Heather Hamlin

Heather Hamlin
Assistant Professor
University of Maine, School of Marine Sciences
Reproductive endocrinology; Aquaculture; Wildlife reproduction & development; Marine organisms; Endocrine disruption; Environmental exposures
heather.hamlin@maine.edu / 207) 581-2563

Heather Hamlin, Ph.D., is a reproductive endocrinologist primarily interested in the mechanisms by which environmental factors influence the reproduction and development of aquatic animals.     Specifically, my interests tend to center around three main research areas:

1)      The influence of endocrine disrupting contaminants in reproductive and developmental dysfunction.

2)      Reproductive and developmental challenges in commercial aquaculture.

3)      Methods to reduce contaminant burdens in aquaculture species.

A vast literature now exists linking environmental contaminants with a variety of reproductive and developmental dysfunctions in wildlife.  In addition to ubiquitous aquatic pollutants (PCBs, legacy pesticides, plasticizers, etc.), fish in aquaculture environments are exposed further still to a variety of chemicals associated with PVC piping, handling equipment, therapeutic pesticides, resins, plastics and others.  In addition, fish held in recirculating systems are often exposed to elevated concentrations of nitrate, which has not been considered a material water quality hazard in aquaculture, despite the growing number of studies describing nitrate’s ability to cause a host of reproductive dysfunctions.