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Tyler Frankel - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Tyler Frankel

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

He is an expert on ecotoxicology, specifically the impact of pharmaceutical, industrial waste products, & pesticides on aquatic wildlife.


Dr. Frankel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Mary Washington. He maintains an active ecotoxicology research program focused on the impacts of pharmaceuticals, industrial waste products, and pesticides on aquatic wildlife. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and currently serves on the executive committee for the Chesapeake and Potomac Regional Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. His work has been published in Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and General and Comparative Endocrinology.

Areas of Expertise (3)

Impact of Pharmaceutical, Industrial Waste Products and Pesticides on Aquatic Wildlife


Aquatic Toxicology

Accomplishments (5)

Current Member

Current member of the Board of Directors of the Chesapeake and Potomac Regional Chapter (CPRC) of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and member of SETAC North America

Visiting Assistant Professor

The Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland, College Park

Serves as a Reviewer

Multiple peer-reviewed impact-factored journals including Environmental Pollution, Environmental Science and Technology, North American Journal of Aquaculture, and Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Grant Recipient

Rappahannock EcoPark Research Support Grant - $19,828.00 Project Title: Assessing the presence, concentrations, fate, and effects of microplastics in the Rappahannock River

Grant Recipient

Crow’s Nest Research Center (CNRC) Grant - $16,504.90 Project Title: Assessing the presence, concentrations, and impacts of nutrient pollution in Accokeek Creek and the Crow’s Nest Research Center

Education (3)

University of Maryland: Ph.D., Animal and Avian Sciences 2016

University of Maryland: M.S., Animal and Avian Sciences 2013

University of Maryland Baltimore County: Biological Sciences 2011

Affiliations (4)

  • Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
  • American Fisheries Society
  • Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
  • North American Society for Comparative Endocrinology

Media Appearances (2)

Scientists issue warning after discovering cancer-causing contaminants in major waterways: ‘This is a really big deal’

MSN  online


According to the study’s lead author, Tyler Frankel, who was quoted in Phys.org, coal ash contaminants increase in concentration as they work their way up through the food web, threatening a number of predatory fish and birds. “These waterways serve as important routes for several migratory fish species and sensitive nursery habitats for various endemic species,” Frankel said, per Phys.org. “Our work highlights the importance of considering this exposure pathway in conservation strategies.”

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Cancer-causing metals leak into water near coal ash landfills

Mirage News  online


Researchers from the University of Mary Washington have discovered alarming levels of cancer-causing metals in both the sediments and fish of a Chesapeake Bay tributary situated near a coal ash landfill. This research, led by Dr. Tyler Frankel, highlights previously overlooked dangers posed by trace metal contamination in aquatic ecosystems.

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Event Appearances (5)

Assessing the impacts of methoxychlor exposure on the viability, reproduction, and behavior of the Seminole ramshorn snail (Planorbella duryi)

SETAC Annual 2019 Meeting  Toronto, Canada

The Presence, Distribution, and Concentration of Microplastics in the Lower Basin of the Chesapeake Bay, USA Near Wastewater Treatment Plants.

SETAC Annual 2019 Meeting  Toronto, Canada

Male fathead minnows exhibit decreased sperm motion characteristics and increased nest acquisition success due to levonorgestrel exposure

SETAC Annual 2017 Meeting  Minneapolis, USA

Effects of short-term exposure to the gestagens progesterone and levonorgestrel on the development of juvenile apple snails (Pomacea canaliculata)

SETAC Annual 2017 Meeting  Minneapolis, USA

What's in Your Water? Investigating the Effects of Human-Sourced Pollutants on Aquatic Environments

2019 UMW Alumni Reunion Weekend  Fredericksburg, USA

Articles (5)

Assessing the Impacts of Methoxychlor Exposure on the Viability, Reproduction, and Locomotor Behavior of the Seminole Ramshorn Snail (Planorbella duryi)

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2020)

Frankel, T.E., Bohannon, M.E. and Frankel, J.S.

In the present study, the effects of short-term methoxychlor exposure on the viability, reproduction, and locomotor behavior of adult seminole ramshorn snails (Planorbella duryi) was assessed. To examine impacts on viability and behavior, individuals were exposed to a water control, vehicle control, or 12.5, 50, 100, 250, 500, or 1000 μg/L of methoxychlor for 48 h; and differences in mortality and locomotor behavior assessed using the freely available ToxTrac software.

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Exposure to levonorgestrel increases nest acquisition and decreases sperm motility in male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas)

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2018)

Frankel, TE, Yonkos, LT, Ampy, FR, and Frankel, JS.

Progestins are utilized as a component of human contraceptives, and commonly enter the environment via wastewater treatment plant effluent. Certain progestins activate fish androgen receptors and cause decreases in fecundity and masculinization of females. We used a nest acquisition assay and computer‐assisted sperm analysis to examine the effects of levonorgestrel on male fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproductive fitness.

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Exposure effects of levonorgestrel on oogenesis in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2017)

Frankel, TE, Yonkos, L and Frankel, JS.

The synthetic progestin levonorgestrel is commonly utilized in human oral contraceptives. It enters the environment as a component of wastewater treatment plant effluent, and has been measured at low ng/L concentrations in surface waters. It has been shown to activate fish androgen receptors, causing the physical masculinization of females, changes in reproductive behavior, and decreases in fecundity.

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Exposure to the contraceptive progestin, gestodene, alters reproductive behavior, arrests egg deposition, and masculinizes development in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)

Environmental Science and Technology (2016)

Endogenous progestogens and pharmaceutical progestins enter the environment through wastewater treatment plant effluent and agricultural field runoff. Lab studies demonstrate strong, negative exposure effects of these chemicals on aquatic vertebrate reproduction. Behavior can be a sensitive, early indicator of exposure to environmental contaminants associated with altered reproduction yet is rarely examined in ecotoxicology studies.

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Aqueous exposure to the progestin, levonorgestrel, alters anal fin development and reproductive behavior in the eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)

General and Comparative Endocrinology (2016)

Endogenous progestogens are important regulators of vertebrate reproduction. Synthetic progestins are components of human contraceptive and hormone replacement pharmaceuticals. Both progestogens and progestins enter the environment through a number of sources, and have been shown to cause profound effects on reproductive health in various aquatic vertebrates.

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