Cooperative Research Units
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Biomarkers of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Largescale Sucker of the Lower Columbia River


April 2009 - September 2011


The Columbia River provides important hydroelectric power generation, valuable recreational and tribal fisheries, extensive recreational areas and scenic beauty, and habitat for wildlife and fish. The lower Columbia River below Bonneville is the largest remaining free-flowing reach not impounded by hydroelectric dams, and is critical to the viability of culturally significant fish populations (anadromous and resident) in the Columbia Basin, as well as a myriad of other aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Fish, wildlife and human populations along the lower Columbia River are exposed to an ever-growing variety of contaminants as a result of increasing urbanization, industrialization and agricultural development. The work proposed here is part of a larger study designed to combine the expertise within the USGS disciplines to address how emerging contaminants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants (PBDEs) and other endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) impact fish, osprey, and other wildlife in the basin. The specific task of this project are to determine the health condition of largescale sucker in the lower Columbia River by measuring biomarkers of contaminant exposure, and to relate these effects to contaminant concentrations measured in the fish and the environment.

Research Products and Activities


  • Torres, L. 2011. Laboratory and field assessments of brominated flame retardants and other contaminants: effects in fishes. A Dissertation in Biology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 240

Phd Students: 143

Post Docs: 52

University Staff: 245

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 702

Scientific Publications: 1948

Presentations: 4253



Funding Agencies

  • Oregon Water Science Center


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey