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Research Interests

Hamilton County, TN has a relatively high incidence of low birth weight infants. By examining PAH and metal concentrations in area soils and human placenta, my laboratory is examining correlations between these toxicants and low birth weight.

Research being conducted in my laboratory is focusing on the effects of pharmaceuticals on various aquatic organisms (e.g., Daphnia magna and Xenopus laevis). As the human population increases, so does the amount of direct and indirect consumption and excretion of pharmaceuticals, both in veterinary and medical application. The effects of this continual loading in the aquatic community are unknown. The goal of my laboratory is to determine the compounds that may be the most harmful to aquatic organisms so that actions may be taken to protect the environment, if necessary.

Another research focus is that of Chattanooga Creek, which runs through the city of Chattanooga. This surface water was used as a dumping ground for many of the industries in the Alton Park region of Chattanooga. Many people live around the creek and are exposed to toxicants from the Chattanooga Creek. My laboratory is examining the types of compounds present and the potential for effects in humans. We are determining this by measuring biomarkers of exposure in small mammals inhabiting the floodplains of Chattanooga Creek. These data are then used to estimate likelihood of exposure and effects through probabilistic risk assessments.

 

Grants/Projects

$2,500,000 – National Children’s Study, Bradley County, TN (2013). D. Adair and C. Hall (PI), G. Heath (Co-PI), and S. Richards. Source: National Institutes of Health (awarded but distribution is pending).

$379,355 – Investigation of the Cause of Low Birthweight Infants in Hamilton County, TN. (2008-2012). Sean Richards (P.I.), D. Adair, S. Symes. Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS/HRSA 1H1SMC10654-01-00 RICHARDS 08-).

$251,270 -Acquisition of a LC-MS-MS for Research in Biology, Environmental Science, and Chemistry at UT Chattanooga (2005). Sean Richards (P.I.), S. Symes, G. Grant, M. Kovach, D. Kreiss. Source National Science Foundation.

$178,953 – PAH/Metal Exposure and Effects Assessment in Chattanooga (2004-2007). S. Richards (P.I.), M. Kovach, K. Johnson, Z. Lin. Source: National Institutes of Health.

$95,100 - Acquisition of a Fluorescence Imaging System for Research in Biology, Environmental Science and Chemistry at UT Chattanooga. Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant (2003). M. Kovach (P.I.), S. Richards, M. Santiago, H. Spratt. Source: National Science Foundation.

$131,642 – Integrated Inquiry-Based Field Investigations in Environmental Science (2002-2004). S. Richards (P.I.), E. Guthrie-Nichols was original P.I.), K. Adsit, D. Ford. Source: National Science Foundation (with matching funds from UTC).


Publications

*denotes student author

Schorr MS, Dyson MC, Nelson CH, Van Horn GS, Collins DE, Richards SM. 2013. Effects of stream acidification on lotic salamander assemblages in a coal-mined watershed in the Cumberland Plateau. Journal of Freshwater Ecology Vol. 28, No. 3, 339-353.

E. Hussar*, S. Richards, ZQ Lin, R.P. Dixon , and K. A. Johnson. 2012. Human Health Risk Assessment of 16 Priority Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Soils of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 22 (9):5535-5548.

S. Richards, D. Ford, and K. Adsit. 2012. Integrating Inquiry-Based Field Investigations into an Environmental Science Curriculum. Journal of Tennessee Academy of Sciences 87 (2):105-115.

R. Red*, S. Richards, C. Torres, C. Adair. 2011. Environmental Exposures and Pregnancy Emergencies. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 66 (3):159-69.

P. Tithof, S. Richards, Elgayyar MA, Menn FM, Vulava VM, McKay L, Sanseverino J, Sayler G, Tucker DE, Leslie CC, Lu KP, Ramos KS. 2010. Activation of group IVC phospholipase A(2) by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons induces apoptosis of human coronary artery endothelial cells. Archives of Toxicology. 2010 Dec 4.

J. Conley*, S. Symes, M. Schorr, M. Hanson, S. Richards. 2009. Is ambient chitobiase activity a monitoring tool for impacts on secondary productivity in lotic systems?  Canadian Journal of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences 66:1274-1281.

S. Moss*, J. Keller, S. Richards, T. Wilson. 2009. Levels of persistent organic pollutants in plasma from a riverine turtle assemblage from the Tennessee River Gorge. Chemosphere 76:194-204.

J. Conley*, S. Symes, M. Schorr, M. Hanson, S. Richards. 2008. Spatial And Temporal Analysis Of Pharmaceutical Concentrations In The Upper Tennessee River Basin. 2008.  Chemosphere 73:1178-1187.

