Environmental Toxicology PhD Concentration

ET Description

The Environmental Toxicology Concentration provides both didactic and research training on the fate and effects of pollutants in the environment. Research and training encompasses both human and environmental health consequences of exposure to environmental contaminants. A multidisciplinary approach to research and training are emphasized spanning such areas as mechanisms of toxicity to chemical risk assessment.

If you have questions or would like to arrange a visit to our campus please contact Dr. David Buchwalter, the Coordinator of the Environmental Toxicology Concentration.

ET Research

Students electing the Environmental Toxicology Concentration conduct dissertation research in areas related to the fate and effects of environmental contaminants. Current areas of research include measuring and modeling the fate of chemicals in the environment, bioavailability and bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic organisms, effects of pollutants on community structure and ecosystems, and mechanisms and consequences of environmental endocrine disruption in fish, reptiles, and invertebrates. Please visit the research page for more information on research opportunities and faculty research interests.

ET Course Requirements

Core course requirements for all Ph.D. students
TOX 701 Fundamentals of Toxicology (3 credits)
TOX 710 Molecular & Biochemical Toxicology (3 credits)
Tox 715 Environmental Toxicology (3 credits)
GN 701 Molecular Genetics (3 credits)
GN 820 Professional Development (1 credit)
CBS 770 Cell Biology (3 credits)
ST 511(a) Experimental Statistics for Biological Sciences (3 credits)
TOX 801(b) Toxicology Seminar (1 credit/Semester)
Tox 820 001 Responsibility in Science (1 credit)
Tox 820 003 Lab Rotation (1 credit/Semester)
  1. Another graduate-level statistics course can be substituted with approval of the student’s committee
  2. Enrollment is required for each semester registered while in Doctoral Program (6 credits minimum)
Research requirements for all Ph.D. students
TOX 895 Doctoral Dissertation Research (6 credits minimum)
TOX 896 Summer Dissertation Research (as needed)
TOX 899 Doctoral Thesis Preparation (as needed)
Additional requirements for Environmental Toxicology Concentration
Electives 6 credits related to Environmental Toxicology must be selected

Normally a total of 72 credit hours is required, with the majority of these credits being dissertation research. See the 2017-2018 Handbook for specific credit hour and residency requirements.

Current Students and Recent Graduates in ET

The passion for scientific discovery among faculty in Environmental Toxicology is invigorated by the enthusiasm that students bring to scientific inquiry during the course of their PhD program. Listed below are the names of recent graduates of the Environmental Toxicology concentration along with their thesis titles, the laboratories in which they conducted their doctoral research, and their current research positions. You will also find a list of current students their areas of research and the laboratories in which they are studying. Feel free to contact any Environmental Toxicology student for information about their specific research project, their laboratory, or the Environmental Toxicology concentration. Complete contact information for all current students may be found on the People/Studentpage.

Recent ET Graduates

Year Graduated Graduate Name
Dissertation Title/Faculty Advisor
Current Position, Organization, Address, Postdoctoral Position
(if prior to current)
2016 Elizabeth Medlock Kakaley, PhD
Characterization of early events in the activtion of the methyl farnesoate receptor. Mentor-G. LeBlanc
Postdoctoral Fellow, US EPA
2016 Crystal Lee Pow, PhD
Biological effects of complex estrogenic and other endocrine active mixtures in aquatic systems. Mentor-Seth Kullman
Environmental Program Consultant, Department of Health and Human Services
2014 Erin Yost, PhD
Fate and biological activity of endocrne active compounds in the wast of a commercial swine operation. Mentor-S. Kullman
Toxicologist, US EPA
2014 Justin Conley, PhD
Toxicity of chemical stressors associated with mountaintop removal/valley fill coal mining to field collected and laboratory
Postdoctoral Toxicologist, US EPA
2013 Jeremy Leonard, PhD
Assessment of endocrine disruption in native freshwater mussels through tranditional and emerging toxicity endpoints. Mentor-W. G. Cope
 Postdoctoral Researcher, US EPA
2010 Larissa Williams, PhD
Signatures of selection in natural populations exposed to chronic pollution. Mentor-D Shea
Assistant Professor, Bates College
2009 Goran Bozinovic, PhD
Physiology, morphology, and gene expression of sensitive and resistant fundulus heteroclitus embryos. Mentors-D Shea & M Oleksiak
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Diego
2007 Robin M. Sternberg, PhD
The roles of androgen, estrogen, and retinoid signaling in reproductive recrudescence of the eastern mud snail (Ilyanassa obsoleta): Implications for the mechanism of tributyltin-induced imposex. Mentor-GA LeBlanc
Wildlife Biologist, US EPA
2006 D. Wade Lehmann, PhD
Oxidative stress in the aquatic environment: effects of polychlorinated biphenyls in bivalve mollusks. Mentor-M Law
Environmental Toxicologist, US EPA
2006 Cynthia V. Rider, PhD
Development and application of mixture toxicity models. Mentor-GA LeBlanc
Toxicologist, NIEHS
2005 Katrina E. White, PhD
Bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hyrocarbons in sediment. Mentor-D Shea
 Environmental Toxicologist, US EPA
2005 Eun-Ah Cho, PhD
Bioturbation as a novel method to characterize the toxicity of aquatic sediment. Mentors-WG Cope & D Shea
APAC Application Engineering Specialist, 3M Korea LTD
2005 Rebecca M. Heltsley, PhD
Novel methods for monitoring chlorinated contaminants in aquatic environments. Mentor-D Shea
Research Scientist, Aegis Sciences Corporation
Postdoctoral Fellow National Standards and Testing Institute
2004 Kyoungju Choi, PhD
Modulation of immune function parameters in fish caused by sudden environmental changes. Mentors-M Law & WG Cope
Self Employed
2003 Allen Olmstead, PhD
Environmental toxicant effects in sexual reproduction in Daphnia magna Mentor-GA LeBlanc
Ecotoxicologist, Bayer Crop Science 
Postdoctoral Fellow, NC State University
2003 Samantha J. Jones, PhD
Pesticide residues in surface waters of North Carolina rural and urban watersheds: studies to determine and reduce residues in drinking water. Mentor-R Leidy
IRIS Associate Director for Science, US EPA
2003 Waverly Anne Watson, PhD
Bioavailability of particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Mentors-D Shea & WG Cope
Teaching Assistant Professor, NCSU
Postdoctoral, Batelle Marine Sciences Laboratory
2003 Annette Marie McCarthy, PhD
Fate and distribution of current-use pesticides in the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system of North Carolina. Mentors-D Shea & WG Cope
Lead Environmental Scientist, US FDA

Current ET Students

Year Enrolled Student Name
Research Area/Faculty Advisor & Laboratory
2014 Stephanie Street
Infradian Control of Daphnia magna molt cycle and its disruption by nitric oxide. Mentor-G. LeBlanc
B.S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University Arizona
2012 Allison Camp
Title to be assigned: Mentor-G. LeBlanc
B.S. Neurology and Neurophysiology, University of Washington
2012 Stephanie Eytcheson
The role of HR3 and E75 in the molt cycle of Daphnia Magna.  Mentor-G. LeBlanc
B.S.Chemistry, Baylor University