Committee Membership Information

Study Title:

Ecological Risk Assessment Under FIFRA and ESA

Study Director:


Dr. Judith E. McDowell - (Chair)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Judith E. McDowell is a senior scientist and former biology department chair at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research interests include physiological ecology of marine animals, developmental and energetic strategies of marine animals, physiological effects of pollutants on marine animals, and invertebrate nutrition. She has served on several National Research Council committees, including the Committee on Oil in the Sea: Phase I -- Update of Inputs and the Committee on Research and Peer Review in EPA. Dr. McDowell earned a PhD in zoology from the University of New Hampshire.


Dr. Bruce K. Hope
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Bruce K. Hope is a senior environmental toxicologist for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. His expertise includes preparation and review of human, ecological, and probabilistic risk assessments; exposure modeling; development of air toxics benchmarks; identification and management of persistent and bioaccumulative chemicals; and evaluation and communication of health and environmental risk associated with chemical releases. Dr. Hope has served on a number of EPA Science Advisory Board committees, including Ecological Risk Assessment ??? An Evaluation of the State-of-the-Practice and EPA???s Regulatory Environmental Modeling Guidance Advisory Panel. In addition, he was a member of the National Research Council Committee on Improving Risk Analysis Approaches Used by the U.S. EPA. Dr. Hope earned a PhD in biology from the University of Southern California.


Dr. Daniel Goodman
Montana State University

Daniel Goodman is a professor of ecology at Montana State University. His research interests include environmental statistics, risk analysis, population dynamics, and environmental modeling. Dr. Goodman is currently a committee member of the Silvery Minnow PVA Working Group (Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative), the Fish Passage Center Oversight Board of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team, and the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Recovery Team. Dr. Goodman earned a PhD in zoology from Ohio State University.


Dr. William L. Graf
University of South Carolina

William L. Graf is University Foundation Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina, and Regents Professor Emeritus in Geography at Arizona State University. His research interests include fluvial geomorphology and hydrology, as well as policy for public land and water with an emphasis on river channel and habitat change, human impacts on rivers, contaminant transport and storage in rivers, and the downstream impacts of large dam. He has served as a science policy advisor on more than 40 committees for federal, state, and local agencies and organizations. In addition, Dr. Graf has chaired and been a member of many National Research Council committees, including those focused on the Klamath River, Platte River, the Everglades, Missouri River, and watershed management. He is chair of the NAS/NRC Geographical Sciences Committee, a National Associate of the National Academy of Science, and an American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Fellow. Dr. Graf earned his PhD in physical geography from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a certificate in water resources management.


Dr. Nu-May Ruby Reed
California Environmental Protection Agency

Nu-May Ruby Reed recently retired as a staff toxicologist with the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Department of Pesticide Regulation, where she was the lead scientist on risk assessment issues. Her research interests were evaluating health risks and developing risk assessment guidelines for pesticides. She has been on several Cal/EPA working groups that initiate, research, and revise risk assessment guidelines and policies, and she represented her department in task forces on community concerns and emergency response, risk management guidance, and public education. Dr. Reed was a member of several past National Research Council Committees, including the Committee on Risk Analysis and Reviews, and is a current member of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels. Dr. Reed earned a PhD in plant physiology from the University of California at Davis.


Dr. Philip M. Gschwend
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Phillip M. Gschwend is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests are environmental organic chemistry, phase exchanges and transformation processes, modeling fates of organic pollutants, roles of colloids and black carbons, and passive sampling for site evaluation. The overall objective of his research is to develop means to predict the fate of organic chemicals in natural and engineered environments. His research includes the study of such processes as sorption, air-water exchange, and biodegradation. In addition, Dr. Gschwend conducts field observations in water and sediments of groundwater, lakes, estuaries, and the ocean to validate the predictions. Dr. Gschwend earned a PhD in geochemistry from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Dr. Scott McMurray
Oklahoma State University

Scott McMurry is a professor of environmental stressors, wildlife toxicology, and animal behavior at Oklahoma State University. His research interests center on how stressors in the environment influence wildlife. Recent projects focus on the influence of anthropogenic stressors (pollutants and sediments) on amphibians in playa wetlands, particularly how agricultural activities effect amphibian community composition, amphibian immunity, exposure to chemicals, and chemical effects on behavior. Dr. McMurry earned a PhD from Oklahoma State University.


