Some phytoplankton species produce toxins that pass through the foodweb and contaminate seafood. The goals of the Health Impacts and Biomarkers group are to characterize the exposure risks of these toxins in the marine environment and to identify associated health impacts for wildlife and human populations.
Our group focuses on two areas:
Education & Outreach
- Determine real world exposure levels through surveillance of algal toxin presence in marine mammals along the U.S. West Coast (WARRN-West program).
- Use the zebrafish laboratory model to identify biomarkers of chronic low level algal toxin exposure.
- Validate biomarkers of exposure in naturally-exposed populations (humans and marine mammals).
- Use biomarkers to identify health effects of chronic exposure.
- Bring science to classrooms by using real world data to create hands on science lessons and curriculum for K-8th graders.
- Provide hands-on training through algal toxin detection workshops for undergraduate level Tribal students at the Northwest Indian College.
Kathi Lefebvre, Elizabeth Frame, Preston Kendrick