Detailed Poster Abstract Schedule

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Monday 26 September 2016 – Salon 12 – 17:00 – 19:00

Author / Presenter: Susan Baldwin
Affiliation: University of British Columbia
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Many mines are surrounded by aquatic ecosystems. When assessing impacts from mining on these important environments very small single-celled organisms are largely overlooked compared with multi-cellular ones, although they are just as critical for ecosystem health. Sediment microbiomes play important roles in carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and metal cycling that impact quality of the overlying water. Shifts in the sediment microbiome community composition might have implications for metal release or sequestration depending on what functional groups are present. After the Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility breach in August 2014 dispersed tailings into Hazelton Creek, Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake, we measured the microbial community composition and metabolic potential of the impacted littoral zones. Heavily impacted areas had microbiomes very different from those found in non-impacted areas. While the microbial communities within different vertical layers of the non-impacted littoral zones were quite distinct, evidence of mixing was observed in samples from impacted sites. Additionally, certain species were enriched in the deposited tailings, such as Thiobacillus denitrificans, a species that couples oxidation of sulphur compounds with denitrification, with implications for the S cycle.

Author / Presenter: Rebecca Dalton
Affiliation: Carleton University
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Invasive aquatic plant species are a significant threat to the health of aquatic ecosystems and demand for chemical control options are likely to increase as invasive species spread and reach nuisance levels. Currently, data on the effects of chronic, ecologically relevant concentrations of current-use aquatic herbicides on non-target biota are lacking. The objective of our study was to assess the effects of the aquatic herbicide diquat on target and non-target biota using outdoor mesocosms (300 L) to simulate natural systems. The experiment consisted of a control and five treatments reflecting environmentally relevant concentrations of diquat, each with five replicates. Biota included a) native and invasive macrophytes collected from nearby waterbodies (Elodea canadensis, Ceratophyllum demersum, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae and Myriophyllum spicatum), b) natural communities of phytoplankton and periphyton, c) caged amphipods (Hyalella azteca) and d) northern leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates pipiens). The effects of diquat on biota important to Canadian ecosystems will be discussed. Overall, results from this study will assess the potential risks versus benefits diquat poses to the aquatic environment.

Author / Presenter: William Dew
Affiliation: Trent University
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) undertake a fright response when presented with skin-damage released chemical cue, also known as Schreckstoff. Response to this cue is dependent on an intact olfactory system, which can be impaired by a wide variety of organic and inorganic contaminants. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have a variety of toxic effects on fish; however, to date no studies have been performed to determine how AgNPs affect the alarm response of fish. To determine if exposure to AgNPs affects the response of fish to alarm cue, fathead minnows were exposed to one of three concentrations of silver nanoparticles (0.17, 8.82, or 90 µg/L) or to control water for 48 hours. All exposure waters were made using filtered and ozonated Otonabee River water. The concentrations of AgNPs used in this study mirrored environmentally relevant concentrations as well as the concentration used in a whole-lake experiment in the Experimental Lakes Area as part of the Lake Ecosystem Nanosilver (LENS) project. Fish exposed to control water, 0.17, and 8.82 µg/L AgNPs had an intact avoidance response to Schreckstoff, while fish exposed to the highest concentration (90 µg/L) did not respond to the alarm cue. A loss of response to alarm cue would put fish at increased risk for predation. Remarkably, fish exposed to 0.17 µg/L AgNPs had an increased response to alarm cue as compared to control, indicating that the addition of a very low concentration of AgNPs somehow improved the olfactory ability of fathead minnows. It is unclear if this increased response would be beneficial or detrimental in an ecological context. Neurophysiological experiments are ongoing to determine if the effects of AgNPs on alarm response is due to a difference in olfactory acuity. These results demonstrate that AgNPs have an effect on the response of fathead minnows to alarm cue, however, more work is needed to determine the ecological consequences of an increased behavioral response due to the presence of 0.17 µg/L AgNPs.

Author / Presenter: Alberto dos Santos Pereira
Affiliation: Alberta Innovates Technology Futures
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

In Northern Alberta, Canada, the production of bitumen from open-pit oil sands mining requires 2-3 barrels of water for every barrel of bitumen produced. Large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) are stored in large tailings ponds so that it can be recycled into the extraction process. Despite the water recycling efforts (80 to 95%), in 2012 the use of fresh water was approximately 187 million m3 (Canadian Association of Petroleum producers 2013); which is about 40% of the City of Toronto’s annual water consumption. Moreover, due to the large water volume used daily, tailings ponds are growing in volume and number, and in 2011 covered approximately 170 km2. There are concerns that OSPW leaches from tailings ponds into groundwater, or into river water, but proving this is complicated by the fact that natural groundwater can contain many of the same chemicals as OSPW (e.g. Naphthenic acids). As a consequence, there is an ongoing need to improve environmental monitoring in the Athabasca region. Due to the complex nature of OSPW, an untargeted analytical platform to interrogate and interpret the large volume of data generated during the analysis of water samples by LC-Orbitrap-MS (operated with resolution power from 120K to 480K) was developed. The approach was applied to river water samples collected in the Alberta oil sands region. Results indicate that the approach extends monitoring capabilities from the “classical” naphthenic acids to the inclusion of ionisable compounds with molecular formula CcHhNnOoSs. It has recently been postulated that compounds belonging to this general class contribute to the toxicity of OSPW. Thus, obtaining information about these compounds will enable regulators and environmental managers to improve monitoring and reclamation programs in the region.

