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Celia Y. Chen

Arthur Grollman

Dr. Celia Chen is a Research Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College.  She received her M.S in Biological Oceanography from the Graduate School of Oceanography of the University of Rhode Island and her Ph.D. in Ecology from the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth. Dr. Chen is an aquatic ecologist whose research has focused on the fate and effects of metal contaminants in aquatic food webs both in freshwater and estuarine ecosystems. She has studied the bioavailability and bioaccumulation of mercury and other metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, zinc) in benthic and pelagic invertebrates and trophic transfer to fish. She has conducted metal bioavailability studies in the laboratory, and has also investigated metal bioaccumulation and trophic transfer in field studies in lakes and estuaries in the Northeast US.

Her research questions focus on the chemical and ecological factors that influence metal uptake, including salinity, natural organic matter, feeding strategy, and food web structure. Dr. Chen has also conducted research on the effect of multiple stressors on aquatic organisms to examine the synergistic and antagonistic effects of metals stressors with natural stressors such as temperature, water chemistry, and food availability.  She has worked with a wide range of collaborators including molecular biologists, epidemiologists, toxicologists, biogeochemists and biostatisticians.

Throughout her scientific career, Dr. Chen has also worked at the intersection of science and policy. Prior to getting her Ph.D., she worked as a Sea Grant Congressional Fellow translating marine science to Congressional staffers and members of Congress.  As a Staff Officer at the National Research Council (NRC), she convened committees of scientific experts to provide advice in the form of NRC reports to various government agencies including USEPA, Army Corps of Engineers, US Geological Survey, Department of Defense, and NOAA.

While at Dartmouth, she has been the Principal Investigator of Research Translation in the Dartmouth Superfund Toxic Metals Program. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing initiatives for communicating a diverse range of science projects to many stakeholders including federal and state governments, NGO’s, other scientists, and the public. Dr. Chen has also initiated and participated in numerous panels and committees to bring science to inform policy. In 2003, she was a member of a scientific panel for the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation “Science Links Project” that produced synthesis documents and a paper in Bioscience on Hg fate in the Northeast US to inform decision-makers and the public. More recently, she lead the Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative (C-MERC), a group of over 70 international mercury scientists and stakeholders. C-MERC produced 11 papers in two special mercury issues in peer-reviewed journals and a synthesis report for policy-makers entitled, “Sources to Seafood: Mercury Pollution in the Marine Environment”. She also served on the USEPA Science Advisory Board Mercury Panel in 2011 and currently serves on the USEPA Science Advisory Board Ecological Processes and Effects Committee.


Some Recent Publications

Dijkstra, J.A., K.L. Buckman, D. Ward, D.W. Evans, M. Dionne, C.Y. Chen. 2013. Experimental and natural warming elevates mercury concentrations in estuarine fish. PLOS ONE  (in press).

Chen, C.Y., Driscoll, C.T., Lambert, K.F., Mason, R.P., Rardin, L.R., Schmitt, C.V., Serrell, N.S.,and Sunderland, E.M. 2012. Sources to Seafood: Mercury Pollution in the Marine Environment. Hanover, NH: Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program, Dartmouth College.

Driscoll, C.T., Chen, C.Y., Hammerschmidt, C.R., Mason, R.P., Gilmour, C.C., Sunderland, E.M., Greenfield, B.K., Buckman, K.L., Lamborg, C. H. 2012. Nutrient supply and mercury dynamics in marine ecosystems: A conceptual model. Environmental Research 119: 118-131.

Glaholt, S.T., Chen, C.Y., Demidenko, E., Bugge, D.M., Folt, C. L., Shaw, J.R. 2012. Adaptive iterative design (AID): A novel approach for evaluating the effects of multiple stressor on aquatic organisms. Science of the Total Environment 432: 57-64.

Sunderland, E., Amirbahman, A., Burgess, N.M., Dalziel, J., Harding, G., Jones, S.H., Kamai, E., Karagas, M.R., Shi, X., Chen, C.Y. 2012. Mercury sources and fate in the Gulf of Maine. Environmental Research 119:27-41.

Ward, D.M., Mayes, B, Sturup, S. Folt, C.L., Chen, C.Y. 2012. Assessing element-specific patterns of bioaccumulation across New England lakes. Science of the Total Environment 421-422: 230-237.

Chen, C., Kamman, N., Williams, J., Bugge, D., Taylor, V., Jackson, B., Miller, E. 2012. Spatial and temporal variation in mercury bioaccumulation by zooplankton in Lake Champlain. Environmental Pollution 161: 343-349.





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