Immunity 74(11):6037-6045.
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- Conrad, C. F., and C. J. Chisholm-Brause. 2004. Spatial survey of trace metal contaminants in the sediments of the Elizabeth River, Virginia. Marine Pollution Bulletin 49(4):319-324.
- Mezin, L. C., and R. C. Hale. 2004. Effect of humic acids on toxicity of DDT and chlorpyrifos to freshwater and estuarine invertebrates. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 23(3):583-590.
- Stoeckel, D. M., and coauthors. 2004. Comparison of seven protocols to identify fecal contamination sources using Escherichia coli. Environmental Science & Technology 38(22):6109-6117.
- Ownby, D. R., and M. C. Newman. 2003. Advances in quantitative ion character-activity relationships (QICARs): Using metal-ligand binding characteristics to predict metal toxicity. QSAR & Combinatorial Science 22(2):241-246.
- Berry, J. P., and coauthors. 2002. Are Pfiesteria species toxicogenic? Evidence against production of ichthyotoxins by Pfiesteria shumwayae. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 99(17):10970-10975.
- Marcantonio, F., A. Zimmerman, Y. F. Xu, and E. Canuel. 2002. A Pb isotope record of mid-Atlantic US atmospheric Pb emissions in Chesapeake Bay sediments. Marine Chemistry 77(2-3):123-132.
- Diaz, R. J. 2001. Overview of hypoxia around the world. Journal of Environmental Quality 30(2):275-281.
- McKinney, J. D., A. Richard, C. Waller, M. C. Newman, and F. Gerberick. 2000. The practice of structure activity relationships (SAR) in toxicology. Toxicological Sciences 56(1):8-17.
- Bytnerowicz, A., and coauthors. 1999. Chemical composition of air, soil and vegetation in forests of the Silesian Beskid Moutains, Poland. Water Air and Soil Pollution 116(1-2):141-150.
- Cooper, P. S., W. K. Vogelbein, and P. A. Van Veld. 1999. Altered expression of the xenobiotic transporter P-glycoprotein in liver and liver tumours of mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) from a creosote-contaminated environment. Biomarkers 4(1):48-58.
- Padma, T. V., R. C. Hale, M. H. Roberts, and R. N. Lipcius. 1999. Toxicity of creosote water-soluble fractions generated from contaminated sediments to the bay mysid. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 42(2):171-176.
- Rhodes, M. W., and J. Kator. 1999. Sorbitol-fermenting bifidobacteria as indicators of diffuse human faecal pollution in estuarine watersheds. Journal of Applied Microbiology 87(4):528-535.
- Armknecht, S. L., S. L. Kaattari, and P. A. Van Veld. 1998. An elevated glutathione S-transferase in creosote-resistant mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus). Aquatic Toxicology 41(1-2):1-16.
- Driscoll, S. B. K., L. C. Schaffner, and R. M. Dickhut. 1998. Toxicokinetics of fluoranthene to the amphipod, Leptocheirus plumulosus, in water-only and sediment exposures. Marine Environmental Research 45(3):269-284.
- Gelsleichter, J., E. Cortes, C. A. Manire, R. E. Hueter, and J. A. Musick. 1998. Evaluation of toxicity of oxytetracycline on growth of captive nurse sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratum. Fishery Bulletin 96(3):624-627.
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- Padma, T. V., R. C. Hale, and M. H. Roberts. 1998. Toxicity of water-soluble fractions derived from whole creosote and creosote-contaminated sediments. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 17(8):1606-1610.
- Tatara, C. P., M. C. Newman, J. T. McCloskey, and P. L. Williams. 1998. Use of ion characteristics to predict relative toxicity of mono-, di- and trivalent metal ions: Caenorhabditis elegans LC50. Aquatic Toxicology 42(4):255-269.
- Luebke, R. W., and coauthors. 1997. Aquatic pollution-induced immunotoxicity in wildlife species. Fundamental and Applied Toxicology 37(1):1-15.
- Sved, D. W., M. H. Roberts, and P. A. VanVeld. 1997. Toxicity of sediments contaminated with fractions of creosote. Water Research 31(2):294-300.
- Weisberg, S. B., and coauthors. 1997. An estuarine benthic index of biotic integrity (B-IBI) for Chesapeake Bay. Estuaries 20(1):149-158.
