Presenter Information

Erin Sims, University of Wyoming

Department

Department of Zoology & Physiology

First Advisor

Dr. Kara Pratt

Description

There are a number of water treatment plants that introduce waste water, known as effluent, into the Laramie River. This effluent contains many toxic chemicals that could have devastating effects on the development and behavior of organisms living in the water. These chemicals consist of high concentrations of antidepressants, antihistamines, beta blockers, GABA analogs, sleep aids, and many more. Toxicologist Harold Bergman has observed the chemicals in the effluent to feminize male fish that live in the river, which made Kara Pratt and I interested in what other effects the effluent might have. My research project was to study the effects of this effluent on the development and behavior of the Xenopus laevis tadpole. To conduct this research project, I raised multiple groups of tadpoles in a control environment and an equal amount of tadpoles in the effluent. Weekly, I performed behavioral tests on the tadpoles and made notes of their physical appearance to determine if there was a change between the ones raised in control water versus effluent. This study is extremely important to determine if the chemicals in the Laramie River have reached high enough concentrations to have an effect on the organisms living there.

Comments

Oral Presentation, Honors Program

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The Effects of Laramie River Effluent on Xenopus laevis tadpoles

There are a number of water treatment plants that introduce waste water, known as effluent, into the Laramie River. This effluent contains many toxic chemicals that could have devastating effects on the development and behavior of organisms living in the water. These chemicals consist of high concentrations of antidepressants, antihistamines, beta blockers, GABA analogs, sleep aids, and many more. Toxicologist Harold Bergman has observed the chemicals in the effluent to feminize male fish that live in the river, which made Kara Pratt and I interested in what other effects the effluent might have. My research project was to study the effects of this effluent on the development and behavior of the Xenopus laevis tadpole. To conduct this research project, I raised multiple groups of tadpoles in a control environment and an equal amount of tadpoles in the effluent. Weekly, I performed behavioral tests on the tadpoles and made notes of their physical appearance to determine if there was a change between the ones raised in control water versus effluent. This study is extremely important to determine if the chemicals in the Laramie River have reached high enough concentrations to have an effect on the organisms living there.