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About Rebecca Van Beneden

For the past thirteen years, my laboratory has been interested in the response of aquatic organisms to environmental stress. We have focused our efforts on understanding the molecular mechanisms that these animals use in their response and how this compares to those in higher animals, including humans. By understanding the differences and similarities in how phylogenetically diverse organisms respond to environmental exposure, we may be better able to assess the risks to environmental and human health. Research in my laboratory is directed along three related lines of investigation: (1) the investigation of molecular events in tumorigenesis in a small aquarium fish, the Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) exposed to known mammalian carcinogens; (2) the analysis of tumors of the reproductive system in the soft-shell clam, Mya arenaria and (3) the biological effects of dioxin exposure in aquatic organisms exposed to pulp mill effluents and pesticides. In all of these studies, we are using aquatic models to study molecular mechanisms of environmentally-induced toxicity/carcinogenicity and the complex interactions of the genetic and environmental factors involved.


Present Professor of Marine Sciences, University of Maine School of Marine Sciences


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Contact Information

Phone: (207) 581-2602
University of Maine
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology
Orono, ME 04469