Environmental Sciences


Research Topic 1: Invertebrate Model

Daphnia model has been used for the bioassay of new chemical identities. This organism is also important for many applications to biology, ecology, toxicology and environmental sciences. In this laboratory, the chemotactic properties of Daphnia have been studied for years. And, an Intel science project has been recognized to be awarded as the first place in Intel-affiliated New Jersey science competition in the category of environmental sciences in 2011.  Since then, many superior science projects have been completed.   For example, one of the projects created a multitasking lake model that has been assembled to simulated the daphnia response with a herbicide and insecticide in the miniaturized real lake. And, the study found out that daphnia could respond to the chemical stimulus by negative or positive chemotactic properties. The data has been published in the Journal of Ecotoxicology.

Research Topic 2: An Unique Bioassay Model

Using Plexiglas and Arduino system, Peter has assembled an experimental apparatus which can video-capture the swimming patterns of D. magna in a chemically formulated solution using two digital microscopes that are connected to a PC computer. The D. magna can move vertically in a test tube by the change of light of which intensity and wavelength can be controlled by an external controller. This project will first identify the preference of color and intensity of light to which the D. magna may be responded. The data will be used for evaluation of new chemical compounds for any possible adverse effects given to the organism. How will the swimming patterns be modified by the aqueous media? What will be the color of light preferred by the D. magna? Much more questions will be scientifically answered for sure from this study.

For another invertebrate model, a fruit fly model has been established in order to study the fly’s behavioral patterns under various chemical compounds.    In addition, their characteristics of developmental phases have been investigated.   Mutation study could be possible under the influence of e-cigar smoke and other carcinogenic compounds.

Research Topic 3: Surface Migration of L. Terrestris By Chem.

With the advent of the chemical era, the world is now covered by new chemicals in the air, land, and water. Earthworm, L. Terrestris should be affected by the pollutants and contaminants. On the other hand, the necessity of soil fertilization and importance of organic foods have given more attention to the management of earthworm. This study can enable us to visualize the migration of L. Terrestris by the effects of various chemical compounds in the darkness. The apparatus utilized four of bipolar electrodes and data acquisition system to calculate the time and speed of the organisms moving away or close to the sources of chemical stimulus using a three compartmental model. The study found out some chemical compounds could actually attract the earthworm with very strong intensity.