Ashland University Environmental Lecture Series to Focus on Consumer Products and Their Effects on Stream Organisms

9/28/11 ASHLAND, OH -- Ashland University's Environmental Lecture Series will kick off its 20th series this academic year with the theme of "Chemical Pollution in a Global Economy."

The series will begin on Thursday, Oct. 6, with Dr. Melissa Schultz, assistant professor of analytical chemistry at the College of Wooster, presenting a talk titled "Clean and Happy Fish (And the Other Effects of Consumer Products on Non-Target Organisms)." This lecture will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Dr. Schultz's area of research is the fate and transport of consumer products in the environment. Pharmaceuticals such as anti-depressants, other commonly prescribed medications, and personal care products in general are widely introduced into aquatic environments via releases from municipal waste water treatment plants (WWTP).

These chemicals are not found upstream of WWTP, but are found downstream of the effluent outfall for many river miles. The greater presence of these chemicals in the tissues of fishes downstream from WWTP also supports the idea that these facilities are serving as a point source.

Types and concentrations of antidepressants in fish, compared to stream water and sediment, also suggest that uptake is selective for some contaminants over others. The impact of these pollutants on the lives of downstream organisms in general is only partly understood, and is an important area of current study. Regional differences in the impact of these pollutants depends on frequency of human use, the transport distance and behavior of specific chemicals in nature, and local and regional human population size. This talk will discuss the origins, distribution and what is known about the impact of some consumer products on downstream organisms.

Dr. Schultz received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Oregon State University and her B.S. in chemistry from Creighton University. Before accepting her current position as assistant professor of analytical chemistry at the College of Wooster, Dr. Schultz was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the Methods Research & Development Program at the National Water Quality Laboratory of the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colo.

Current support for the lecture series is provided by a grant from the Lubrizol Foundation and additional support from Ashland University. Recent lectures are archived for viewing at<>.

Ashland University (<>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.

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