Environmental Toxicology

2014-15 Tuition

$20,800

Application deadlines

Fall, Dec 1; no spring admission; Please note: Applications are only being accepted for the concentration of "Cellular and Molecular Toxicology." The field is not currently accepting applications for the concentrations of "Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry" or "Nutritional and Food Toxicology."

Requirements summary

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
  • two recommendations
  • GRE general test
  • GRE subject test advised in Biology or Chemistry

Degrees

  • M.S.
  • Ph.D.

Subjects

  • Environmental Toxicology (M.S., Ph.D.)

Major concentrations

  • cellular and molecular toxicology
  • ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry
  • nutritional and food toxicology

Minor concentrations

  • risk assessment, management, and public policy

The field provides an opportunity for students to broaden their knowledge of the interactions of toxic elements and chemicals (drugs, pesticides, industrial pollutants, and natural products) with organisms and the environment. Specific disciplinary interests of the faculty range from basic studies in environmental toxicology, including biochemistry, nutrition, genetics, environmental chemistry, epidemiology, and veterinary medicine, to societal aspects such as risk communication, public perceptions, risk management, and environmental law. Detailed information is available on request from the graduate field office or online.

Application:
Applicants are expected to have had basic undergraduate training in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Previous experience or course work in toxicology is desirable but not essential. Applicants are required to submit GRE general test scores; submitting scores on a relevant GRE subject test is recommended.

Beth Ahner -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: trace metal speciation; metal detoxification mechanisms
Ludmilla Aristilde -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests:
Antje Baeumner -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: analytic biotechnology; biosensors; microfluidics for biosensors
Klaus Beyenbach -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: membrane transport of xenobiotics; organic cation and anion transport in the kidney; epithelial transport mechanisms
Kathryn Boor -- Concentrations: nutritional and food toxicology; Research interests: bacterial responses to environmental challenges; food microbiology; food safety
Paul Bowser -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: infectious and non-infectious diseases of fish
Dan Brown -- Concentrations: nutritional and food toxicology; Research interests: animal metabolism of feed toxicants
James Casey -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: viral oncogenesis; piscine retroviruses; turtle herpes viruses; environmental cofactors
Evan Cooch -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: demography; biological statistics; responses of dynamic systems to change
Robin Davisson -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: cellular and molecular toxicology
Rodney Dietert -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: immunotoxicology
Anthony Hay -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: molecular biology, biochemistry, and ecology of pollutant degradation
Alan Hedge -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: health risks of new carpet emissions; indoor air quality
Leon Kochian -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: plant responses to environmental stresses; plant heavy metal tolerance; phytoremediation
Ann Lemley -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: pesticide degradation in aqueous systems; advanced oxidation; Fenton chemistry; pesticide residues
Leonard Lion -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: contaminant fate and transport in natural systems; sustainable AguaClara water treatment systems
Rui Hai Liu -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; nutritional and food toxicology; Research interests: cellular toxicology; food toxicology; free radicals; phytochemicals; diet and cancer
Eugene Madsen -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: environmental microbiology; molecular microbial ecology; biodegradation of pollutants; biogeochemistry
Murray McBride -- Concentrations: nutritional and food toxicology; ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: chemistry of toxic metals; essential trace metals in soil; bioaccumulation of trace elements in agricultural crops
Charles McCormick -- Concentrations: nutritional and food toxicology; Research interests: metabolism of minerals
Motoko Mukai -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; nutritional and food toxicology; Research interests: molecular mechanisms of endocrine disruption by exogenous compounds; toxic compounds in food and health effects
Alexander Nikitin -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: mouse models of human cancer; early stages of carcinogenesis and metastasis; neoplasias of reproductive and endocrine systems
Ruth Richardson -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: environmental bioremediation of toxics; microbial processes; biorededication of chlorinated organics; using genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic techniques to understand environmental activities
Mark Roberson -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: reproductive endocrinology; molecular mechanisms of hormone action
Eloy Rodriguez -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: zoopharmacognosy; ecotoxicology; environmental chemistry
Jeffrey Scott -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: insecticide toxicology; molecular biology and proteomics
Michael Shuler -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: in vitro cell culture systems for toxicity testing; physiologically based pharmacokinetic models; nanobiotechnology
David Soderlund (Geneva) -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: insecticide toxicology
Jery Stedinger -- Concentrations: risk assessment, management, and public policy; Research interests: water resources management; risk analysis; stochastic hydrology
Barbara Strupp -- Concentrations: nutritional and food toxicology; Research interests: behavioral toxicology; developmental lead exposure
Tudorita Tumbar -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: understanding the molecular mechanisms in governing stem cell function in mouse tissue
Olena Vatamaniuk -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: molecular biology; biochemistry; genetics of heavy metal detoxification
David Weinstein -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: computer modeling; ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry
Robert Weiss -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: genomic maintenance mechanisms; molecular responses to genotoxic stress; mouse models of genomic instability
David Wilson -- Concentrations: ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry; Research interests: bioremediation of heavy metals and cellulose degradation
Andrew Yen -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: cancer-cell biology; molecular biology; cell cycle and cell differentiation control

