Riverdale News & Stories
Students collected samples along the Bronx River as part of the Summer Science Research Lab.
A research project investigating the effects of contaminants on mollusks in the Bronx River has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal, "Ecotoxiciology and Environnmental Safety."
The study, conducted over a seven-year period, was led by Dr. Rachel L. Cox, director of science research, and involved students in Riverdale's Summer Science Research Program. Named as co-authors are Andrew Ravaschiere '15, Henry Magun '13, Zachery Halem '14, Caroline Cutler, '15, Fred Meckler '18, and Kristi Edelson, who interned in the lab.
The group focused on the Atlantic Ribbed mussel, Geukensia demissa, a sentinel species which is native to the Bronx River Estuary. The group compared samples found at the Bronx River and Greenwich Cove estuaries, and measured two proteins that are considered biomarkers for an array of environmental factors. The Bronx River samples showed evidence of adaption in response to environmental stress.
"The students are contributing to the scientific dialogue regarding important issues around climate change, urbanization, and adaption," Cox said. "They are applying biotechnology to ecological questions in the lab. This project is the culmination of questions that they posed, experiments that they designed, and analyses that they performed."