J. Conley*, S. Symes, S. Kindelburger*, S. Richards. 2008. Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Method For The Determination Of A Broad Mixture Of Pharmaceuticals In Surface Water.  Journal of Chromatography A. 1185:206-215.

S. Richards, K. Eckert, J. Stephens, T. Rainwater. 2008. An Observation of Aberrant Behavior in a raccoon (Procyon lotor) infected with canine distemper virus. Southeastern Naturalist 7/3:556-558.

S. Richards, S. Kelly*, and M. Hanson. 2008. Zooplankton chitobiase activity as an endpoint of pharmaceutical effect. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 54:637–644.

S. Richards and S. Cole*. 2006. Developmental Toxicity of Thirteen Pharmaceuticals to Xenopus Laevis. Ecotoxicology 15:647-656.

C. Salafia, R. Miller, S. Richards, C. Adair, L. Troxler. 2006. Chorionic Vascular “Fit”, Cord Centrality And Fetal Growth Restriction. Placenta (9-10): A24-A24 SEP-OCT 2006.

D. Adair, Z.Lin, S. Richards, C. Salafia, R. Miller, D. Misra, B. Duthie, and L. Mason. 2006. Human Placental Arsenic Levels Correlate with Low Birth Weigh (LBW). Journal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation 13 (2):198A.

R. Miller, D. Wilson, C. Salafia, A Ornoy, S. Yacobi, S. Richards, et al. 2006. Environmental impact on placental function in diseases of pregnancy. Placenta (9-10): A6.

C. Salafia, D. Adair, R. Miller, D. Misra, S. Richards, L. Mason, and A. Charles. 2006. Reduced chorionic vascular "fit" is correlated with shortened gestation, and reduced observed/expected birth weight ratio. Journal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation 13 (2):90A.

R. Brain*, D. Johnson*, S. Richards, M. Hanson, H. Sanderson, P. Sibley, K. Solomon. 2004. Effects of 25 Pharmaceutical Compounds to Lemna gibba Using a Seven-Day Static-Renewal Test. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 23:371-382.

S. Richards, C. Wilson*, D. Johnson*, D. Castle, S. Mabury, S. Lam*, P. Sibley, and K. Solomon. 2004. Effects of Pharmaceuticals on Aquatic Ecosystems. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 23:1035-1042.

M. Lam, C. Young, R. Brain, D. Johnson, M. Hanson, C. Wilson, S. Richards, K. Solomon, S. Mabury. 2004. The aquatic persistence of eight pharmaceuticals in outdoor microcosms monitored by HPLC-UV and LC-MS-MS using electrospray ionization. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 23:1431-1440.

R. Brain*, D. Johnson*, S. Richards, M. Hanson, H. Sanderson, P. Sibley, K. Solomon. 2004. Microcosm Evaluation of the Effects of an Eight Pharmaceutical Mixture to the Macrophytes Lemna gibba and Myriophyllum sibiricum exposed in Aquatic Microcosms. Aquatic Toxicology 70:23-40.

B. Brooks, C. Foran, S. Richards, J. Weston, P. Turner, J. Stanley, K. Solomon, M. Slattery, and T. La Point. 2003. Aquatic Ecotoxicology of Fluoxetine. Toxicology Letters 142:169-183.

S. Richards, and R. Kendall. 2003. Physical Effects of Chlorpyrifos on Two Developmental Stages of Xenopus Laevis. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 66: 75-91.

S. Richards and R. Kendall. 2002. Behavioral Effects of Chlorpyrifos on Two Developmental Stages of Xenopus Laevis. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 21: 1826-1835.

S. Richards, J. Gandy, J. Mattice, and T. Lavy. 2001. Airborne Concentrations of Propanil Within Residences of Families Living Adjacent to Aerially Sprayed Rice Fields. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 41:112-116.

S. Richards, T. Anderson, M. Hooper, S. McMurry, S. Wall, H. Awata, M. Mayes and R. Kendall. 2000. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Response to Chlorpyrifos Exposure in a Corn Agroecosystem. Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry 75: 215-234.

 

Technical Reports

J. Schneider, G. Cobb, B. Federici, S. Richards, G. Scott, J. Thies, M. Weaver, M. Whalon. 2006. Event MIR604 Modified Cry3A Protein Bt Corn - Plant-Incorporated Protectant. A Set of Scientific Issues Being Considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regarding: FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting, SAP Report No. 2006-02.

P. Jepson, S. Richards, G. Cobb. 2004. Product Characterization, Human Health Risk, Ecological Risk, And Insect Resistance Management For Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cotton Products A Set of Scientific Issues Being Considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regarding: FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting, SAP Report No. 2004-05.

