Biology Student Presents at Convention


Contributed by Nancy Pierce

Michelle Walter '04 (Susan Allen-Gil) gave a poster presentation, "Effects of habitat loss and exposure to 17a-ethinylestradiol on the reproductive success of the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Beta Beta Beta Northeast Region 1 District Convention. April 2004

Organisms living in freshwater ecosystems today not only face the hardships of habitat loss, but also the possible negative effects of exposure to exogenous chemicals such as estrogen from oral contraceptives. This paper statistically analyzes several reproductive endpoints in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), a representative freshwater species, when exposed to the synthetic estrogen 17alpha-ethinylestradiol. Measurement of egg production with and without habitat as well as in combination with exposure to 17alpha-ethinylestradiol served as a primary indicator of a negative impact on reproduction. Data from the first part of the experiment show that there is no correlation between higher egg production and any particular tank, between size of the males or the development of male secondary sex characteristics. This data provides a solid base with which to measure the reproductive effects of both loss of habitat and estrogen exposure.

Contributed by Nancy Pierce