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You are here: ROADS at McMaster > News > ERA helps biologist plunge into research on aquatic species. August 26, 2011

ERA helps biologist plunge into research on aquatic species. August 26, 2011

Joanna Wilson, one of three 2011 Early Researcher Award recipients at McMaster, is diving into an emerging field of research that investigates the impact of pharmaceutical compounds on delicate aquatic ecosystems.
ERA helps biologist plunge into research on aquatic species. August 26, 2011

ERA recipient Joanna Wilson and her team are researching the impact of pharmaceutical discharge on aquatic life. Daily News File photo.

Joanna Wilson, one of three 2011 Early Researcher Award recipients at McMaster, is diving into an emerging field of research that investigates the impact of pharmaceutical compounds on delicate aquatic ecosystems.

Wilson and her team are examining compounds and enzymes in drug metabolism that are not well-studied in non-mammalian species. The project, five years in the making, will report on the effects of contaminants on the reproduction, development and physiology of fish.

"When people use pharmaceuticals, substances are released into lakes, rivers and waste-water treatment plants that are not engineered to deal with these compounds," said Wilson, an assistant professor of biology."We don't know yet if these contaminants are a problem, or whether or not pharmaceutical discharge should be regulated."

The aim of her research is to find answers to these questions.

"Fish have an important role to play in aquatic ecosystems," said Wilson. "They're also a food source for humans and a significant part of our economy."


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