S. Richards. 2002. Quanitation and Risk Assessment of Pharmaceutical Mixtures in Aquatic Ecosystems. Final Report submitted to the Canadian Network of Toxicology Centres – Risk Assessment Methodologies Theme Team.

S. Richards. 2002. Field Assessment of the Biological Effects of a Mixture Exposure of Fluoxetine, Ciprofloxacin, and Ibuprofen in Aquatic Mesocosms. Final Report submitted to the Guelph Turfgrass Institute.

S. Richards. 2001. Risk Assessment of Alkylphenol Ethoxylates and Fluorinated Surfactants, Individually and as Mixtures, in Aquatic Environments. Final Report submitted to the Canadian Network of Toxicology Centres – Risk Assessment Methodologies Theme Team.

T. Anderson, S. Richards, S. McMurry, M. Hooper. 1998. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) Response to Chlorpyrifos Exposure in a Corn Agroecosystem. Final Report submitted to Dow Agrosciences.

 

Books/Book Chapters

* denotes student author

J. Conley* and S. Richards. 2013.Environmental Teratogenesis. In (ed) J.F. Férard and C. Blaise, Encyclopdedia of Aquatic Ecotoxicology. Invited Submission. Publisher: Springer, New York, New York.

C. Mickelson* and S. Richards. 2011. Zoonotic and Animal Vector Mediated Encephalitides. In (ed) Sergey Tkachev, Non-flavivirus Encephalitis. Invited Submission. Publisher: InTech, Rijeka, Croatia. ISBN 979-953-307-178-6.

J. Leet* and S. Richards. 2009. Genetic Ecotoxicology. In (ed) F. Columbus, Ecotoxicology Research Developments. Invited Submission. Publisher: Nova Publishing, Hauppauge, NY (pp 61-88).

J. Conley* and S. Richards. 2008. Ecotoxicology: Teratogenesis. In (ed) B. Ronan, Encyclopedia of Ecology. Invited Submission. Publisher: Elsevier, Oxford, UK. Pp 3528-3535.

B. Brooks, C. Foran, S. Richards, J. Weston, R. Brain, P. Turner, J. Stanley, K. Solomon, M. Slattery, and T. La Point. 2005. Aquatic Ecotoxicology of Fluoxetine: A review of recent research. In: Hot spot pollutants; Pharmaceuticals in the Environment. Publisher: John Hopkins University; Department of Pharmacology, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Solomon KR, Brock TCM, de Zwart D, Dyer SD, Posthuma L, Richards SM, Sanderson H, Sibley PK, Van den Brink PJ (Editors). 2008. Pensacola, FL, USA: SETAC Press. 380pp.

Solomon KR, Brock TCM, de Zwart D, Dyer SD, Posthuma L, Richards SM, Sanderson H, Sibley PK, Van den Brink PJ. 2008. Chapter 1: Extrapolation in the Context of Criteria Setting and Risk Assessment. In: Solomon KR, Brock TCM, de Zwart D, Dyer SD, Posthuma L, Richards SM, Sanderson H, Sibley PK, Van den Brink PJ, eds. EXPECT: Extrapolation Practice for Ecotoxicological Effect Characterization of Chemicals. Pensacola, FL, USA: SETAC Press. 380pp.

Posthuma L, Richards SM, de Zwart D, Dyer SD, Sibley PK, Hickey C, Altenberger R. 2008. Chapter 5: Mixture Extrapolation Approaches. In: Solomon KR, Brock TCM, de Zwart D, Dyer SD, Posthuma L, Richards SM, Sanderson H, Sibley PK, Van den Brink PJ, eds. EXPECT: Extrapolation Practice for Ecotoxicological Effect Characterization of Chemicals. Pensacola, FL, USA: SETAC Press. 380pp.

Solomon KR, Brock TCM, de Zwart D, Dyer SD, Posthuma L, Richards SM, Sanderson H, Sibley PK, Van den Brink PJ. 2008. Chapter 8: Conclusions. In: Solomon KR, Brock TCM, de Zwart D, Dyer SD, Posthuma L, Richards SM, Sanderson H, Sibley PK, Van den Brink PJ, eds. EXPECT: Extrapolation Practice for Ecotoxicological Effect Characterization of Chemicals. Pensacola, FL, USA: SETAC Press. 380pp.

S. Richards, T. Anderson, S. Wall, and R. Kendall. 2000. Exposure Assessment of Rana Catesbeiana Collected from a Chlorpyrifos Treated Cornfield. Invited Submission In: (ed) J.J. Johnston,Pesticides and Wildlife. American Chemical Society, Clarendon Hills, IL.

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