Author / Presenter: Paula Duarte-Guterman Vicki Marlatt
Affiliation: Simon Fraser University
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Neonicotinoids are a class of widely used insecticides that have been detected in ng-?g/L concentrations in surface waters world wide near agricultural water ways, but few studies have examined the potential sub-lethal effects of these pesticides on aquatic vertebrates. In particular, the health effects of chronic, low-level neonicotinoid exposure on anadromous salmonids within the Fraser River Basin in British Columbia, Canada are poorly understood. This research examined the effects of the neonicotinoid insecticides, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, following either a single pulse or chronic exposure, on critical early life stages of a wild salmon species, sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). In these experiments, 4 concentrations of the neonicotinoids (0.15, 1.5, 15 and 150 ?g/L) plus a water control were tested in a single pulse exposure experiment during the fertilization process (imidacloprid only) and in a chronic exposure experiment that was initiated immediately post-fertilization (imidacloprid and thiamethoxam). All experiments continued through to the swim up fry developmental stage. Three unique offspring sets (crosses) in the imidacloprid exposure and two unique crosses in the thiamethoxam exposure were tested within each experiment, and all treatments were conducted in duplicate. Neither of the neonicotinoids at the concentrations tested had any effects on survival rates during these studies. Analyses are ongoing, however, to date no effects are evident on body length or weights in either the pulse or chronic continuous pesticide exposures, but significant differences in morphometrics between genetic crosses are apparent. In addition, preliminary gene expression analyses in fish exposed to imidacloprid revealed cross- and treatment-specific effects on oxidative stress and detoxification biomarkers. Work is underway to explore the differences between genetic crosses and neonicotinoid-induced molecular responses (hepatic endocrine and immune system transcript abundance) and hormone concentrations to further evaluate the sub-lethal effects of these pesticides in early life stage sockeye salmon. Supported by Fisheries and Oceans Canada National Contaminants Advisory Group.

Author / Presenter: Amy Gainer Amy Gainer
Affiliation: Toxicology Graduate Program, University of Saskatchewan
Student: Yes

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 19:00
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Avoidance tests are a rapid toxicity test type in soil toxicology to assess the influence of contaminants on organisms behaviors. Behavioral studies are currently lacking in ecotoxicology risk assessment and can easily be incorporated into the common risk assessment tool, the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) curve. Soil invertebrates with chemosensing abilities avoid nonvolatile, volatile and semi volatile contaminants. Semi volatile contaminants like petroleum hydrocarbons interfere with chemosensing and alter the distribution and behavior of soil invertebrate populations. Development of guidelines considering ecologically relevant endpoints are important to maintaining ecological functioning of soil invertebrate communities following contamination events. The effective concentration (EC) values for avoidance tests for numerous soil invertebrates were compared to the EC value for reproduction. Soil remediation guideline derived from a SSD was determined with and without inclusion of avoidance tests to assess how these tests influence the resulting guidelines.

Author / Presenter: Esteban GILLIO MEINA
Affiliation: University of Saskatchewan
Student: Yes

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Insufficient data are available to understand how common water quality variables representative of Alberta’s oil sands region can affect toxicity of vanadium (V) to aquatic organisms and how this effect could be explained through an understanding of the toxic mechanisms of action of V. On-going investigations proposed the use of petroleum coke to reduce organic toxicants through sorption present in oil sands process water (OSPW). However, vanadium is released from petroleum coke to “coke-treated” OPSW increasing the aqueous V concentration from negligible to up to 7 mg/L. Results to date indicate that some water chemistry variables modify V toxicity to aquatic organisms. For instance, when alkalinity increased from 100 to 600 mg/L as CaCO3, the toxicity of V to D. pulex decreased. Also, when sulphate concentrations were raised from 30 to 300 mg/L, the LC50 to D. pulex rose from 0.95 to 1.31 mg/L. However, when the concentration of sodium was higher than 400 mg/L, the toxicity of V to D. pulex doubled. Sulfate and bicarbonate has similar chemical structure to vanadate (the most abundant species at the tested pH), so these contrasting trends could indicate that the mechanism of V uptake and toxicity in Daphnia could be through anion carriers, and that V may be affecting the internal sodium ion balance, potentially causing a respiratory disruption within the organism. Other research has suggested that V inhibits the sodium-potassium pump, while separate publications suggest that V elicits its toxicity through generation of reactive oxygen species. Thus, there is still uncertainty as to what the actual mechanism of toxicity is. Here, a mechanistic investigations of V toxicity using D. magna is described. Initial results indicate that there is no significant effect of V on whole body sodium concentration or on sodium influx in Daphnia magna, suggesting that the inhibition of the Na/K pump is not the most probable mechanism of toxicity. Further research will focus on lipid peroxidation and effects of V on superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity to investigate if oxidative stress is the predominant mechanism of action.

