Christy Morrissey

Environmental Contaminants Impacting Birds and Wetland Ecosystems

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Dr. Christy Morrissey, an ecotoxicologist with the Department of Biology, studies the effects of environmental contaminants on ecosystems and organisms. One of her projects focuses on the impact of neonicotinoid insecticides in prairie wetland ecosystems in Canada. Examining the effects of a controversial insecticide that is widely used, she looks at problems for aquatic insects that live in contaminated agricultural wetlands and the birds that depend on those insects for food.

Dr. Morrissey and her team of graduate students are studying how the chemical enters the wetlands and what processes occur with its presence. The project has significant implications for not only the environment but also for the insecticide industry. Previous work of Dr. Morrissey’s on another harmful insecticide used in the forest industry had resulted in a chemical being removed from the market due to its environmental implications.

Other research interests include examining contaminants and avian migration as well as contaminant effects on avian development. Dr. Morrissey, also affiliated with the School of Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Toxicology , is studying in how contaminants may be impacting the life cycle and migratory patterns of birds.