5/15/13

IAGLR 2013 panels to focus on new and historic contaminants

IISG’s Laura Kammin will co-chair a two-part session on the impacts and management of contaminants at this year’s Conference on Great Lakes Research, June 2-6 at Purdue University. Researchers will present on a range of issues, including contaminant testing, impacts to wildlife, and pollution trends over time. With 24 presentations spread over two days from researchers, resource managers, and industry representatives, it will be the conference’s largest session. 

Presentations begin on June 5 with new research on pollutants that are a longstanding problem in the Great Lakes region, including PCBs, mercury, and chemicals used in driveway sealants. Research on these legacy contaminants will focus on their concentrations, dispersal, and environmental impacts in the years after federal regulations barred their use. 

Day two of the session is dedicated to emerging contaminants, which have more recently been detected in the Great Lakes. Among the presentations is a study that found flame retardant in the eggs of herring gulls exposed to the pollutant. Other presentations will introduce techniques for identifying new contaminants, the impacts of pharmaceutical hormones on fish, and changes in bacterial communities caused by a common nanomaterial. 

“The sheer number of contaminants and breadth of potential impacts makes sessions like these very important,” said Kammin, IISG pollution prevention program specialist. “To truly improve the health of the lakes, we must have a better understanding of these legacy and emerging contaminants.” 

Additional session co-chairs include Marta Venier, Maria Sepulveda, and Bernard Crimmins. 

Prior to the session, 15 researchers and students will also present findings related to legacy and emerging contaminants during the conference poster session on June 4. 

The International Association for Great Lakes Research’s (IAGLR) 56th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research is sponsored by IISG and Purdue University. The four-day program includes research sessions, panel discussions, keynote speakers, and workshops on a variety of topics. To view the entire program, visit the conference website. 

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