Carys Mitchelmore

Photo of Carys Mitchelmore Professor
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
146 Williams Street, P.O. Box 38
Bernie Fowler Laboratory
Solomons, Maryland 20688
Phone: 410-326-7283

Research Disciplines: Research Interests:

Acute and chronic toxicity testing (including WET tests),
Determining the concentration of UV filters (oxybenzone/octocrylene/octinoxate/homosalate etc.) in water, sediment and organisms,
Fate and effect of chemical contaminants (e.g. UV filters/PAHs/crude oil and chemical dispersants/PBDEs/metals/pesticides),
Oyster aquaculture,
Microplastics identification and impact in the Chesapeake Bay,
Ballast water treatment (shipboard and laboratory testing),
Environmental education (public/policymakers/elementary through University),
Risk assessments,

View Carys's CV

Biographical Sketch

I have over 25 years of experience as a researcher and educator in Environmental Health and Toxicology. My research has spanned both fundamental and applied questions concerning the fate and effects of pollutants, including, crude oil, chemical oil spill dispersants, UV filters (sunscreens and other products) flame retardants, coal ash, endocrine disruptors, disinfection byproducts, metals, pesticides, bacteria and various contaminant mixtures. Species of study have included standard EPA test organisms and various fish species, oysters/mussels, blue crabs, algae, turtles and corals. I specifically have focused on routes of exposure (dissolved/particulate), identifying sites of toxic action, metabolic pathways and sub-lethal responses, particularly those related to oxidative stress, antioxidant responses, DNA damage and carcinogenesis. Also investigated the efficacy and effects of various ballast water treatments, including shipboard trials of filtration, UV, chlorination, sodium hydroxide, ozone, bromine and various biocides.

I have served on various committees and advisory groups as an environmental toxicologist, including National Academy panels, various advisory groups for the Deepwater Horizon NRDA effort, and I have given various House and Senate testimonies at both the Federal and State level. I have prepared reports and served as an expert witness in numerous court cases with respect to aquatic toxicity concerns. I have also served as a peer-reviewer for many ecological hazard assessment and regulatory documents.


1997    Ph.D. Biochemistry / Genetic Toxicology.
University of Birmingham, U.K and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K.
Thesis Title (research): Genetic Toxicity in Aquatic Organisms.
(Advisors: Drs. J.K. Chipman and D. R. Livingstone).

1993    M.Sc. Applied Toxicology (Distinction and awarded GlaxoWelcome Fellowship).
University of Portsmouth, U.K and GlaxoWelcome, Ware, U.K.
Thesis title (immunotoxicity research): The Detection and Measurement of Interleukin-2
levels in mouse serum by an ELISA. (Advisor: Dr. P. Sibley).
Thesis title (library research): The Use of QSARs In The Prediction Of Environmental
Toxicity. (Advisor: Dr. R. Greenwood).

1992    B.Sc. (Honors; First Class). Biology (major areas, Marine Biology and Applied Ecology).
University of Portsmouth, U.K.
Thesis title (invasive species research): The effect of light, temperature, salinity and nitrogen levels on the growth of apical fragments of Sargassum muticum to predict invasive potential of the non-native seaweed in U.K. waters. (Advisor: Dr. R. Fletcher).

Other Research

Current research projects include: Exposure and effects of pollutants on corals, including UV filters (sunscreens), metals, oil and chemical dispersants. Occurrence and distribution of organic contaminants in coral reefs (including UV filters, PCPs). Impacts of oil and chemical dispersants on turtles. Occurrence of microplastics in sediment, water and oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Enhancing aquaculture for oyster growers in Maryland. Assessment of oxidative stress and DNA damage (COMET assay) in fish and invertebrate species exposed to various chemical contaminants. Investigating the occurrence and toxicological effects of brominated/chlorinated disinfection by-products formed from the chlorination of water (e.g. desalination plants, ballast water treatment and power-plant discharges).

Past research projects include: Exposure, fate, metabolism and effects of oil and chemical dispersants in reptiles, corals, blue crabs and anenomes. Partitioning of crude oil PAHs between the dissolved and particulate phases in toxicity test exposure solutions (WAF, CEWAF, HEWAFs etc). Uptake, retention and metabolic biochemical pathways and impacts of a number of organic chemicals (PAHs, surfactants, pesticides, nanomaterials, chemical dispersants, metals (copper, zinc, cadmium, nickel etc) in various algal, invertebrate and vertebrate species.  Focus on investigating mechanisms of oxidative stress and DNA damage. Use of toxicity tests (standard and WET) to determine the toxicity of individual chemicals, mixtures and effluents/waterbodies. Efficacy and effects of various ballast water treatment systems, including many onboard ship trials for filtration, UV, NaOH, direct chlorination and electrochemical chlorination, ozone, bromine and other biocide treatments.

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