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Biological Sciences

Haffner, Douglas G.
B.Sc. (Queen's), Ph.D. (London)

Ecotoxicology and aquatic ecology
Contact Information
Office Location: Biology Building - 36
Tel: (519) 253-3000 ext. 3449
Fax: (519) 971-3609

Research Outline
Research in my laboratory is focussed on the exposure and effects of chemicals in aquatic ecosystems. Research is in both the field and the laboratory. For field research, we have a 21' boat for open lake research, and a 16' boat for nearshore studies. Research currently addresses the coupling of the benthic and pelagic food webs as measured by using persistent organic chemicals and stable isotopes.

Much of this information is utilized to develop exposure models. For instance, we are in the process of developing both benthic and pelagic system models, that will eventually be integrated to a form a comprehensive ecosystem model of both energy/carbon and contaminant dynamics.

Laboratory research utilizes both in vitro and in vivo studies. The former is based on human, fish and rat cell lines for the study of cyto and gentotoxicity. The latter is primarily studies of chemical uptake and effects in fish and benthic invertebrates. Research is often performed in collaboration with other universities or government agencies, thus students get to work within a broad research environment. Although current studies emphasize PCBs and PAHs, future research will consider modern pesticides and effects on amphibean populations.

    Selected Publications

    Refereed Journals

    In Press

    Gewurtz, S.B., R. Lazar and G.D. Haffner. In press. "A comparison of PAH and PCB concentrations in benthic invertebrates of the Lake Erie food web." Environ. Toxicol. Chem.

    Morrison, H.A., D.M. Whittle and G.D. Haffner. In press. "Analyses of changes in PCB levels in aquatic biota for the western basin of Lake Erie before and after the proliferation of the round goby." Ecol. Model.

    Metcalfe, T.L., C.D. Metcalfe, E.R. Bennett and G.D. Haffner. "Distribution of toxic organic contaminants in water and sediments in the Detroit River." J. Great Lakes Res.

    Haffner, G.D. and P. Hehanussa. "The biology and physical processes of large lakes of Indonesia." Aquat. Ecosyst. Health Manag.


    Epplett, T.D., R. Lazar, S. Gewurtz and G.D. Haffner. 2000. "Seasonal dynamics of PCBs in the plankton of Lake Erie." J. Great Lakes Res. 26:65-73.

    Gobas, F.A.P.C., J.B. Wilcockson, R.W. Russell and G.D. Haffner. 1999. "Mechanisms of biomagnification under laboratory and field conditions." Environ. Sci. Technol. 33:133-141.

    Russell, R.W., F.A.P.C. Gobas and G.D. Haffner. 1999. "The role of chemical and ecological factors in trophic transfer of organic chemicals in aquatic food webs." Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 18:1250-1257.

    Leadley, T., L. Arcand, G.D. Haffner and C.D. Metcalfe. 1999. "Fluorescent aromatic hydrocarbons in bile as a biomarker of exposure of brown bullheads (Ameriurus nebulosus) to contaminated sediments." Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 18:750-755.

    Haffner, G.D., V. Glooschenko, C.A. Straughn, C.C. Hebert and R. Lazar. 1998. "Concentrations and distributions of polychlorinated biphenyls including non-ortho congeners in mink populations from southern Ontario." J. Great Lakes Res. 24:880-888.

    Morrison, H.A., F.A.P.C. Gobas, D.M. Whittle and G.D. Haffner. 1998. "Projected changes to the trophodynamics of PCBs in the Western Lake Erie ecosystem attributed to the presence of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)." Environ. Sci. Technol. 32:3862-3867.

    Leadley, T., B. Balch, C.D. Metcalfe, R. Lazar, E. Mazak, J. Habowsky and G.D. Haffner. 1998. "Chemical accumulation and toxicological stress in three brown bullhead (Ameriurus nebulosus) populations of the Detroit River." Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 17:1756-1766.

    Haffner, G.D., C.A. Straughan, D.V. Weseloh and R. Lazar. 1997. "Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, including coplanar congeners, and 2378 TCDD toxic equivalents in double crested cormorant and herring gull eggs from Lake Erie and Lake Ontario: A comparison between 1981 and 1992." J. Great Lakes Res. 23:52-60.

    Gillan, K.A., B.M. Hasspieler, R.W. Russell, K. Adeli and G.D. Haffner. 1997. "Ecotoxicological studies in amphibian populations of southern Ontario." J. Great Lakes Res. 24:45-54.

    Metcalfe, C.D., T.L. Metcalfe, G. Riddle and G.D. Haffner. 1997. "Aromatic hydrocarbons in biota from the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie." J. Great Lakes Res. 23:160-168.

    Morrison, H.A., F.A.P.C. Gobas, R. Lazar and G.D. Haffner. 1997. "Development and verification of benthic/pelagic food web bioaccumulation model for PCB congeners in Western Lake Erie." Environ. Sci. Technol. 31:3267-3273.

    Russell, R.W., K.A. Gillan and G.D. Haffner. 1997. "Polychlorinated biphenyls and chlorinated pesticides in southern Ontario, Canada, green frogs." Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 16: 2258-2263.

    Selected Papers to Professional Associations and Abstracts

    Haffner, G.D., P. Hehanusa and R. McNeely. 1998. "Biological and physical characteristics of large lakes of Indonesia." SIL Conf., Dublin, Ireland.

    Roy, D., S. Brandt and G.D. Haffner. 1998. "Measuring fish growth rate potential in Lake Ontario." IAGLR Conf., Hamilton, ON.

    Epplett, T. and G.D. Haffner. 1997. "Seasonal variations in PCB concentrations in plankton of Lake Erie." IAGLR Conf., Buffalo, NY.

    Russell, R.W., R. Lazar and G.D. Haffner. - 1995
    Biomagnification of organochlorines in white bass.
    Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 14:719-724.

    Metcalfe, C.D. and G.D. Haffner. - 1995
    Ecotoxicology of non-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls.
    Environ. Rev. 3:171-190.

    Hasspieler, B.M., F.N. Ali, M. Alipour, G.D. Haffner and K. Adeli. - 1995
    Havan bioassays to assess environmental genotoxicity: development of a DNA break assay in HepG2 cell.
    Chem. Biochem. 28:113-116.