People and Projects
Impact of PCB Mixtures on Dopaminergic Signaling
I am interested in toxicology because I hope to understand and advocate for environmental sustainability. My research examines the impact of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on dopamine transporters to better understand how PCBs may lead to neurotoxicity. The research will help address whether PCBs, a common class of environmental pollutants, influence neurological development and function in humans and wildlife. After my Master’s I hope to enter a doctoral program that will help me secure a job within industry or a federal agency aimed at protecting the environment.
Oyster Health on Living Shorelines in Newport Bay
I am investigating the impact of environmental conditions, restoration design, and potential contaminants on oyster growth, recruitment, and health in Upper Newport Bay, CA. I use transcriptomics to measure the overall health of both native and non-native species, as a sensitive method that accounts for responses to subtle environmental changes. With greater understanding about res toration projects, oysters have the potential to be a crucial aspect of wetland and coastal conservation. I hope to build conservation awareness and stewardship within local communities through educational outreach.
Oyster Health in Southern California Estuaries
My research will use transcriptomics to study the response of native and non-native oysters to pollutants in southern California estuaries. By comparing the native Olympia oyster to the invasive Pacific oyster, I aim to determine the differential impacts of pollutants on oyster species health. This research can provide pertinent information regarding the impact of the altered environment on native oyster populations thereby contributing to restoration efforts. After graduation, I want to continue to monitor anthropogenic stressors in the marine environment and understand their effects on marine organisms.
Pollutants and Altered Cell Signaling
Jorge Alfaro, Alexis Sorensen and Ryan Ozawa are working with hypothalamic and pituitary cell lines to understand how pollutants alter the function of calcium channels leading to altered cell signaling.
Pollutants in Aquatic Environments
Jordan Alejo, Marian de Orla Barile, Torie Pedroza and Joseph Porgess are measuring the prevalence of pollutants in the environment or their impacts on aquatic species. Projects include the detection of metals or legacy contaminant in California waters, understanding the impacts of emerging pesticide or plastic pollution on aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate species and the impact of oil spills on fish.
My research focusesd on the impacts of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and triclosan on Ca2+ mediating gene transcription. This research has implications on altered neuronal growth, learning and memory, and muscle contractions. Currently a Molecular Research Associate at NIH National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease.
Pollutant Induced Gene Transcription
My Master’s research focused on plastic that ends up in the oceans looking at small pieces, known as microplastics not visible by the naked. I detected the levels of these microplastics in the aquatic environments around Long Beach, CA, and assessed their impact on the invertebrate zooplankton. Currently in a Marine Biology doctoral program at Scripps Oceanographic Institute
Microplastics in Waters Around Long Beach