Ruth Cooper


Research Profile

It is now well established that a very wide range of chemicals, spanning pesticides, to plasticizers and medicines, that are discharged into the environment can alter the hormone systems of wildlife (and humans) impacting on their health. ln wild fish populations exposure to some of these chemicals has been proven to alter sexual development and breeding capability. The potential health risks associated with exposure to so-called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is a major international concern.

The main aim of my work is to study the physiological effects and health implications of exposure to environmental estrogens and their mixtures, using transgenic estrogen responsive element (ERE) green fluorescent protein (GFP) zebrafish as an experimental model and to advance this model for use in environmentally relevant toxicological research and chemical testing and screening. In particular I will be looking at environmental samples by assessing the ability of an oestrogenic wastewater treatment works (WwTW) effluent to induce multi-organ responses, assess health outcomes and will also investigate effects of exposure to mixtures of environmental oestrogens.


2011: BSc Biological Sciences (Hons) – University of Exeter