University of Otago, PhD
Fishing for Contaminants in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica: Analysing Temporal and Spatial Trends and Toxicological Impacts of Contaminants on Notothenioid Fish
Antarctica, despite its isolation, has encountered a succession of human activity since its discovery. Although considered the most "pristine" location on Earth, toxic organic contaminants have been detected in some locations of the continent. Recently, the focus has been on currently used contaminants that are still being used in large quantities. In particular, detection of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) has been related back to the research bases McMurdo Station and Scott Base and the concentrations of PBDEs in their vicinity have now exceeded legacy toxic contaminants in abiotic and biotic matrices. Current PBDE concentrations found in fish near the McMurdo Station sewage outflow are within the range at which both neurotoxicity and halted development in non-Antarctic mammals and fish have been demonstrated, yet their effect on Antarctic fish remains unknown.