Mind Open Media reporter David Levin sits down with C-IMAGE co-PI Dr. Dana Wetzel to learn more about her research interests and her motivation for her studies. Dana is a senior scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory in the Environmental Laboratory Forensics Program. Her laboratory detects oil compounds, analyzes fatty acids for health and feeding ecology studies and develops biomarkers for effects of stressors, both chemical and non-chemical, on marine organisms. Immune function, fertility potential and DNA damage are currently some of the biomarkers that they use to help answer questions about the status of the environment.
By using cutting-edge technology to detect trace levels of persistent organic contaminants, she can evaluate possible effects toxic substances have on marine life — from low-level chronic exposures that could hinder reproduction and development, to acute exposures leading to immediate illness and death.