While at EPA I joined a team lead by Dr. David Walters studying the Sangamo-Weston PCB superfund site in South Carolina. This site is interesting because PCBs have been present for so long that they have permeated the entire aquatic food web of a portion of Lake Hartwell. Hence the contaminant is acting like a label, much like using stable isotopes have been used to label an entire food web. Here, the effect is on a spatial scale that no artificial experiment can match. That makes Lake Hartwell a nearly unique natural laboratory. In this body of work, we were interested in the transfer of PCBs from aquatic to terrestrial food webs. We focused on spiders that congregate in the riparian zone and eat emergent aquatic insects. This was some of my favorite work, and the team won a Level 1 EPA Science and Technological Achievement Award. Products include: Raikow et al. 2011, and Walters et al. 2010.

  • Fields: Ecotoxicology, Ecology
  • Study Type: Field survey
  • Ecosystems: Lakes, Riparian zones
  • Organisms: Spiders, Aquatic insects