Colorado School of Mines
Meaghan Guyader is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Colorado School of Mines studying sources and biological impacts of trace organic contaminant mixtures. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. In addition to her current research, Meaghan is interested in improving relationships between engineers and community stakeholders. She hopes to build a career resolving environmental justice issues at the local, national, and global scales.
Non-target Characterization of Endocrine Active Trace Organic Mixtures Impacting Minnesota Sunfish Spawning Habitats
Environmental trace organic contaminant (TOrC) mixtures are suspected to have additive or synergistic adverse effects on wildlife. This study implemented a non-target workflow informed by biologic assays to prioritize endocrine active features in the littoral zones of three Minnesota lakes. Adult male bluegill sunfish were captured concurrently with grab, temporally integrated, and spatially integrated porewater samples from beneath spawning beds. Blood concentrations of vitellogenin and 11-ketotestosterone were used as endpoints of endocrine activity to designate sites as either biologically active (Group 1) or biologically inactive (Group 2). Aqueous samples were analyzed using liquid chromatography tandem quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF/MS) with variable window data independent acquisition. A peak picking and profile building software was then used to identify common features across samples. A t-test prioritized candidates with significantly higher (p < 0.05) abundances in endocrine active samples (Group 1). Structure elucidation of these features was conducted through comparison to existing spectral libraries.