The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Biological Sciences - Cell and Molecular: M.S.




College of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Heiko Schoenfuss

Second Advisor

Edward Furlong

Third Advisor

Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje

Fourth Advisor

Cassidy Dobson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

aquatic, contaminant, pharmaceutical, toxicology, fathead, bluegill


The field of Aquatic Toxicology has produced diverse studies on contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Investigations have brought to light a plethora of knowledge on the subject; of particular interest are those involving pathways by which CECs arrive in waterways (source), the concentrations which they exist therein (fate), and to what extent they affect aquatic animals (effect). Particularly concerning CECs are pharmaceuticals that find their ways into aquatic environments, as these compounds are inherently biologically active and often stable in aqueous solution. Interest in potential adverse effects on exposed animals has begun to yield compelling evidence supporting behavioral and developmental disturbances in addition to physiological and anatomical pathologies. In an attempt to identify anomalies as a consequence of pharmaceutical exposure larval fathead minnows were examined in conjunction with the common panfish, Lepomis macrochirus (colloquially the bluegill sunfish), as models to build on prior evidence. The pharmaceuticals intended for investigation in my experiment are those representing multiple modes-of-action and were administered at concentrations found downstream of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent discharges. Fathead minnow exposed to 2000 ng/L diclofenac in a 21-day static exchange experiment were found to have inhibited foraging efficiency in a 60 second timed trial. Hepatocyte vacuole proliferation was found in bluegills exposed to methocarbamol (4000 ng/L) or sulfamethoxazole (2000 ng/L), while those exposed to a mixture of all pharmaceuticals or temazepam (2000 ng/L) experienced subdued plasma cortisol and hematocrit (temazepam only) concentrations.



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