Dr. Thomas P. Quinn
University of Washington

Thomas P. Quinn is a professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. His research interests focus on the behavior, ecology, evolution, and conservation of salmon, trout, and related fishes. Dr. Quinn???s research blends a variety of approaches including tagging, telemetry, direct observations, laboratory experiments, and other techniques. He is currently studying the patterns of spawning site selection and reproductive behavior of salmon, movements and migration patterns, evolutionary adaptations of salmon to their environments, and predator-prey ecology. In addition, he has served on the National Research Council Committee on Protection and Management of Pacific Northwest Anadromous Salmonids. Dr. Quinn earned a PhD in fisheries from the University of Washington.


Dr. Erica Fleishman
University of California, Davis

Erica Fleishman is a researcher in the John Muir Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on integration of conservation science with management and policy, especially in the intermountain western United States and California. Her work focuses on predictive modeling of occupancy and faunal responses to changes in climate, land cover, land use, and connectivity. Dr. Fleishman has co-authored curricula on applications of remote sensing to environmental sciences and ecological modeling. She has convened multidisciplinary teams to analyze and synthesize concepts and data on diverse topics and has facilitated or advised the science process for multiple Habitat Conservation Plans and Natural Community Conservation Plans in California. Dr. Fleishman is editor in chief of Conservation Biology and serves on the editorial boards of Global Ecology and Biogeography and Ecography. Dr. Fleishman earned a PhD in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology from the University of Nevada, Reno.


Dr. Jim Cowles
Washington Department of Agriculture

Jim Cowles is the Agency Environmental Toxicologist for the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). In this position, he serves as a senior science and policy advisor to the Director of Agriculture on natural resource and environmental issues. Dr. Cowles is the department???s science and policy lead for endangered species consultation for pesticide registration and has 14 years of experience conducting ecological risk assessments for pesticide registration while employed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and WSDA. His area of expertise is assessing the environmental fate, transport, and effects of pesticides. Current projects include design, implementation, and management of the WSDAs surface water monitoring program for assessing pesticide exposure to salmon and development of geospatial tools for assessing pesticides exposure to species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Dr. Cowles earned a PhD in Environmental Toxicology from Clemson University.


Dr. Gerald A. LeBlanc
North Carolina State University

Gerald A. LeBlanc is Department Head and Professor with the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at North Carolina State University. His research interests include environmental signaling, sex determination and differentiation, and toxicity assessment of chemical mixtures. Dr. LeBlanc has been a member of the Executive Committee, Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative; the FIFRA National Science Advisory Panel on the potential for atrazine to affect amphibian gonadal development; and the NIEHS Expert Panel, Hazards of Bisphenol A to Humans and the Environment. Dr. LeBlanc earned a PhD in biology from the University of South Florida.


Dr. Peter M. Kareiva
The Nature Conservancy

Peter M. Kareiva is chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy. His current projects emphasize the interplay of human land use and biodiversity, resilience in the face of global change, and marine conservation. Dr. Kareiva is responsible for developing and helping to implement science-based conservation throughout the organization and for forging new linkages with partners. He has authored over 100 scientific articles in such diverse fields as mathematical biology, fisheries science, insect ecology, risk analysis, genetically engineered organisms, agricultural ecology, population viability analysis, behavioral ecology, landscape ecology, and global climate change. He is member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Kareiva earned a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University.


Dr. Anne Fairbrother
Exponent, Inc.

