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Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Effects of an Endocrine Disrupter on the Development of Behavior

EPA Grant Number: U915978
Title: Effects of an Endocrine Disrupter on the Development of Behavior
Investigators: Bell, Alison M.
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Jones, Brandon
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2003
Project Amount: $82,973
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Biology/Life Sciences , Fellowship - Zoology



This research project will build upon previous studies by examining the influence of lifetime exposure to low levels of an exogenous estrogen on the development of behavioral traits.


This study will contribute to the growing literature on endocrine disruption by relating widely used toxicological biomarkers with ecologically relevant traits, such as life history and behavior. In addition, the study explicitly examines intraspecific variation (among full-sib families and populations) in susceptibility to endocrine disruption. These data will shed light on important questions regarding the source of population-level variation in sticklebacks.

Despite considerable public and scientific concern about the presence of anthropogenic chemicals in the environment that can interfere with the endocrine system (endocrine disruptors), little is known about the effects of chronic exposure to low levels of endocrine disruptors on animal behavior. The proposed project will: (1) determine how lifetime exposure to environmentally relevant levels of ethinyl estradiol affects behavioral development, life history traits, and biomarkers of endocrine disruption in threespined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus); and (2) determine how chronic exposure to low levels of ethinyl estradiol affects the developmental trajectories of full-sib families of stickleback from two populations where adults differ in behavior, morphology, and life history.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, biodiversity, exogenous estrogen, behavioral traits, endocrine disruption, endocrine disruptors, EDCs, toxicological biomarkers, threespined stickleback, ethinyl estradiol, Gasterosteus aculeatus, anthropogenic chemicals., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Chemicals, Endocrine Disruptors - Environmental Exposure & Risk, endocrine disruptors, Risk Assessments, Monitoring/Modeling, Physical Processes, Biology, Endocrine Disruptors - Human Health, bioindicator, assays, biodiversity, biomarkers, ethinyl estradiol, EDCs, endocrine disrupting chemicals, exposure, exposure studies, animal model, sexual development, mechanistic screening, animal models, human exposure, human growth and development, toxicity, endocrine disrupting chemcials, estrogen response, invertebrates, invertebrate model, chemicl screening, hormone production, androgen, estrogen receptors, ecological risk assessment model, assessment technology, estuarine crustaceans

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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