Author / Presenter: Melissa Gledhill
Affiliation: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Melissa Gledhill¹, Alain Armellin¹, Sean Backus¹, Mandi Clark¹, Marlene Evans¹, Christine Garron¹, Michael Keir¹, Benoit Lalonde¹, Mark Sekela¹, Jim Syrgiannis¹ ¹Environment and Climate Change Canada. In 2008 the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda (CARA) was established by the Government of Canada to regulate and monitor emissions from Canadian industrial, transportation and manufacturing sectors. Under CARA, the Mercury Science Program addressed emissions and deposition of mercury and its fate and potential effects in the Canadian landscape. The CARA FISHg network was established to determine mercury concentrations in predator and prey fish in lakes distributed across Canada and to track changes in those concentrations over time. A total of 19 lakes have been sampled since 2008. Of those lakes, a core set of 6 lakes has been monitored every year of the program. These 6 lakes are located in watersheds with little or no disturbance and no point source terrestrial-based mercury inputs. All sampling was conducted using standardized field protocols and laboratory analyses to enable comparability of data between lakes as well as between years. In situ depth profiles were conducted to identify thermal and oxygen stratification. Data collected for the fish were species, age, sex, length, weight, stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen, and 30 metals including mercury in both fillet and whole fish tissues. Water samples were analysed for nutrients, ions, physical parameters, metals, mercury, methylmercury and chlorophyll A. Sediment samples were analysed for inorganic and organic carbon, organic nitrogen, sulphate, metals, mercury and methylmercury. Additionally, sediment cores were collected at 5 of the 6 long-term lakes and have been dated and analysed for mercury and methyl mercury. With nearly 10 years of monitoring data, temporal patterns and spatial comparisons between the lakes are presented.

Author / Presenter: Mark Hamilton
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Student: Yes

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Hamilton, M.E., Bols, N.C., Duncker, B.P., Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada In eukaryotes, histones play a crucial role in guarding the integrity of the genome. During situations of external factors causing genotoxic stress such as double stranded breaks (DSBs), and stalled replication forks, a variant known as H2AX is recruited to chromatin and is phosphorylated at its C’-terminal SQE site by PI3K-like kinases such as ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM), ATM- and Rad3-related protein (ATR), and DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) in order to rapidly alter chromatin structure and initiate a critical signalling cascade required for resection, repair, and/or apoptosis. Though phosphorylated H2AX (?H2AX) is dispensable for initial recognition of DSB sites, it is responsible for the greatly accelerated recruitment of repair factors to damage foci, and is an early signature of severe genotoxic stress in cells. An important downstream factor of ?H2AX in the DNA damage response (DDR) is the tumor-suppressor protein p53, an effector protein that regulates processes including DNA repair, cell-cycle arrest, senescence, and apoptosis. During the DDR, p53 can be activated via phosphorylation by ATM, ATR, and by key signal transducers Chk1 and Chk2. Once active, p53 is able to transcriptionally regulate many other genes involved in these processes. Compared to mammals, p53 function has been shown to differ in fish and other lower vertebrates, where known genotoxic stimuli fail to induce expressional changes in p53, suggesting that the mechanism of DNA repair in fish may differ from well-studied mammalian models. In the present study, various brain and intestinal myofibroblast cell lines from teleost fish species (Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, and sturgeon) were treated with model DNA-damaging agents bleocin and methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) in order to profile dose- and time-dependent expression of both ?H2AX and p53. We found that the activation of ?H2AX is conserved between mammals and the studied species in response to genotoxic stress, and that sensitivity differs between similar cell types across different species. In addition, we observe that p53 expression differs between our studied teleosts, and in sturgeon and salmon it may have a reduced role in the DDR compared to trout. This study highlights the potential of ?H2AX and p53 as specific biomarkers of genotoxicity, as well as candidate cell lines to assay the status of environmentally affected waters.

