Brian Kearns, a biologist with WRA, Inc., is first author of a recently published study resulting from his doctoral work focused on the magnitude and distribution of lead contamination on the Texas coast, and how it impacts endemic avian wildlife. The study, “Distribution of contaminants in the environment and wildlife habitat use: a case study with lead and waterfowl on the Upper Texas Coast”, measures the relationship between lead contamination of wetland soils and habitat use by mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula). Mottled ducks have historically experienced disproportionate negative effects from lead exposure, and exhibit a unique nonmigratory life that increases risk of exposure when inhabiting contaminated areas. Dr. Kearns’ research methods utilized species distribution modelling, geospatial analysis, and multivariate statistical approaches to draw parallels between animal space use, environmental factors, and lead presence in the environment.
The study was published in the 2019 issue of Exotoxicology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to presenting fundamental research on the effects of toxic chemicals on populations, communities and terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.
Read the full article here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10646-019-02079-1.