Anne Fairbrother is a principal scientist for Exponent???s ecosciences practice. She has more than 30 years of experience in ecotoxicology, wildlife toxicology, contaminated site assessment, and regulatory science for existing and emerging chemicals in the United States and Europe. Dr. Fairbrother has participated in or led the development of guidance documents for ecological risk assessments, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency???s (EPA) Framework for Metals Risk Assessment, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment???s guidance for implementing Tier 1 ecological risk assessments of contaminated sites, and EPA???s Ecological Soil Screening Levels. Recently, she served on a science advisory panel to the state of Utah and as a consultant to the British Columbia Ministry of Environment to set site-specific water quality standards for selenium that protect fish and wildlife. Dr. Fairbrother has served as president of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, and Wildlife Disease Association. In addition, she has been a member of the National Research Council???s Committee on Animals as Monitors of Environmental Hazards. Dr. Fairbrother earned a DVM in veterinary medicine from the University of California, Davis and a PhD in veterinary science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Ms. Mary Jane Angelo
University of Florida

Mary Jane Angelo is Professor of Law and Director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Program at the University of Florida???s Levin College of Law. Her research focuses on environmental law, water law, agricultural law, pesticide law, endangered species law, biotechnology law and the integration of law and science. Before joining the faculty, Ms. Angelo served as an attorney in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency???s Office of General Counsel and as senior assistant general counsel for the St. Johns River Water Management District. In addition, she has served on the National Research Council Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress. Ms. Angelo earned an M.S. in Entomology and JD from the University of Florida.


Dr. Patrick Durkin
Syracuse Environmental Research Associates, Inc.

Patrick Durkin is co-founder and principal scientist of Syracuse Environmental Research Associates (SERA), a small business engaged in chemical and biological risk assessment and documentation. He has been responsible for developing safety evaluations for chemical and biological agents based on a synthesis of toxicological data, environmental persistence, and exposure estimates. Dr. Durkin has conducted numerous risk assessments and risk assessment method development tasks for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Dr. Durkin earned a PhD in environmental and forest zoology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.


Dr. Usha Varanasi
University of Washington

Usha Varanasi is an affiliate professor at the School of Aquatic and Fishery science and the Chemistry Department of University of Washington (UW). She recently retired as director of the National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Fisheries Science Center. In that position, she oversaw the center's headquarters in Seattle and five research stations in Washington and Oregon. Dr. Varanasi's management resulted in new research programs that address current and future science and management needs, including the Cumulative Risk Initiative (which analyzes salmon population trends relative to environmental and human-induced impacts) and the marine groundfish research program (which is dramatically improving stock assessments and resource surveys in the Pacific Northwest). She has served on many expert committees and scientific boards and has published over 150 articles in scientific journals. In addition, she has edited two books, Metabolism of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Aquatic Environment and Evaluating and Communicating Subsistence Seafood Safety in a Cross-Cultural Context: Lessons Learned From the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. She is a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences and a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at UW's College of the Environment. Dr. Varanasi earned a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Washington.


Dr. H. R. Akcakaya
Stony Brook University

H. Resit Akcakaya is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University. Currently, his research focuses on a variety of methods and approaches for assessing the vulnerability of species to extinction, evaluating the effects of landscape dynamics on species persistence, projecting human land use on the basis of human population trends, and predicting the vulnerability of species to global climate change. He worked as a senior scientist at Applied Biomathematics where he was one of the principal architects of the RAMAS library of software and developed models for risk assessment and modeling of metapopulations, for integrating metapopulation dynamics with geographic information systems, and for incorporating uncertainty into IUCN criteria for threatened species. Dr. Akcakaya has also been involved in both practical and theoretical research on problems of species conservation, including several population viability analysis studies. He has over 100 publications in conservation biology and theoretical ecology, including four books, and is the co-author of two widely used textbooks (Risk Assessment in Conservation Biology and Applied Population Ecology). In addition, Dr. Akcakaya serves on the editorial boards of Conservation Biology and Population Ecology and is currently chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Standards and Petitions Subcommittee. Dr. Akcakaya earned a PhD in ecology and evolution from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.