Using OMICs to assess contaminant related exposure and effects in Fraser River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

The Fraser River watershed, British Columbia provides habitat for Chinook salmon, which delivers food for First Nations, recreational anglers, commercial fisheries and endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Extensive forestry, agricultural, industrial and urban activities take place in the Fraser Valley exposing early life history stages of Chinook to a mix of legacy and new contaminants, including PCBs, pesticides and pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Many of these contaminants can elicit adverse health effects in animals, including endocrine disruption and reproductive effects. However, there exists limited information on the nature of contaminants discharged into salmon habitat in British Columbia, hampering solution-oriented opportunities for natural resource managers and stakeholders. This study presents a unique opportunity to use innovative technologies to assess the health of juvenile Chinook in relation to contaminant exposure, and thus the ability to begin to prioritise (rank) the contaminants of concern in juvenile Chinook and their habitats.

Intern: 
Bonnie Lo
Faculty Supervisor: 
Vicki Marlatt;Tanya Brown
Province: 
British Columbia
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