Research Focus Area 2: Multi-Level Organismal Impacts

In CREST-CAChE I, we improved our understanding of pollutant source, transport and effects across
urban-rural landscapes. We have been able to combine the study of traditional ecological and
toxicological endpoints (e.g., survival, growth, etc.) with the development of molecular 'omic' studies,
including genomics and epigenomics. By leveraging new knowledge and the next generation of
technologies, we are better able to understand the impacts of multiple global change stressors (from subtle to lethal), as well as the mechanisms underlying their effects on multi-level organismal responses. 

In CREST-CAChE II, weareexpandingstressor detection and study impacts at the organismal level (developed in CREST-CAChE I) tothe molecular mechanistic basis. For that purpose, new innovative methods are incorporated including: genomics (genetic diversity), epigenomics (gene regulation capacity), transcriptomics (gene expression) and metabolomics (molecules involved in physiological responses). These 'omic' analyses comprise a very powerful toolkit to detect even the slightest impact of stressors on individuals and ultimately, populations. In combination with the study of the totality of exposures in organisms, i.e., the exposome, this project will reliably and simultaneously measure both environmental exposures and genetic variation, providing a better understanding of the causal links among the genome, the environment and phenotypic response.

Our faculty are using new sensing techniques to help determine biogeochemical cycles, including contaminant sources, storage, transport and transformations. We are quantifying how contaminants move and change across South Florida's natural, agricultural and human/urban landscapes.

Kevin Boswell-BiologicalSciences
Alicia Boymelgreen-Mechanical & Material Engineering

Heather Bracken - Grissom-Biological Sciences

Mark Butler-Biological Sciences

Nathan Dorn-Biological Sciences

José Maria Eirin-Lopez-Biological Sciences

Alastair Harborne-Biological Sciences

Michael Heithaus-Biological Sciences

Jeremy Kiszka-Biological Sciences

Yannis Papastamatiou-Biological Sciences