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Interdisciplinary Seminar: Adam Rok

April 10, 2017 @ 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm

Interdisciplinary Seminar of UNC Marine Sciences graduate student Adam Rok on Xenobiotic ContaminationAn interdisciplinary seminar presented by UNC-CH Department of Marine Sciences graduate student, Adam Rok.

Seminar Title: Xenobiotic Contamination: Pharmaceuticals in the World’s Waters

Abstract: Every year more pharmaceutical products are consumed by the world’s population, but where do all of these biologically active compounds end up? In the last 20 years, studies have shown that these compounds are accumulating in water systems, including ground water, lakes, rivers and estuaries. These chemicals are foreign to the natural aquatic environment, making them xenobiotics. Once in the water these xenobiotics are now a part of normal flow regimes, water chemistry and biological processes. This talk will discuss which classes of pharmaceuticals are found at detectable concentrations in aquatic systems, how they are being chemically altered by the environment though photodegradation and metabolism, and their effect on marine organisms; such as phytoplankton bloom suppression. More research is needed to understand exactly what chemicals are in the water, and how they will react with the wide variety of marine organisms present. Time is an issue, though, as these pharmaceutical effects may become exacerbated with continued climate change; placing greater stressors, such as rising temperatures and lowering pH, on marine systems.

An image of the chemical structure of the antibiotic Bacitracin from Adam Rok's MASC Student Interdisciplinary Seminar titled Xenobiotic Contamination: Pharmaceuticals in the World’s Waters