Welcome to The McKinney Lab
at the UNiversity of connecticut
Thanks for stopping by!
Here's a Wordle to give you an idea of what we're interested in:
Here's a link to a talk at The Wildlife Society (TWS 2015) by Melissa on Alaskan polar bears to show you the types of projects we're working on.
Here's a relevant quote on global climate change-contaminant linkages to give you an idea of what we do:
Last updated: October 2017
All content © M. McKinney unless otherwise indicated
What's going on:
New paper "Environmental and behavioral changes may influence the exposure of an Arctic apex predator to pathogens and contaminants" published in the journal Scientific Reports.
New paper "Ecological change drives a decline in mercury concentrations in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears" published in the journal Environ. Sci. Technol. is an ACS Editors’ Choice Article (6/14/17) and is featured in EurekAlert! (AAAS), Science Daily, Seeker, Scientific American, Popular Science, National Post (Canada), The Wildlife Society, among others
Another new paper, led by PhD student, Sara Pedro, "Mercury and persistent organic pollutants in native and invading forage species of the Canadian Arctic: Consequence for food web dynamics" is published in the journal Environ. Pollut.
New paper led by PhD student, Sara Pedro, entitled "Blubber-depth distribution and bioaccumulation of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in Arctic-invading killer whales" published in the journal Sci. Total Environ.
McKinney Lab is awarded Institute of Biological Risk Grant to investigate "Biological risks posed by the poleward redistribution of the oceans’ top predator: Insight from killer whale feeding in Greenland"
McKinney Lab is headed to Reston, VA, to participate in the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment (AMAP) International Conference on Arctic Science: Bringing Knowledge to Action from April 24-27
Melissa is giving keynote address at the Connecticut Association of Biology Teachers "Climate Change and Biology Education" Conference on April 29
Congratulations to Jen Bourque for being selected to participate in the first field-school of the International partnerships for excellent education and research (INTPART) project “Arctic Field Summer Schools: Norway-Canada- USA collaboration” from 16-31 May, 2017!
McKinney Lab, in collaboration with Kristin Laidre at University of Washington, is awarded Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering Mini-Grant to study "The influence of flexible foraging strategies on hair mercury concentrations in Baffin Bay
Welcome to new MS student, Jennifer Bourque, who will be evaluating decadal scale trends in southern Beaufort Sea polar bear feeding ecology and relationships to hydrocarbon contaminant exposures
Melissa is interviewed for Scientific American article "Polar Bear Cubs at High Risk from Toxic Industrial Chemicals, Despite Bans"
New paper "Temporal complexity of southern Beaufort Sea polar bear diets during a period of increasing land use" published in the journal Ecosphere
McKinney Lab is awarded SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund grant to study "Feeding Ecology and Contaminant Exposures of Killer Whales in Greenland"!
Melissa is co-teaching NRE 2345 "Introduction to Fisheries and Wildlife" this fall. Interested undergraduate students are encouraged to register.
Welcome to visiting MS student, Jenny Stern, from the University of Washington, who will be researching the movement, feeding ecology, and related contaminant exposures of the Baffin Bay polar bear subpopulation
New paper "Current-use pesticides in seawater and their bioaccumulation behavior in polar bear-ringed seal food chains of the Canadian Arctic" published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Welcome to new undergraduate student, Kaliana Tom, who will be investigating the fatty acid signatures of fish as potential prey of Greenland killer whales
Melissa presents "Mercury concentrations and trends in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears: Influence of the recent increase in onshore habitat and resource use" at the International Bear Association (IBA) 2016 meeting in Anchorage, Alaska and co-chairs session "Bear Toxicology" Check out Alaska Dispatch News coverage of the findings!
New paper "Rapid environmental change drives increased land use by an Arctic marine predator" published in PLoS ONE
PhD student Sara Pedro takes a trip to Arviat, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic to present at the local high school, college campus, and Hunters and Trappers Association meeting about her work on contaminants in prey fish
Melissa gives a seminar in Marine Sciences at UConn's Avery Point Campus
Undergraduate students, Conor Boba, Jennifer Bourque and Jessica August present their research on Arctic-invading killer whale diets and contaminant accumulation at the UConn Frontiers Spring Conference
PhD student Sara Pedro presents talk entitled "Persistent organic pollutant and mercury levels in marine forage fish: subarctic invaders compared to arctic residents in the eastern Canadian Arctic" at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) 5th Young Environmental Scientists Meeting in Gainesville FL
McKinney Lab is awarded USGS grant to study "Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear foraging ecology relative to increased land use: Preliminary screening of blood PCB and OC pesticide levels related to feeding and condition"
Melissa gives invited talk at The Wildlife Society Conference entitled "Onshore food resources add complexity to the response of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears to declining sea ice habitat"
McKinney Lab, in collaboration with the Fisk Lab at the University of Windsor, receives second Northern Contaminants Program grant to research "Spatial variation in Canadian Arctic prey fish communities and contaminant levels: Assessment of candidate POPs, selenium and fatty acids"
McKinney Lab receives renewal on USGS grant to study "Demographic, seasonal and inter-annual variation in southern Beaufort Sea polar bear diets: Influence of habitat use and climate factors and consequences for body condition"
Welcome to new undergraduate students, Jessica August, Conor Boba, and Jennifer Bourque who will be investigating diets and persistent organic pollutant loads of arctic-invading killer whales!
New article "Global versus local causes and health implications of high mercury concentrations in sharks from the east coast of South Africa" accepted in the journal Science of the Total Environment
Melissa is teaching NRE 4340 "Environmental Toxicology" this fall. Interested graduate and upper level undergraduate students at UConn in Chemistry, Ecology, Environmental Science, Natural Resources or Pathobiology are encouraged to register!
Invited review article "A review of ecological impacts of global climate change on persistent organic pollutant and mercury pathways and exposures in arctic marine ecosystems" by Melissa, PhD student Sara Pedro, and co-authors is published in the journal Current Zoology
McKinney Lab receives UConn Scholarship Facilitation Fund award for project "Using Fatty Acid Signatures to Quantify Killer Whale Diets: Insight from Analysis of Full-depth Blubber Profiles of Captive Killer Whales"
PhD student Sara Pedro receives SETAC travel award to present her results on mercury accumulation in arctic prey fish at the SETAC North America 36th Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City in November
Invited review article entitled "A review of ecological impacts of global climate change on persistent organic pollutant and mercury pathways and exposures in arctic marine ecosystems" by Melissa, PhD student Sara Pedro, and co-authors is accepted in the journal Current Zoology
McKinney lab featured in Naturally@UConn blog
New article published "Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modelling of immune, reproductive and carcinogenic effects from contaminant exposure in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) across the Arctic"
Melissa spends way-y too long making a lab wordle
Welcome to new PhD student Sara Pedro!
The Lab opens at the University of Connecticut
(Ribbon cutting ceremony pending...)