UW SRP's Winter eBulletin.

Below are a few snapshots of recent University of Washington Superfund Research Program (UW SRP) accomplishments. 

New UW SRP research shows that rising carbon emissions impact salmon olfaction

    Salmon have a sense of smell thousands of times stronger than that of dogs. It allows them to find food, escape predators, and find their way back to their birthplace to spawn.
    Now new research from University of Washington Superfund Research Program (UW SRP) Director Evan Gallagher, his trainee Chase Williams, UW SRP member, Theo Bammler, and their partners at the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration has shown that changes in ocean chemistry associated with climate change are impairing salmon olfaction.
    “Our studies and research from other groups have shown that exposure to pollutants like cadmium can also interfere with a sense of smell for salmon,” said Gallagher.

“Now salmon are potentially facing a one-two punch from exposure to pollutants and the added burden of rising carbon dioxide. These have implications for the long-term survival of our salmon.”
  The research was published in Global Change Biology on December 18, 2018, documenting for the first time that the lower pH in ocean water resulting from higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affects the way coho salmon process and respond to smells.
    Salmon are an important part of the cultural identity and economy of the Pacific Northwest. The authors hope that their results will alert people to some important potential consequences of elevated carbon emissions. More details can be found here.
Read More

Translating UW SRP research for the Orca Recovery Task Force 

In November, the UW SRP Research Translation Core attended a public meeting of Governor Inslee's Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force to present current science from UW SRP Projects 1 and 3 which both have implications for the health of Puget Sound marine life. Participation in the event led to multiple requests for follow-up. Read more

Liz Guzy elected as a 2019 AAAS Community Engagement Fellow

In December, Liz Guzy, Administrator for the UW SRP, was selected as one of 24 2019 Community Engagement Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The program provides a rare professional development opportunity for people who cultivate engagement and collaboration within communities of scientists. Learn more

UW SRP Co-Sponsors Free Environmental Justice Symposium

In the fall, UW SRP helped bring together lawyers, elected officials, agency staff, tribal members and members of the public for a free all-day symposium titled "Environmental Justice for Washington and Beyond." The event was co-sponsored by the UW School of Law as part of their annual Environmental Law Symposium Series. Read more.

UW SRP Co-sponsors a Webinar by David Carpenter

Over 100 people registered for David Carpenter's February webinar on volatile PCBs hosted by the UW SRP and the Northwest Toxic Communities Coalition. Dr. Carpenter directs the Institute for Health and the Environment and is a professor of environmental health sciences at University at Albany's School of Public Health. A full recording of his webinar can be found here.

Theo Bammler nominated for 2019 UW Distinguished Staff Award

Dr. Theo Bammler, Director of the UW SRP Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics Core, was nominated for the UW Distinguished Staff Award in January. Dr. Bammler supports many UW SRP projects by providing expertise and analytical capacity in bioinformatics, molecular, and systems biology.

Rebecca Neumann receives 2018 Charles S. Falkenburg Award 

In December, Rebecca Neumann, Principal Investigator of UW SPR Project 4, traveled to Washington DC to accept the American Geophysical Union (AGU)'s Charles S. Falkenberg Award in recognition of her work to combat food and water security challenges around the world. Learn more.

Hao Wang defends Ph.D. thesis

In October, Hao Wang successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis, titled "Cadmium exposure impairs adult neurogenesis, cognition, and olfactory memory in mice." Dr. Wang trained with Dr. Zhengui Xia and has contributed to UW SRP Project 2 by examining the role of cadmium exposure in the development of neurodegenerative disease. Read more.

We want to hear from you!

UW SRP Director, Evan Gallagher, and Director of the Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores, Tom Burbacher, are eager for feedback and partners. Please don't hesitate to contact them or Research Translation Manager, Lisa Hayward, at

e-mail us
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Superfund Research Program
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Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences · University of Washington · Box 357234 · Seattle, WA 98195 · USA

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