Environmental Science

Susan Allen-Gil

Susan Allen-Gil

Microplastics: little pieces, big problems.

Students will participate in microplastics pollution research.

This might include sampling on Cayuga Lake using a large neuston net, separating plastics from biological material through digestion and density separation, and identifying plastics using conventional and fluorescence microscopy.

Professor Susan Allen-Gil writes:

My primary area of research is environmental toxicology, which is the study of how pollutants affect ecological systems. Although my Ph.D. research focused mainly on long-range transport of air pollutants into remote areas, I now do primarily locally-based research on pollutants. Recently, my students and I have investigated:

  • the presence of pharmaceuticals and other emerging pollutants in the southern Cayuga Lake watershed - this is a large collaborative project with the Ithaca Areas Wastewater Treatment Facility, Cornell University, and the US Geological Survey
  • the effects of various pollutants on the swimming behavior of fathead minnows
  • the effect of caffeine and carbamazepine on predator avoidance behaviors of fathead minnows
  • the accumulation of microbeads in the aquatic food chain and effects of mortality of Daphnia magna

You can learn more about these efforts through the following links: