Genetic Ecotoxicology & Biomarker Application

Over the past several decades a new branch of ecotoxicology has developed termed Genetic Ecotoxicology which is defined as the study of the effects of toxicants and radiation on the genetic material of environmental organisms, related populations and community level responses (Rose and Anderson, 2005; Leet and Richards, in press).  It is a complex discipline that integrates genetic toxicology, ecology, molecular biology and population genetics and can trace its origin to the application of the Biomarker Approach in the Assessment of Environmental Health that began in the 1990’s (McCarthy and Shugart, 1990; Peakall and Shugart, 1993).

Dr. Shugart is an internationally recognized expert in the science of Genetic Ecotoxicology (Anderson, et. al., 1994).  His professional training is in biochemistry and his research interests are concerned with elucidating the cellular mechanisms of environmental genotoxicants. He is considered an established authority on the use of the Biomarker Approach for evaluating the effects of contaminants on the health of environmental species and has conducted extensive research on the chemical modification of macromolecules by environmental pollutantss on fish, rodents, and humans.  His previous studies focused on the development of new methodologies for quantifying the interaction of genotoxicants with DNA and proteins and he has published over one hundred articles in the peer-reviewed, scientific literature on such topics as protein biosynthesis, mechanisms of enzyme action, nucleic acid biochemistry, and the effect of genotoxicants on living organisms.  Based on his extensive knowledge and professional contacts throughout the world, Dr. Shugart’s company is well positioned to provide scientific advice on the application of current methodologies in Genetic Ecotoxicological Testing including the sophisticated techniques of modern molecular biology that detect alterations in DNA structure.

  • Anderson, S., W. Sadinski,  L. Shugart, P. Brussard, M. Depledge, T. Ford, J. Hose, J. Stegeman, W. Suk, I. Wirgin, and G. Wogan.  1994. Genetic and Molecular Ecotoxicolgy: A Research Framework. Environmental Health Perspectives. 102:13-17.
  • Leet, J. and S. Richards, Genetic Ecotoxicology, In: Genetic and Epigenetic Environmental Toxicology, C.W. Theodorakis, ed., Springer, New York, in press
  • McCarthy, J.F. and L.R. Shugart (Editors).  1990.  Biological Markers of Environmental Contamination.  Lewis Publishers, Inc., Boca Raton, FL.
  • Peakall, D. B., and L.R. Shugart (Editors).  1993.  Biomarkers: Research and Application in the Assessment of Environmental Health.  NATO ASI Series H: vol. 68, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg.
  • Rose, W.L. and S. I. Anderson.  2005.  Genetic Ecotoxicology, In: Encyclopedia of Toxicology, 2nd Ed., Elsevier Ltd., Oxford, UK, pp. 126-132.