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Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry

The disciplines of Environmental Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology compliment each other. Environmental Chemists work to understand the sources, fate, and transport of chemicals in the environment, while Environmental Toxicologists characterize the adverse effects of environmental chemicals on biota. At SPEA, scientists working in these disciplines are particularly interested in how anthropogenic activities impact water, soil, and air quality; how these chemicals alter genomes, impact the fitness of individuals, and shape populations, communities, and ecosystems; and how chemicals and their biological effects can combine to perturb Earth’s natural biogeochemical cycles and climate.

Faculty Members

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Diane S. Henshel

Associate Professor

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Ronald Hites

Distinguished Professor

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Jonathan D. Raff

Assistant Professor

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Joseph Shaw

Associate Professor

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Philip S. Stevens

Rudy Professor and Environmental Science Faculty Chair

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Jeffrey R. White

Professor and Director, Integrated Program in the Environment

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Thomas Simon

Adjunct Professor



Faculty Research

Tiny fish provides giant insight into how organisms adapt to changing environment

11/17/14 
An Indiana University-Dartmouth College team has identified genes and regulatory patterns that allow some organisms to alter their body form in response to environmental change.

NSF grant funds IU scientist’s study of ‘the Pac-Man of the atmosphere’

9/29/14 
ndiana University scientist Phil Stevens has been awarded a three-year, $718,562 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue his study of the impact of emissions from forests and their relationship to climate change and pollution.

Indiana University Researcher Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation Award

9/18/14 
Indiana University professor Jonathan Raff is the recipient of a $649,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund research into the chemistry of air pollution and climate impacts.

'Self-cleaning' pollution-control technology could do more harm than good, study suggests

6/13/13 
Research by Indiana University environmental scientists shows that air-pollution-removal technology used in "self-cleaning" paints and building surfaces may actually cause more problems than they solve.

Indiana University study finds flame retardant pollutants at far-flung locations

1/8/13 
Research supports effectiveness of tree bark as novel sampling medium for contamination.

IU study finds increasing atmospheric concentrations of new flame retardants

12/14/11 
"We find that the environmental concentrations of these compounds are increasing rather rapidly," Hites said. "It's rare to find that concentrations of any compound are doubling within a year or two, which is what we're seeing with TBB and TBPH."

New Flame Retardant Levels Rising Rapidly

12/7/11 
Air Pollution: Air concentrations of the brominated chemicals doubled every 13 months in recent years in Cleveland and Chicago.

LSU Leads Collaborative Effort to Identify Genes Supporting Life in Extreme Conditions

9/21/11 
This collaborative effort, led by LSU Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Andrew Whitehead, includes Joe Shaw and John Colbourne from Indiana University; Wes Warren of The Genome Institute at Washington University in St. Louis; Douglas Crawford and Marjorie Oleksiak of the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science; and Mark Hahn and Sibel Karchner from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in partnership with the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory.

IU-led $2.4 million NASA project eyes climate change in Greenland -- with a third eye on Mars

5/11/11 
"Our work on methane cycling in warming tundra ecosystems fits well with the objectives for exploration of methane cycling on Mars -- a target of the upcoming missions," White said.

Great Lakes Project Awarded $5 Million

11/4/09 
A project to measure levels of airborne toxic chemicals being deposited in the Great Lakes was recently awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network (IADN), led by SPEA professor Ronald Hites and research scientist Ilora Basu, began in 1990 under an agreement between the U.S. EPA and Environment Canada. IU has been in charge of the U.S. portion of the study since 1994, and the grant will extend IU's oversight of the project for a further five years.