Tel: (613) 533-6129
Faculty Web Site: http://www.queensu.ca/biology/people/faculty/hodson.html
RESEARCH AREA/POTENTIAL PROJECTS
My research concerns the toxicity to fish of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), the components of crude and refined oils affecting the development of fish embryos. Oil toxicity to embryos is of particular concern for salmonids that deposit eggs in gravel spawning shoals of coastal rivers. Oil contamination of spawning shoals creates a continuous and prolonged exposure to PAH released from oil stranded on gravel into interstitial waters where fish eggs develop The most common method for assessing the toxicity of stranded oil is to expose embryos to the effluent from a column of oil-coated gravel. However, many of the variables that determine the extent of transfer of PAH to water flowing through the column, such as gravel size, gravel type, column size, water flow rates, temperature, etc, have never been evaluated or optimized. This project will test the effects of several of these variables on the chronic toxicity of effluent from oiled-gravel columns. The results will contribute to a standard method for research and regulatory testing of oils to assess the impacts on salmon production of spills from pipelines, trains, or trucks.