What’s below the surface

Environmental health researchers seek to understand emerging threats to Florida’s aquatic environments

By: Jill Pease

Protecting Florida’s precious natural resource

two women reviewing results in lab Dr. Tara Sabo-Attwood and Biological Scientist Sarah Bisesi use molecular tools to better understand the impact pollutants have on aquatic organisms. Jesse S. Jones
"If we observe health effects on aquatic critters, then it is likely that people are being exposed as well and could be at risk for health effects."
Dr. Tara Sabo-Attwood

Generating new data for stakeholder decision making

largemouth bass in tank The Florida largemouth bass is the state’s freshwater fish. Freshwater fishing contributes nearly $2 billion to Florida’s economy annually, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
two people looking at fish in water tank Dr. Joseph Bisesi and Ph.D. student Jessica Donaldson conduct research using largemouth bass in the aquatic toxicology core lab in the Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology. Photo by Jesse S. Jones

Using AI to understand emerging contaminants

two men seated at desk looking at computer screen Dr. Zhoumeng Lin (right), with colleague Dr. Wei-Chun Chou, has pioneered the use of artificial intelligence technology for developing human health risk assessment tools for environmental chemicals.
“Consistent with our findings, on March 14, 2023, the U.S. EPA announced new drinking water regulations for six PFAS, including PFOS.”
Dr. Zhoumeng Lin

Fish models as sentinels for human health

zebrafish in tank Zebrafish share more than 80% of genes associated with human diseases. Dr. Tracie Baker and Dr. Joseph Bisesi use the zebrafish model to understand long-term contaminant exposure effects on human diseases. Jesse S. Jones

Effects of a changing climate

"Aquatic and marine resources are critical elements that link environmental and human health, and life as we know it."
Dr. Andy Kane
Dr. Andy Kane examines oysters and shell material on an intertidal oyster bar. Dr. Andy Kane examines oysters and shell material on an intertidal oyster bar.
Dr. Kane collects samples in Apalachicola Bay alongside waterman Chris Rose. Dr. Kane collects samples in Apalachicola Bay alongside waterman Chris Rose.