Author / Presenter: Trevor Hamilton Dustin Newton
Affiliation: MacEwan University
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Human generated (anthropogenic) carbon dioxide levels are on the rise. Many studies have shown that elevated carbon dioxide concentrations, predicted for the year 2100, can have detrimental effects on marine organisms (commonly termed ‘ocean acidification’). In Californian rockfish, elevated carbon dioxide levels increase anxiety, and this is likely due to altered function of the GABAA¬ receptor. There are similar changes that may occur in freshwater ecosystems causing acidification, yet this has rarely been investigated to date, however studies in pink salmon do demonstrate alterations in behaviour. In this study we exposed zebrafish (Danio rerio), to approximately 3500 ?atm of carbon dioxide and measured their behaviour. The novel tank diving test, a common measure of anxiety in zebrafish, was used after 4 days of elevated carbon dioxide exposure. To quantify the locomotion of the fish we used a motion-tracking software system and measured time in the top, middle, and lower zones of the arena, and total distance travelled. Here we will show the effects of elevated carbon dioxide levels on anxiety-like behaviour in zebrafish.

Author / Presenter: Trevor Hamilton Nathan Nadolski
Affiliation: MacEwan University
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a by-product of the recovery and separation of oil from surface mined bitumen. After its use in this process, OSPW is sequestered in large, lake-like storage basins called tailing ponds, until such time that it can be remediated and returned to the environment. In this study, we explored the possible effect of acute OSPW exposure on zebrafish (Danio rerio) behaviour. Zebrafish are an excellent model organism for this study because they exhibit basic and quantifiable behaviour that has been well documented in a variety of behavioural tests. Using replicate tanks for both groups, we exposed half of our fish (n=50) to a 10% OSPW environment and the other half (n=50) to dechlorinated Edmonton tap water as a control group for a period of 10 days. The fish were tested at the end of the 10-day OSPW exposure. To quantify locomotion and anxiety in the fish, motion tracking software was used to observe and analyze shoals of five zebrafish in an open field testing arena. The tendency of zebrafish to shoal is an innate response to predators or stress and is commonly used as an index of anxiety. Subsequently, the activity of the shoal was recorded after a novel object was introduced to the center of the arena. In the OSPW exposed fish, we observed a significantly larger inter-individual distance (IID) compared to our control group. Additionally, the duration and frequency that the OSPW fish spent in the center zone of the testing arena was significantly greater. Taken together, this data suggests that short term exposure to 10% OSPW alters shoal cohesion, indicative of decreased anxiety.

Author / Presenter: Ryan Hennessy Rick Scroggins
Affiliation: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

A review of Canadian Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) has recently identified the need for a new monitoring and compliance test method. This new method is necessitated by a number of mining operations in the Canadian far-north who have requested that they be allowed to discharge saline effluent from their operations to marine environments. Currently, the invertebrate Reference Method prescribed in the MMER for acute lethality testing of mining effluents uses Daphnia magna as the test species (EPS 1/RM/14). D. magna, while an excellent species for the testing of freshwater effluents, is inappropriate for the testing of saline effluents which are discharged to marine or brackish environments as the species is intolerant of salt concentrations in excess of four parts per thousand. The MMER will be amended in the near future to prescribe acute lethality testing with marine fish and invertebrate species so there is need for a marine invertebrate standardized test for monitoring and compliance purposes. To serve as an acceptable saline effluent testing method the invertebrate species must be: salt tolerant, capable of surviving in cold water, easily cultured in a laboratory setting, and found in Canadian marine and estuarine environments where it plays both top-down and bottom-up roles in the food web. These criteria are fulfilled to some degree by several marine invertebrate species but Acartia tonsa is set apart from all others by the extensive effluent quality control work that has been performed with it in other jurisdictions. Previous method standardization accomplished, and expertise developed, with A. tonsa by other agencies (e.g. the International Standards Organization and the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Territory and Sea Protection) can be leveraged to drastically reduce the time and cost necessary to develop an Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) standard Reference Method. When taking the relatively tight timelines into account, A. tonsa is the only sensible marine species for ECCC to pursue for the acute lethality requirement under an amended MMER.

Author / Presenter: Ryan Hennessy Rick Scroggins
Affiliation: Environment Canada
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

As part of the 10-year review of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulation (MMER) and the development of mines in the Canadian far-North, a need has been identified for new biological Reference Methods to measure acute lethality in saline effluent from mine operations discharging to the marine environment. A marine fish test method is needed for monitoring and compliance purposes as part of the amended MMER (tentatively scheduled for publication in Canada Gazette Part II by the end of March 2018) and would be a substitute to the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) test (EPS 1/RM/13) used for the assessment of acute lethality in freshwater mining effluents. To select an acceptable saline effluent testing method, several fish species were considered using criteria such as: salinity tolerance, cold water suitability, the level of experience Canadian ecotoxicological laboratories have employing the species in routine testing, availability of biological suppliers, year-round availability of juveniles suitable for testing, ecological relevance to Canada (especially in northern waters), and representation in the literature including method standardization work carried out by other organizations. Seventeen potential vertebrate species were explored using the aforementioned criteria. Gasterosteus aculeatus was selected from these seventeen species as the most appropriate for Environment and Climate Change Canada?s acute lethality requirement under an amended MMER. The selection of three-spined stickleback was primarily influenced by the extensive method development and standardization work that has been performed with this species in addition to its meeting of all other criteria.

