Effects of Environmental Contaminants on Steroid Hormones in the American Alligator

EPA Grant Number: U914738
Title: Effects of Environmental Contaminants on Steroid Hormones in the American Alligator
Investigators: Crain, David A.
Institution: University of Florida
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: January 1, 1995 through January 1, 1997
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Ecology


The objective of this research project is to study the effects of endocrine-disrupting contaminants (EDCs) on the reproductive system of reptiles by determining: (1) the source of contaminants in the eggs of reptiles; (2) the effects of contaminants on gonadal structure and function; and (3) the mechanisms of contaminant-induced reproductive dysfunction.


Contaminants are released intentionally and nonintentionally into the environment as agricultural (pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers) and industrial chemicals. Persistent compounds may be bioaccumulated in the tissues of an organism over time due to chronic exposure. In addition to being bioaccumulated, these compounds also may be biomagnified as organisms higher in the food web consume prey. Bioaccumulation and biomagnification of contaminants can greatly increase the concentration of contaminants in an organism, increasing the likelihood of physiological alterations. Organismal- and molecular-level studies will be used to assess reproductive abnormalities induced by EDCs.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, contaminants, agricultural and industrial chemicals, endocrine disruptors, bioaccumulation, biomagnification, endocrine disrupting contaminant, EDC, reptile., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Environmental Chemistry, Health Risk Assessment, Endocrine Disruptors - Environmental Exposure & Risk, endocrine disruptors, Biochemistry, Endocrine Disruptors - Human Health, steroid hormones, pesticide exposure, alligator, altered sexual development, EDCs, endocrine disrupting chemicals, developmental biology, gestational exposure, fertilizer, animal models, reproductive processes, agrochemicals, gonad morphology

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1995
  • Final