David B. Buchwalter

Associate Professor
Coordinator, Environmental Toxicology

The major themes that we explore in our lab are comparative invertebrate ecophysiology,  trace metal bioaccumulation and detoxification, and more recently, thermal physiology. A major goal of our work is to better understand how and why species are differentially responsive to environmental stressors such as trace metals and other ions, and thermal stress. We primarily work with field collected insect populations, though we are developing a mayfly (Centroptilum triangulifer) as a model organism.  We are particularly interested in the use of phylogenetic frameworks as a means of predicting a taxon’s physiological performance.

Research Areas: Comparative physiology, trace metals, temperature, respirometry, hypoxia, aquatic insects, ecological indicators

Lab website:

Lab News: 

Ph.D. student Justin Conley wins EPA star fellowship, best student talk at NABS, and the SETAC Chris Lee award for metals research.  Justin will present his latest work at the SETAC Europe meeting in Berlin.

Ph.D. student Monica Poteat wins second place for best student talk at 2011 Carolina SETAC meeting.  Congrats on JEB article! (see below)

Selected Publications (students in bold): 

Poteat, M.D., M. Diaz and D.B. Buchwalter. 2012. Divalent metal (Ca, Cd, Mn, Zn) uptake and interactions in the aquatic insect Hydropsyche sparna. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215: 1575-1583.

Conley, J.M., D.H. Funk, N.J. Cariello and D.B. Buchwalter. 2011. Food rationing affects dietary selenium bioaccumulation and life cycle performance in the mayfly Centroptilum triangulifer. Ecotoxicology. 20:1840-1851.

Dittman, E.A. and D.B. Buchwalter. 2010. The many facets of manganese: Surface Mn-oxide coatings, molting loss, and Mn(II) thiol scavenging in aquatic insects. Environ. Sci. Technol. 44:9182-9188.

Xie, L. D.H. Funk and D.B. Buchwalter. 2010. Trophic transfer of Cd from natural periphyton biofilms to the grazing mayfly Centroptilum triangulifer in a life cycle test. Environmental Pollution.  158:272-277.

Conley, J.M., D.H. Funk and D.B. Buchwalter. 2009. Selenium bioaccumulation and maternal transfer in the mayfly Centroptilum triangulifer in a life-cycle, periphyton-biofilm trophic assay. Environ. Sci. Technol.  43:7952–7957.

Xie, L., J.L. Flippin, N. Deighton, D.H. Funk, D.A. Dickey and D.B. Buchwalter. 2009. Mercury (II) bioaccumulation and antioxidant physiology in four aquatic insects. Environ. Sci. Technol. 43:934-940.

Buchwalter, D.B., S.N. Luoma. C.A. Martin, D.J. Cain, L., Xie, L. and Garland, Jr. T. 2008.  Aquatic insect ecophysiological traits reveal phylogenetically based differences in dissolved cadmium susceptibility. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 105:8321-8326.

Buchwalter, D.B., D.J. Cain, W.H. Clements and S.N. Luoma. 2007. Using biodynamic models to reconcile differences between laboratory toxicity tests and field biomonitoring with aquatic insects. Environ. Sci. Technol. 41: 4821-4828.  Correction in: Environ. Sci. Technol. 42:3117.

Martin, C.A., D.J. Cain, S.N. Luoma and D.B. Buchwalter. 2007. Cadmium ecophysiology in seven stonefly (Plecoptera) species: Delineating sources and estimating susceptibility. Environ. Sci. Technol. 41: 7171-7177.