Author / Presenter: Keegan Hicks
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Student: Yes

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Small bodied fish species are ideal sentinel species for assessing environmental impacts because they are short lived, more abundant, and are generally thought to have reduced mobility. Although they have many advantages there is a general lack of knowledge on the home range and mobility of most small bodied fish species. Tracking devices to monitor the movement patterns of fish are generally limited to larger fish, thus less options are available to track movement of small bodied fish. The current study used a mark-recapture technique to assess the site fidelity and movement of the rainbow darter; a small bodied benthic fish species used in several recent studies assessing the impacts of municipal wastewater effluents in the Grand River watershed, southern Ontario. Rainbow darter in the urbanized area of Kitchener and Waterloo had very high rates of intersex in male fish downstream of the outfalls. However, this phenomenon was also observed in some fish collected at upstream sites in close proximity to the outfalls. This led to the hypothesis that previously exposed fish from downstream sites may be moving to the upstream reference sites. To assess site fidelity of the rainbow darter, a mark-recapture study was initiated in the upper Grand River watershed, where they were highly abundant (and collection would not affect our ongoing studies). Three riffles (50-100 m in length) along a 500 m reach, each separated by pools were selected for the study. Each riffle was divided into 5 m by 5 m plots (108 total) and 3036 fish were tagged during July, August, and November of 2014. Fish were tagged twice, once in the abdomen using coloured elastomer (specific to each riffle) and once in the pectoral girdle with an alpha tag containing a unique code. Recaptures were assessed in August and November of 2014 and May and August of 2015 inside and outside of the original 500 m reach. A total of 565 fish were recaptured, representing an average recapture rate of 6% (30% of the recaptures retained their alpha tag). On average, 85% of recaptured fish remained in the same riffle in which they were tagged. The greatest movement was in spring (spawning period) when 30% of the fish moved to a downstream riffle, as far as 1 km. In contrast, the majority of recaptures that moved across riffles in the summer period were in the upstream direction. A high proportion of recaptures that retained their alpha tags demonstrated high site fidelity, with 70% remaining within 5 meters of their original tagging location, confirming their minimal movement. However, a small proportion of the fish may move to adjacent riffles or further during the year possibly confounding the results (i.e. intersex) of environmental monitoring. This study successfully demonstrated a novel technique to individually track small bodied species.

Author / Presenter: Kevin Jackman
Affiliation: University of Victoria
Student: Yes

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Olfaction is a critical component of tadpole survival, providing the ability to locate food and to avoid predators. Olfaction requirements change during amphibian metamorphosis as an herbivorous tadpole transitions from aquatic to terrestrial environments and becomes a carnivorous frog. Little is known about the influence of thyroid hormones or endocrine disrupting compounds(EDCs) found in household and industrial products on the olfactory system. The American bullfrog, Rana (Lithobates) catesbeiana, is a model organism for studying thyroid hormone action in vertebrate species. Metamorphosis from an aquatic tadpole to a terrestrial frog involves reconstruction of nearly every tissue in the amphibian’s body and is entirely dependent on the action of thyroid hormones, L-thyroxine (T4) and 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3). Premetamorphic R. catesbeiana tadpoles lack any measurable circulating thyroid hormone and exogenous TH exposure results in premature metamorphosis. In the present study, the olfactory impact of exposure to various hormones and known EDCs was investigated. Premetamorphic tadpoles were separately exposed to environmentally-and physiologically relevant concentrations of T3, T4, 17 beta-estradiol (E2), and multiple concentrations of a chemical cocktail of known EDCs typically found in municipal wastewater. In a separate experiment, municipal wastewater was spiked with this chemical cocktail and subjected to either anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) or membrane enhanced biological phosphorus removal (MEBPR) processes. A parallel treatment train was operated for each with vehicle spiked into the wastewater influent. After 48 hours of exposure, the olfactory bulb (OB) from the brain and the olfactory epithelium (OE) from the rostrum were dissected from tadpoles. RNA was extracted from the tissues and transcript levels were evaluated using RNA-seq and targeted qPCR. Gene expression data indicate that both tissues are responsive to thyroid hormones. A collaborative study currently being conducted monitoring behavioral endpoints will lend insight into the physiological correlations of these molecular findings. In linking biomolecules to behavior, we hope to elucidate important aspects of thyroid hormone-dependent processes in the olfactory system and the effects of disruption by anthropogenic EDCs.

