Aquatic Health Program

Graduate Students

Photo: Ida Flores, Ph.D. Candidate

Ida Flores, Ph.D. Candidate

I am a graduate student in both Pharmacology and Toxicology. My research involves investigating the effects of Triclocarban, TCC, an ingredient in pharmaceutical care products, on the fish model, Japanese medaka. I’m interested in using molecular biology and histopathological techniques to find biomarkers of toxicity after exposure to TCC.  Recently published data from my work and collaboration with the Dr. Bruce Hammock's lab, has indicated that medaka bioaccumulate TCC immediately to achieve a steady concentration within the body when exposed to 20 µg/L of TCC. My future goal is to determine endocrine disrupting effects on medaka by looking at developmental changes due to chronic exposure to TCC.


Photo: Wilson Ramirez Duarte, Ph.D. Candidate

Wilson Ramirez Duarte, Ph.D. Candidate

As a graduate student in the Pharmacology and Toxicology program my research focuses on how acidic and aluminium-rich water can influence the toxicity of certain oil components in freshwater fish using the medaka as a model. In Orinoquia Region in Colombia, where there is a lot of oil exploitations, wastewater from drilling oil wells containing NaCl, vanadium, nickel, arsenic, chromium, lead, mercury, toluene, xylene, phenol, naphthalene among other compounds is discharged on rivers, creeks and land. The land is mildly acidic and has high concentration of Aluminium. My research will contribute to establish safe levels of specific compounds found in wastewater from oil exploitations for aquatic ecosystems in the context of Orinoquia Region in Colombia.


Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Photo: Kristen Guggenheim, Ph.D. Student

Kristen Guggenheim, Ph.D. Student

I am a first year graduate student in the Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry graduate group.  I received my bachelors of science in biology at Purdue University, focusing in biochemistry and endocrinology.  I am interested in studying the effects of fipronil on endocrine function in the fish species, Japanese Medaka. Fipronil is a pesticide used for crop treatment and can be found in various flea and tick pet medications.


Photo: Scott Wagner, Masters Student

Scott Wagner, Masters Student

My research focuses on the developmental toxicity of the common-use insecticide fipronil. I have used a high-throughput 96-well plate method to expose Japanese Qurt medaka (Oryzias latipes) fish embryos to fipronil. Toxicity has been analyzed using models fit to experimental data, molecular bioassays, and RNA sequencing. Given that Qurt medaka are sexually dimorphic, endocrine disruption and sex-specific effects of fipronil have been investigated.