Baltimore LTER scientist's work in the news

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Dr Emma Rosi-Marshall’s work on pharmaceuticals and personal care products in streams is garnering much interest in national and regional science media.  Some of her research is conducted in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), where she has been named Director Designate.  She is currently part of the leadership team of BES, and will take over directorship of the project in 2016.

Rosi-Marshall is conducting pioneering research on the effects of pharmaceuticals – both legal and illicit – and of personal care products on the functioning of streams.  These chemicals in daily use for therapeutic, cosmetic, and recreational purposes, have been known to occur in streams for a long time.  However, Rosi-Marshall’s research is discovering an increasing breadth of such compounds that can be found in streams in cities and suburbs, as well as rural and exurban areas.  More importantly, her research is among the first to explore just how these increasingly common chemicals can affect the structure of aquatic communities and the functioning of stream ecosystems.

At BES, Rosi-Marshall generally conducts research on factors that control and influence ecosystem function in human-dominated ecosystems. Freshwater is one of our most vital and threatened resources, so understanding how human-driven global change impacts freshwater ecosystem function is critical to safeguarding this resource. Dr. Rosi-Marshall's research focuses on several aspects of human modifications to freshwater ecosystems such as land use change and restoration, widespread agriculture and associated crop byproducts, urbanization and the release of novel contaminants, and hydrologic modifications associated with dams.

For good introduction to this topic and her work, please read Flushed Drugs May Threaten Stream Ecologies.