Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair Receives International Environmental Award

KarenKiddKaren Kidd, Biology and Geography & Earth Sciences, has received the 2017 International Environmental Award from Stockholm-based organization, Recipharm, for her ground-breaking research on the impact of pharmaceuticals and other contaminants on the health of aquatic ecosystems.

Kidd joined the Faculty in July 2017 as the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Environment and Health. She is being honoured for a decade-long, whole-lake experiment conducted in Northern Ontario’s IISD Experimental Lakes Area. That work found that when the synthetic estrogen, such as that used in birth control pills, was added to the lake water, male fathead minnows became feminized – in some cases, even developing eggs. This led to an inability to reproduce, resulting in the near collapse of the minnow population, and creating a fall-out affect that ultimately affected the entire food web.

This research has been instrumental in generating public awareness of the environmental impacts of pharmaceuticals in wastewaters, and has raised important questions about how wastewater treatment can be improved to reduce the presence of these compounds in the effluent from treatment plants that ends up in rivers and streams.

 

Go Back
McMaster University | Faculty of Science