Water Pollution in Southern Alberta - A Fish Tale

April 19, 2007 :: Alice Hontela
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Fish can show signs of adverse health effects of water pollution before humans do. Understanding the impacts of water contaminants on fish can help society identify and address water quality issues that pose significant risk to aquatic life and to humans.
Dr. Alice Hontela of the University of Lethbridge is a world leader in the study of adverse effects on fish from chronic exposure to low level chemical pollution. She is working to understand the mechanisms through which pollutants impair physiological health and the endocrine function of aquatic species and to develop diagnostic tools for use in water quality assessment.
What effect are pollutants found in southern Alberta waters having on the health of fish? What story do the fish provide to help us better understand water pollution and its consequences?

Dr. Alice Hontela is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Ecotoxicology in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge. She obtained her B.Sc. at the University of Ottawa, and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. (Comparative Endocrinology) at the University of Alberta. Following a Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellowship in the Faculty of Medicine (Pharmacology and Therapeutics) at the University of Calgary, she became a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
In 2003, Alice moved to Lethbridge where she teaches toxicology and animal physiology, and directs a research program investigating the effects of pollutants (pesticides, metals, pharmaceuticals) on the physiological health of fish.

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