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Kadlec Receives Muskies, Inc. - Minnesota Sea Grant Scholarship

Sarah Kadlec

The Lake Superior Chapter of Muskies, Inc., and the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Sarah Kadlec, Ph.D. Candidate in the Integrated Biosciences Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Kadlec is in the final stage of a four-year Sea Grant study examining the degree to which compounds that mimic estrogen disrupt the reproductive systems of developing smallmouth bass. This toxicology project will provide a context for observations that estrogen in wastewater increases the prevalence of oocytes in the testes of male smallmouth bass.

"Outreach for this project is exciting because toxicology data isn't particularly tangible for people outside of the field," said Kadlec. "Coincidentally, smallmouth bass are a culturally significant species. Toxicological studies with smallmouth really place the issues of water contamination in a context that's immediately important to many Minnesotans."

Sarah Kadlec

Brian Borkholder [left] of Fond du Lac's Natural Resources Program, Kadlec [middle] and Schoff [right], equipped with SCUBA gear and handheld suction tubes, collected about 1,500 smallmouth bass yolk-sac larvae to study how endocrine-disrupting chemicals could be affecting the species.

Kadlec is working with Patrick Schoff, Research Associate at the Natural Resources Research Institute and with researchers at the Mid-Continent Ecology Division of the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to rearing bass in a controlled environment, Kadlec is also examining tissue samples from specimens originating in the St. Louis River, its estuary, and several inland lakes in Minnesota. The researches are comparing deformity rates in wild fish relative to human influence and to the laboratory-reared fish. Kadlec will present her research during a meeting of the Lake Superior Chapter of Muskies, Inc., this autumn.

Posted on July 21, 2015


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