Author / Presenter: Melanie Jaeger
Affiliation: Golder Associates
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Effective environmental effects monitoring requires accurate fish reproductive stage classification to reduce unnecessary variability in fish health data. Data must be categorized by sex (i.e., male, female or unknown) and maturity (e.g., maturing, ripe, spent) prior to performing statistical analyses. Multiple gonad maturity classification systems exist, and various terminologies are used among proponents, consultants, regulators, and laboratories which complicate communications and effective comparisons among studies. Golder Associates Ltd. (Golder) has developed a gonad maturity classification system, based broadly on information presented by Brown-Peterson et al. (2011), which allows for a consistent and reproducible approach of gonad classification to be applied across multiple studies and regions. The gonad maturity classification system includes seven gonad maturation stages, and five sub-stages (which account for the presence of parasites, which typically confound fish health analyses) and may be applied and understood by field staff during sampling programs, and technical staff (i.e., histologists) during subsequent laboratory analyses. Macro and histological images of gonads from both large-bodied and small-bodied fish studied during the 2015 and 2016 field seasons will be presented. This poster will present specific examples of the gonad maturity classification system developed by Golder for fish species most relevant to environmental effects monitoring in northern Canada, with specific examples from the Northwest Territories.

Author / Presenter: Chris Kennedy
Affiliation: Simon Fraser University
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

There is specific concern regarding the use of the anti-sea lice therapeutants Salmosan®, SLICE®, and Paramove 50® in the aquaculture industry and their toxicity to Pacific coast region organisms; it is unclear if current data using Atlantic species can be considered a surrogate for species indigenous to the west coast of Canada. Equally unknown are the potential lethal and sublethal effects that may occur in sensitive species at aquaculture sites where other stressors of a physical (e.g. hypoxia, temperature fluctuation) nature exist. Several shrimp species were tested for the acute lethal effects of each chemical: the reference species mysid shrimp (Mysidopsis bahia East coast species), and several species of Pacific shrimp including the coonstripe (Pandalus hypsinotus), dock (Pandalus danae) and pink shrimp (Pandalus jordani), spot prawn (Pandalus platyceros), ghost shrimp (Neotrypaea spp.), and an unidentified sand shrimp. Shrimp were exposed to 5 concentrations of either azamethiphos, hydrogen peroxide or emamectin benzoate in glass 40 L glass aquaria for up to 96 h. Preliminary analysis of this data indicate that Pacific coast shrimp are equally as sensitive to all 3 chemicals as their east coast counterparts. Initial experiments involved exposing spot prawn to water containing emamectin benzoate, azamethiphos or hydrogen peroxide and measurement of oxygen consumption (stress indicator). Chemical exposure of all 3 compounds resulted in concentration-dependent increases in oxygen consumption. Spot prawns were not exposed to aquaculture chemicals in a second set of experiments and were acclimated in a shuttle box apparatus, in a choice/avoidance assay. Hydrogen peroxide, emamectin benzoate, and azamethiphos at several concentrations showed conflicting results. Prawns were actively attracted and actively avoided all chemicals at low concentrations. In another set of experiments, it was necessary to determine the range of oxygen, temperature, and salinity tolerances in adult Pandalus spp. and to determine ranges for each of these ?stressors? to accompany aquaculture chemical exposures. Tolerable ranges have been determined that are currently being utilized for acute toxicity and sublethal toxicity experiments. The data obtained from this research is required to ensure the proper and safe use, and appropriate regulation of these aquaculture chemicals in Canada.

Author / Presenter: Madison Lehti Madison Lehti
Affiliation: Nautilus Environmental
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Periodic toxicity tests using a 30-day exposure to fathead minnows using ambient water samples collected upstream and downstream of mine operations in British Columbia (BC) resulted in adverse responses in larval fish in a number of samples in a manner that did not appear to be attributable to chemical constituents in the samples. The effects were on survival and generally occurred between day 6 and 12 of exposure; surviving fish showed no adverse sublethal effects on growth or incidence of deformities. Toxicity Identification Evaluation efforts determined that naturally-occurring microbes, most likely fungi, were the cause of toxicity. Amendment of the samples with copper was proposed and trialed as a prophylactic method to inhibit microbial growth; treatment with a concentration of copper equivalent to the 30-day average BC water quality guideline for copper appears to be sufficient to remove the confounding influence of microbial growth.

Author / Presenter: Mark McMaster
Affiliation: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

As part of the Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands monitoring program (JOSM), fish health within the Athabasca River watershed is being evaluated using methods developed for the Canadian Environmental Effects Monitoring program. Data will provide a baseline against which future changes in fish health will be judged and will be compared to historical studies where possible to assess change. On the Athabasca River white sucker have been selected as a large bodied sentinel species and trout perch as a small bodied sentinel species. Walleye are also being used for fish contaminant monitoring. Where possible study design collects fish at sites off the oil sands deposit (reference), at sites within the natural deposit but upstream of development and at sites downstream of development. We will discuss mainstem fish studies to date with recommendations on how to proceed with the monitoring program post 2015.

