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Maria (Marisol) S Sepúlveda

Forestry and Natural Resources 

  • Professor of Ecology and Natural Systems & Associate Head of Research
FORS Room 103
195 Marsteller St
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033

Dr. Maria ("Marisol") Sepúlveda's main area of research is ecotoxicology.  Over the last decade, she has conducted extensive research evaluating the sublethal effects of a wide-range of environmental contaminants on the physiology of numerous terrestrial and aquatic species.  For instance, she has worked with heavy metals (mercury), complex industrial mixtures (paper mill effluents), herbicides and pesticides (e.g. atrazine, dieldrin, DDT and derivatives, and toxaphene), and industrial pollutants (polychlorinated biphenyls and polyaromatic hydrocarbons).  In terms of species, although most of her work has been focused using vertebrates (including marine mammals, birds, and fishes) as animal models, Dr. Sepúlveda has recently began research with aquatic invertebrates (Hyalella and Diporeia).

Within the field of ecotoxicology, Dr. Sepúlveda’s main area of interest involves studying the potential health effects of environmental contaminants in populations of free-ranging fish and wildlife.  Specifically, Dr. Sepúlveda’s research has focused on understanding the effects of pollutants on reproduction and early life-stage development.  Besides examining whole animal and tissue-level responses to environmental contaminants, in recent years Dr. Sepúlveda has began investigating the effects of chemicals at the sub-cellular and molecular levels.  In fact, since her arrival to Purdue, she has incorporated the use of proteomics and genomics in her research.  In collaboration with other Purdue faculty, Dr. Sepúlveda is also in the process of developing other novel biomarkers of exposure and effects to environmental stressors such as “physiomics” and “metabolomics”.

Dr. Sepúlveda also studies diseases in fish and wildlife.  Her strong background in veterinary medicine has helped her apply many diagnostic tools in the assessment and evaluation of health status in free-ranging fish and wildlife.  Dr. Sepúlveda has conducted several studies evaluating the parasitic helminthofauna and related health effects in marine mammals and aquatic birds.  She has also developed baseline hematological and blood chemistry parameters for a fish and a marine mammal species.   

Dr. Sepúlveda has over 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts published in the areas of ecotoxicology and wildlife diseases, and has presented her work at dozens of international meetings.

Research Group - Ecology of Natural Systems, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Wildlife Science

Facilities - Animal Care Facility, Aquatic Molecular Biology and Analytical Lab, Aquatic Ecology Research Lab, Aquaculture Research Lab, John S. Wright Center

Related Centers - Center for the Environment, Purdue Interdisciplinary Center for Ecological Sustainability, Bindley Bioscience Center, Physiological Sensing Facility

Awards & Honors

(2018) College of Agriculture Research Award. College of Agriculture.

(2018) College of Agriculture Millionaire's Club. College of Agriculture.

(2017) Seed for Success. Purdue University.

(2017) Susan Bulkeley Butler Distinguished Lecture.

(2016) Diversity catalyst. Purdue University.

(2016) Purdue University Showalter Scholar. Purdue University.

(2015) Purdue University Faculty Scholar. Purdue University.

(2013) Western Region Excellence in Multistate Research Award.

Selected Publications

Abdel-Moneim, A., Mahapatra, C. T., & Sepúlveda, M. S. (2018). In vivo visual reporter system for estrogenic contaminant exposure using transgenic see-through Japanese medaka Oryzias latipes. Chemosphere, 201, 251-253. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.02.184

Kar, S., Sepulveda, M., Roy, K., & Leszczynski , J. (2017). Endocrine-disrupting activity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances: Exploring combined approaches of ligand and structure based modeling. Chemosphere, 184, 514-523. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.06.024

Gao, J., Lin, L., Wei, A., & Sepulveda, M. S. (2017). Protein Corona Analysis of Silver Nanoparticles Exposed to Fish Plasma. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY LETTERS, 4(5), 174-179. doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00074

Abdel-Moneim, A., Mahapatra, C. T., Hatef, A., & Sepulveda, M. S. (2015). Ovarian structure protein 1: A sensitive molecular biomarker of gonadal intersex in female Japanese medaka after androgen exposure. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Stensberg, M., Zeitchek, M., Inn, K., McLamore, E., Porterfield, D., & SepÏlveda, M. (2014). Comparative study of non-invasive methods for assessing Daphnia magna embryo toxicity. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 18, 10803-10814.

Zenobio, J., Sanchez, B., Archuleta, L., & Sepulveda, M. (2014). Effects and mechanisms of toxicity of triclocarban, DEET and a mixture of other pharmaceuticals on fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 33, 910-919.

Chen, S., McKinney, J., Nichols, K., & Sepulveda, M. (2014). In silico prediction and in vivo validation of Daphnia pulex microRNAs. PLoS ONE, 9, e83708.

Almeida, L. Z., Guffey, S. C., Sepulveda, M. S., & Hook, T. O. (2017). Behavioral and physiological responses of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) to moderate hypoxia. COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY, 209, 47-55. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2017.04.009

Stensberg, M., Madangopal, R., Yale, G., Wei, Q., Ochoa-acuna, H., Wei, A., . . . Sepulveda, M. (2014). Silver nanoparticle-specific mitotoxicity in Daphnia magna. Nanotoxicology, 8, 833-842.

Foley, C., Bowen, G., Nalepa, T., Sepulveda, M., & Hook, T. (2014). Stable isotope patterns reveal shared resource use by native and invasive species in areas of co-occurrence. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 71, 12-Jan.

Forestry and Natural Resources, 715 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061 USA, (765) 494-3590

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