Donald Tillitt

Donald Tillitt
Branch Chief, USGS
Columbia Environmental Research Center

PhD, 1989 Michigan State University

Research Summary

Environmental toxicology, chemical effects on fish reproduction and development

Research Description

I lead an active research program on the effects of chemicals on fish and wildlife, with an emphasis on reproduction and development in fish.

Our research interests focus on developmental effects of persistent chemicals in fish. Multiple levels of biological organization are generally evaluated in our research efforts, with endpoints consisting of molecular, biochemical, histology, and behavioral-level effects.

Current research projects in our laboratory include 1) effects of contaminants on visual development and linkages to behavioral deficits (predator avoidance and prey capture); 2) causes and effects of thiamine deficiencies on Great Lakes salmonines; and 3) effects of chemicals on sexual differentiation and gonad development in fish; 4) effects of atrazine on fish reproduction and development; 5) gene expression patterns along the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis of fish after methylmercury exposure; and 6) characterization of steroid hormones, gonadotrophins, and gonad development patterns in shovelnose sturgeon.

Selected Publications