Author / Presenter: Monica Nowierski
Affiliation: Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Neonicotinoid insecticides are nicotine-based systemic compounds that are widely used in agriculture, either in field applications or as seed treatment, for the control of insect pests on vegetables, cereals, potatoes, corn, berries, tree fruits, and in turf and ornamental crops. Other uses include pet flea and tick products, treatment of structural areas (e.g. livestock production facilities), injection into trees, as well as use in greenhouses and nurseries. Studies have linked neonicotinoid insecticides with adverse impacts on non-target organisms such as pollinators (e.g. honey bees). In order to protect non-target organisms, the government of Ontario introduced new regulatory requirements for the sale and use of neonicotinoid-treated seeds, to reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed by 80 per cent by 2017. While attention has largely focused on potential risk to beneficial terrestrial invertebrate insects, the detection of neonicotinoids in aquatic habitats indicates the potential for risk to aquatic organisms as well. A recent study published by Arizona State University showed detections of imidacloprid and other neonicotinoids in the influent and effluent of 13 conventional wastewater treatment plants. In this study, the occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in Ontario wastewater treatment plants is reported, with a discussion on the implications this may have to receiving water non-target aquatic organisms.

Author / Presenter: Shireen Partovi
Affiliation: University of Victoria
Student: Yes

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Thyroid hormone (TH) facilitates a number of crucial processes in vertebrates, including growth, metabolism, and development. In frog tadpoles, TH is responsible for the metamorphosis of aquatic larvae into terrestrial frogs. During this process, the body of the animal undergoes extensive internal and external changes in preparation for a terrestrial life. The innate immune system, in particular, is significantly altered by TH modulation during metamorphosis, and is fundamental to the survival of the tadpole during this energetically demanding process. Tadpole liver and tail fin are heavily involved in the innate immune response and are valuable organs to study during metamorphosis as well as during disease challenge. Disruptions to vital TH pathways have negative implications for the intricate process of tadpole development, which presents the opportunity to use frogs as sentinels for research on TH disruption. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) interfere with hormone signaling in vertebrates, including amphibians. These include chemicals from sources such as pharmaceuticals, herbicides, pesticides, and personal care products. Conventional wastewater treatment methods do not fully remove EDCs, allowing low concentrations to persist in treated wastewater effluent. These low level EDCs may remain biologically active and disruptive to the endocrine system of developing tadpoles. TH pathway disruption that affects the development of innate immunity in tadpoles may result in increased susceptibility to disease and infection. In the present study, we exposed American Bullfrog (Rana (Lithobates) catesbeiana) pre-metamorphic tadpoles to the THs 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), the sex-hormone 17 beta-estradiol (E2), as a non-TH control, a cocktail of known EDCs, and treated municipal wastewater effluent. Gene expression was evaluated in the tail fin and liver using RNA-seq and targeted qPCR assays to determine the impact of these chemicals on various genes and pathways, including those relating to the innate immune system. It has been empirically demonstrated that the innate immune system of bullfrog tadpoles is affected by exposure to TH. The presented work will further our understanding of the connection between EDCs and innate immune system perturbation.

Author / Presenter: Dongliang (Eric) Ruan Dongliang (Eric) Ruan
Affiliation: University of Alberta
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Hydraulic fracturing (HF) has emerged as a revolutionary method of unconventional oil and gas recovery. The toxicity of HF flowback and produced water (FPW) has not been previously reported and is complicated by the combined complexity of organic constituents in HF fluids and deep formation water. Untargeted HPLC-Orbitrap-MS/MS revealed numerous unknown dissolved polar organics in an FPW sample from Alberta, Canada. Two series of ethylene oxide (EO) surfactants, polyethylene glycols (PEGs, H-(OC2H4)n-OH) and an unsaturated polyethylene glycols (two double bonds) ethoxylates (uPEGs), were identified in hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water. The PEG surfactants are polymers of ethylene oxide (EO) units, and those identified here included PEG-EO4 to PEG-EO13 (i.e. n = 4-13), similar to the results of Thurman et al. 28 Here all the PEG-EOn species were not only confirmed by accurate masses of the protonated or ammonium adducted ions, but moreover by diagnostic fragmentation in MS/MS experiments. However, PEGs were not the only important features in the chromatogram of the current sample. Four phosphates and one phosphite were identified based on accurate mass (mass accuracy < 2 ppm) and putative molecular formula. The further structural elucidation was proofed by MS/MS experiments and confirmed by using the authentic standards. For example, consecutive loss of C4H8 of tris (2,4-di-tert-butylphenyl) phosphate at low collision energy and further loss of phenyl groups from a phosphate core at higher collision energy. This allowed a general structure to be confidently proposed as an alkyl substituted tri-dibutylphenyl phosphate ester, and later confirmation with an authentic standard. This phosphate chemical is not listed on Canada's Domestic Substance List (DSL), however a corresponding tris (2,4-di-tert-butylphenyl) phosphite (C42H63PO3) is a common polymer antioxidant on the DSL and would yield the detected phosphate upon oxidation. These phosphates are known flame-retardants used as polymer additives, but also in fire-resistant hydraulic fluids and in lubricants. Alkyl phosphate esters were previously reported in FPW samples, but no aryl phosphate esters have been previously reported to our knowledge. This technique is applied for profiling analysis of flowback and produced water samples to to monitor water quality that results from fluids used in hydraulic fracturing. Keywords: flowback and produced water, LC-MS/MS, ethoxylated surfactants, phosphates/phosphite Reference: 1. Thurman, E.M.; Ferrer, I.; Blotevogel, J.; Borch, T. Analysis of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced waters using accurate mass: identification of ethoxylated surfactants. Anal. Chem. 2014, 86 (19), 9653-9666. 2. Environmental Protection Agency, USA. Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources: Chemicals Identified in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids and/or Flowback and Produced Water. 2015.

