university seal
university seal


John Doyle – PhD Student, Marine Sciences; MS, Molecular Biology, Montclair State University, Montclair; MS, Criminalistics, University of New Haven, West Haven; BS, Biology, Saint Peter's College, Jersey City

Project Title: Uptake and bioaccumulation of nanoparticles by benthic suspension feeders
Advisor: J. Evan Ward


Summary: Nanoparticles are typically defined as any material having one or more dimensions less than 100 nm in size. Currently, nanoparticles have applications in a diverse range of consumer products including medications, detergents, cosmetics, paint, sunscreen, and electronics. Coastal ecosystems in close proximity to densely populated, industrialized regions are particularly vulnerable to the infiltration of anthropogenic materials such as nanoparticles.  My research focuses on the accumulation of nanoparticles in suspension-feeding bivalves, and the potential deleterious effects on the animals' overall health. Specifically, my research will address three questions: Is there a difference in the uptake rate of nanoparticles freely suspended in seawater as versus those incorporated into marine snow? What is the retention time and potential for bioaccumulation of nanoparticles in the gills, mantle, and digestive glands of suspension-feeding bivalves? Finally, what are the whole organism physiological responses of these animals following nanoparticle exposure? Results of my research will provide information important to the management of broader ecological problems such as how to minimize nanoparticle exposure and ensure a safer shellfish population for human consumption.