International Seminar - Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies

Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 10:00
Auditorium (G9), International House


Members of the University Community are hereby invited to an International Seminar being organised by the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies as follows:

Date: Thursday, December 14, 2017

Time: 10.00 am prompt

Venue: Auditorium (G9), International House, Legon


Speaker 1

Prof. Heiko L. Schoenfuss

Professor and Director, Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory

St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud, MN, USA



A Watershed-wide Investigation of the Biological Effects of Contaminants of Emerging Concern: A Case Study in the North American Great Lakes

Dr. Schoenfuss will explore the effects of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) on resident fish species in the North American Great Lakes watershed.  CECs include common pharmaceuticals, household products and industrial and agricultural chemicals known to cause harm to aquatic life.  We analyzed nearly 500 surface water samples at 54 sites in tributaries of the Great Lakes Watershed to confirm the ubiquitous presence of CECs. A subsequent cluster analyses of commonly detected CECs in this data matrix suggests that the co-occurrence of approximately half of the CECs can be attributed to dichotomous urban or agricultural upstream land use. Almost 3,000 resident and caged sunfish (Lepomis ssp.) were collected from 27 of the 54 sampling sites and analyzed for indicators of stress associated with CEC exposure. Canonical correspondence analyses revealed that concurrent with indicators of toxic stress, biomarkers of reproductive potential declined. To further examine the population level consequences, fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) were exposed in the laboratory for three generations to the empirically derived urban CEC mixture at three environmentally relevant concentrations. Taken together, this integrated series of studies provides a case study on how to develop a comprehensive assessment of the presence and biological effects of CECs across a continental watershed.


Dr. Schoenfuss will close the seminar by providing a brief introduction to the research activities, facilities and educational programs found in the Department of Biological Sciences at St. Cloud State University.  



Speaker 2

Prof. Paige Novak

Professor & Joseph T. and Rose S. Ling Chair in Environmental Engineering

Co-Director, MnDRIVE: Environment

Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, University of Minnesota.



The Problem of Environmental Estrogens from the Wastewater Perspective

Environmental estrogens are discharged from wastewater treatment plants and can cause physiological, developmental, and behavioral changes in fish and other aquatic organisms.  Sources of environmental estrogens vary, with some sources under appreciated.  In addition, the fate of these compounds in treatment plants and the environment is complicated, with degradation rates varying widely and degradation products sometimes causing physiological effects as well.  Given this, how should we approach the management of these compounds?  Do we impose regulations on the discharge of environmental estrogens, and if so, how?  Finally, how do we pay for the treatment required to protect ecosystems?

Dr. Novak will present a summary of the research that her lab has performed around the science of the issue with the goal of stimulating thought and discussion about how best to manage this very complicated water pollution issue.

Dr. Novak will also present general background on the University of Minnesota (UMN), the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering at UMN, and provide an overview of her research in environmental microbiology.


All are cordially invited