Author / Presenter: Kamran Shekh
Affiliation: University of Saskatchewan
Student: Yes

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Life stage-specific differences in the sensitivity of rainbow trout to cadmium: a mechanistic study Kamran Shekh, Markus Hecker, Som Niyogi Toxicology programme, University of Saskatchewan – SK, Canada. It is generally believed that sensitivity of fish to environmental pollutants including metals depends inversely on its size. However, previous studies suggest that certain species of fish such as rainbow trout are relatively tolerant to Cadmium (Cd) in the larval stage, and become comparatively more sensitive during later life stages. To date, an understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of life-stage specific differences in fish species including rainbow trout is lacking. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate the mechanistic basis of the life-stage specific differences in the sensitivity of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to Cd. We first conducted 96-h acute toxicity assays with Cd in 3 different life stages of rainbow trout: yolk sac, swim up, juvenile. Consistent with previous studies, yolk sac stage was found to be most tolerant to Cd (96-h LC50: 12.52 ?g/L) relative to the other life stages, which did not differ considerably in Cd sensitivity (96-h LC50: 1.93 – 3.0 ?g/L). Subsequently, each life stage of fish was exposed to 1 and 5 ?g/L of waterborne Cd for 40-h, and Cd body burden and whole body sodium (Na) and calcium (Ca) levels were evaluated. Yolk sac stage, which was most tolerant to Cd, showed no significant increase in whole body Cd accumulation and no significant effect on whole body Ca levels relative to the control. In contrast, a significant increase in Cd accumulation and approximately 30% reduction in whole body Ca levels were recorded in later life stages following exposure to Cd. Exposure to Cd did not alter the whole body Na levels in any life stage. Our findings demonstrated that sensitivity of rainbow trout to Cd does not necessarily depend on the body size, but rather appeared to be the result of changes in Cd accumulation and Cd-induced disruption of Ca homeostasis. Further studies are currently being conducted to determine the changes in Cd and Ca uptake kinetics across different life stages of rainbow trout as well as their correlation with the changes in the mRNA expression of important metal and ion transporters in the uptake epithelia (gill and skin).

Author / Presenter: Denina Simmons
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Student: No

Session: Monday Poster
Date: Monday 26 September 2016
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Salon 12

Abstract:

Hexagenia are an ecologically and widespread group of mayflies belonging to the order Ephemeroptera. There is growing interest in the development of a standardized test protocol using Hexagenia for use in ecotoxicological assessments. Both Hamilton and Toronto Harbours were designated by the International Joint Commission as being Great Lakes Areas of Concern due to contaminated sediments from Industrial activity and excess nutrients from wastewater effluents. Our goal was to characterize the effects of exposure to surface water and effluents from these two areas on the Hexagenia spp. proteome. Surface water samples were collected from three locations in Hamilton Harbour and two locations in Toronto Harbour. Effluents were also collected from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) discharging into the Harbours. Mayflies were exposed to all effluent and surface waters for 48hrs, with 10 replicates per exposure. Each animal was analyzed individually. Shotgun proteomics is a method where the proteome is first digested into peptide mixtures and then characterized by LC-MS/MS. The largest number of protein matches were found in the Diptera (Flies) database, while the greatest relative number of species matches were found in the Odonata (Dragonflies& Damselflies) & Ephemeroptera (Mayflies) databases. Significant differential expression of common proteins among all exposure and control groups suggest that there were effects on the proteome of Hexegenia spp. by effluents. The discussion will identify potential ways that data from this study could inform regulatory frameworks.