Assessing Fate and Transport of Steroid Hormones or Endocrine Disrupters (EDs) in the Environment
Tolessa Deksissa, Ph.D.
PSM Water Resources Management
Department of Environmental Sciences
The Agricultural Experiment Station has teamed with the Water Resources Research Institute to conduct research on Endocrine Disrupters (EDs). Dr. Tolessa Deksissa is the Principal Investigator of the project entitled, “Assessing Fate and Transport of Steroid Hormones or Endocrine Disrupters (EDs) in the Environment.” This joint sponsored study addresses the information gap pertaining to how steroid hormones behave in agricultural land and ultimately enters a waterway where they interferes with the normal functioning of endocrine system of aquatic animals. This project currently focuses on the natural hormones that are produced in a large quantity by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). They are also called emerging contaminants, as they are not regulated and their mobility and effect in the environment is not well understood. This study is initiated at the University of the District of Columbia to gain a better understanding of factors and processes that affect the mobility and persistence of these compounds in the environment and to contribute to the sound scientific information for the regulators. The field study site was implemented at the Muirkirk Research Farm in Beltsville, MD, and Dr. Deksissa is currently working to develop a state-of-the-art laboratory to analyze these compounds as well as other emerging contaminants in the environmental samples.