William Alexander Hopkins

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We provide an overview of research related to environmental effects of disposal of coal combustion residues (CCR) in sites in the United States. Our focus is on aspects of CCR that have the potential to negatively influence aquatic organisms and the health of aquatic ecosystems. We identify major issues of concern, as well as areas in need of further(More)
Trace element concentrations in banded water snakes, Nerodia fasciata, and representative prey items from a site polluted by coal combustion wastes were compared with concentrations in conspecifics from a nearby reference site. Water snakes accumulated high concentrations of trace elements, especially arsenic (As) and selenium (Se), in the polluted habitat.(More)
This study describes an interrenal stress response in adult toads, Bufo terrestris, after exposure to coal combustion waste (characterized by a variety of trace elements). In the first portion of this study, free-ranging male toads captured at the coal ash polluted site exhibited significantly higher circulating levels of corticosterone (B) in both(More)
Humans are changing the environmental conditions of our planet, and animal immune functions are being affected by these modifications. For instance, a diversity of chemical contaminants is entering ecosystems and modifying immune functions directly or indirectly through altered host-parasite interactions. Also, global temperature changes have caused(More)
Although many amphibian populations around the world are declining at alarming rates, the cause of most declines remains unknown. Environmental contamination is one of several factors implicated in declines and may have particularly important effects on sensitive developmental stages. Despite the severe effects of maternal transfer of contaminants on early(More)
Environmental contaminants have direct effects on organisms at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels, but the net results of these sub-organismal effects are only consequential to exposed populations if they alter organism-level traits that ultimately influence fitness (e.g., growth, locomotor performance, reproduction, and survival). Here, we explore(More)
Compared with birds, mammals, fish, and even amphibians, very little is known about the effects of contaminants on reptiles. Recent evidence that many reptile populations may be declining has stimulated demand for toxicological studies of reptiles as well as development of nondestructive sampling techniques useful for assessing and monitoring contaminant(More)
Little currently is known about the accumulation or effects of contaminants on reptiles. To date, most studies examining reptile exposure to trace elements report tissue burdens of field-captured animals, but seldom provide insight into the dose, duration, or mode of exposure involved. For two years, we fed juvenile banded water snakes (Nerodia fasciata)(More)
How an animal performs in its natural environment ultimately plays a key role in its reproductive success. While a number of studies have investigated how selection acts on performance-related traits, far fewer studies have examined the mechanisms responsible for variation in performance. Among mechanisms, variable morphology has received the most(More)
Study organisms in chronic toxicological bioassays are often provided with excessive resources to remove food limitations as a confounding experimental variable. Under more ecologically realistic situations, resources are often less abundant and such restrictions may alter the responses of organisms to environmental contaminants. Here, we investigated the(More)