Prof. Ryan Prosser (environmental toxicology)

Prof. Ryan Prosser (environmental toxicology)

My research relates to environmental
toxicology, so I look at the impact of chemicals that are used in various
aspects of society whether it’s on agriculture or industry or commercially and their potential fate. How they make their way into the environment, what happens to them when they get in the environment and what effect they might
have on biota, on different species in the environment. And so that research is important because we want to protect our aquatic systems, our terrestrial systems and we also want to make sure that our food and our sources of water, remain clean and healthy and so that’s an important aspect. A lot of these chemicals are essential for industry and agriculture and commerce but we also need to make sure that we preserve our natural environment and make sure we’re not
having adverse affect on those environments. So right now I have a few
graduate students working on a project that’s actually really, the simple way to describe it is they’re developing a blood test for mussels. So it’s a non-lethal way, just like if you and I went to the doctor to give a blood sample, and we can sort of assess the health of the mussel by just taking a
non-lethal blood sample and looking at the various metabolites in their blood and trying to understand whether they’re under stress, or whether they’re healthy and the hope is that we’ll be able to use that with the endangered species
that we have here in Canada and be able to assess their health without having an impact on their population.

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