- Anderson, R. S., M. A. Unger, and E. M. Burreson. 1996. Enhancement of Perkinsus marinus disease progression in TBT-exposed oysters (Crassostrea virginica). Marine Environmental Research 42(1-4):177-180.
- Harmon, V. L., and C. J. Langdon. 1996. A 7-D toxicity test for marine pollutants using the Pacific mysid Mysidopsis intii .2. Protocol evaluation. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 15(10):1824-1830.
- Langdon, C. J., and coauthors. 1996. A 7-D toxicity test for marine pollutants using the Pacific mysid Mysidopsis intii .1. Culture and protocol development. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 15(10):1815-1823.
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- Sved, D. W., and M. H. Roberts. 1995. A Novel Use for the Continuous-Flow Serial Diluter - Aquatic Toxicity Testing of Contaminated Sediments in Suspension. Water Research 29(4):1169-1177.
- Chu, F. L. E., and R. C. Hale. 1994. Relationship between Pollution and Susceptibility to Infectious-Disease in the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica. Marine Environmental Research 38(4):243-256.
- Delisle, P. F., and M. H. Roberts. 1994. The Effect of Salinity on Cadmium Toxicity in the Estuarine Mysid Mysidopsis Bahia - Roles of Osmoregulation and Calcium. Marine Environmental Research 37(1):47-62.
- Kellyreay, K., and B. A. Weeksperkins. 1994. Determination of the Macrophage Chemiluminescent Response in Fundulus heteroclitus as a Function of Pollution Stress. Fish & Shellfish Immunology 4(2):95-102.
- Mo, C., and B. Neilson. 1994. Standardization of Oyster Soft-Tissue Dry-Weight Measurements. Water Research 28(1):243-246.
- Rhodes, M. W., and H. Kator. 1994. Seasonal Occurrence of Mesophilic Aeromonas Spp as a Function of Biotype and Water-Quality in Temperate Fresh-Water Lakes. Water Research 28(11):2241-2251.
- Smith, W. H., R. C. Hale, J. Greaves, and R. J. Huggett. 1993. Trace Organochlorine Contamination of the Forest Floor of the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire. Environmental Science & Technology 27(10):2244-2246.
- Faisal, M., and R. J. Huggett. 1992. Suppression of the Cytotoxic Activity of Mummichog, Fundulus heteroclitus, by Benzo(a)Pyrene and Its Metabolites. FASEB Journal 6(5):A1876-A1876.
- Rhodes, M. W., and H. Kator. 1992. Reply: Use of Salmonella-Typhimurium Wg49 to Enumerate Male-Specific Coliphages in an Estuary and a Watershed Subject to Nonpoint Pollution. Water Research 26(5):705-705.
- Chiappelli, F., and coauthors. 1991. Differential Effect of Beta-Endorphin on 3 Human Cytotoxic-Cell Populations. International Journal of Immunopharmacology 13(2-3):291-297.
- Evans, D. A., and R. J. Huggett. 1991. Statistical Modeling of Intensive TBT Monitoring Data in 2 Tidal Creeks of the Chesapeake Bay. Marine Environmental Research 32(1-4):169-186.
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- Rhodes, M. W., and H. I. Kator. 1991. Use of Salmonella-Typhimurium Wg49 to Enumerate Male-Specific Coliphages in an Estuary and Watershed Subject to Nonpoint Pollution. Water Research 25(11):1315-1323.
- Carpenter, L. W. 2006. Physiological Consequences of High Water Flow on the Coral Montastrea annularis (Ellis and Solander, 1786). Ph.D. Dissertation. The College of William and Mary, Gloucester Pt. VA.
- Ciparis, S. 2005. Bioavailability of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Flame Retardants in Biosolids and Spiked Sediment to the Aquatic Oligochaete, Lumbriculus variegatus. Master's Thesis. The College of William and Mary, Gloucester Pt. VA.
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- U.S.EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office
- Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)
- Elizabeth River Project
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
- Health Science Research Division - Ecological Risk Analysis: Tools and Applications
- Contaminated Sediments News (EPA Office of Water)
- Risk Excellence Notes (Dept. of Energy)
- Water Resources Assessment and Protection (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)
- U.S. EPA National Center for Environmental Assessment
- U.S.EPA Final Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment
- Oak Ridge(ORNL) Ecological Risk Analysis
- OECD Chemicals Programme
- U.S. EPA Center for Environmental Information and Statistics (CEIS)
- The National Park Service: NPS website related to toxic chemicals