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: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2003
Project Amount: $82,973
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
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, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Scientific Discipline, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Endocrine Disruptors - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Chemicals, Risk Assessments, endocrine disruptors, Monitoring/Modeling, Physical Processes, Biology, Endocrine Disruptors - Human Health, bioindicator, biomarkers, assays, ethinyl estradiol, biodiversity, exposure, animal model, EDCs, exposure studies, endocrine disrupting chemicals, sexual development, mechanistic screening, human exposure, endocrine disrupting chemcials, animal models, human growth and development, toxicity, estrogen response, invertebrates, invertebrate model, chemicl screening, estrogen receptors, hormone production, androgen, assessment technology, ecological risk assessment model, estuarine crustaceans

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001
  • Final