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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Quantifiying Contaminant Levels of Western Aleutian Seabirds

Status Complete
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 12/01/2012
End Date 07/01/2013
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grant
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 01/30/2013 01:34PM
Keywords seabirds, contaminant, aleutians


  Douglas Causey

Student Researchers
  Mu En Hu


Inorganic, organic, and phthalate contamination is threatening wildlife and human health by causing developmental, immune, and reproductive defects. Pathways of these contaminants can be investigated by evaluating health of aquatic regions, which can be measured by levels of contamination in tissues of seabirds native to the region. Studies have used specific species as biological monitors. Multiple species native to the Aleutian chain will be sampled to quantify marine pollutants in the North Pacific. Liver and muscle tissues will be prepared and analyzed for metal and PCB contaminants via ICPMS, and phthalates via liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC MS/MS). The objective of this experiment is to quantify the levels of contaminants in seabirds of the western Aleutian Islands and compare levels of bioaccumulation among species that feed at different trophic levels.

Specific Aim# I: Determine levels of contaminants in liver and muscle tissues in seabirds from the western Aleutian Islands.
Specific Aim #2: Investigate if contaminant levels vary among seabird species that feed at different trophic levels.

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