Graduate School Professors (emeritus)

Stephen Bloom -- Concentrations: cellular and molecular toxicology; Research interests: molecular toxicology; apoptosis regulation; heavy metals and pesticides

Learning Assessment Plan

Graduate training in toxicology at Cornell is supported and facilitated through the graduate field of Environmental Toxicology (ETOX).  Faculty in this field share a common interest in toxicology as an area of study and as an area for the training of graduate students.  The ETOX Director of Graduate Studies is responsible for handling admissions, organizing field activities and representing the ETOX field to the Graduate School at Cornell.  The director is assisted by a Graduate Field Assistant.  

The training program is very broad in scope and encompasses the range of diverse aspects of Environmental Toxicology.  There are three concentrations:  environmental, nutritional, and cellular/molecular and a minor field of Risk Assessment, Management and Public Policy.   Because of the breadth there is no standard rubric for student’s objectives and assessment.  The academic objectives and their fulfillment are determined by the special committee in conjunction with the student to meet the needs of training in the particular area of study for each student.  There are, however, general goals and expectations.  In general these are embodied by satisfactory completion of courses needed for the area of study and progress in the laboratory, evidenced in particular by publishable work.  The special committee evaluates this.  They in turn report to the field faculty in general in terms of achievement of these benchmarks.

Student Learning Outcomes

Understanding of the theoretical basis and observational methods for study of each individual concentration of the field.

Student Performance Indicator

Assessment Method

Successful completion of required and elective courses. 

Course grade must be a 3.0 or above or the student is asked to take the class again.

Successful completion of the A Exam.

Student must take the A-Exam by the 4th semester of study.

Student opinions on course content

Student evaluations of individual courses

Independent development of research design and methodologies

Faculty Special Committee evaluation of dissertation

 Knowledge of the design and use of field instrumentation, computer models, data analysis and laboratory procedures for each specific concentration of the field.

Student Performance Indicator

Assessment Method

Operation of laboratory instrumentation and analysis of data in laboratory, field and computer projects

Faculty Special Committee evaluation

Performance in summarizing research methods

Faculty and peer evaluations from laboratory meetings and dissertation review and defense

Team leadership to other scientists or students in field, lab and data analysis tasks

Faculty Special Committee and peer evaluations

 Ability to explain ideas and results through written, numerical, graphical, spoken, and computer-based forms of communication.

Student Performance Indicator

Assessment Method

Comprehensive Exams

Successful completion of core courses at a 3.0 or higher level. Successful completion of A and B-Exams.

Oral presentations and examinations

Faculty and student evaluations in annual student seminars and professional society presentations

Dissertation structure and content

Faculty evaluations from dissertation review and defense

Lectures and other instructional activities prepared by the student

Faculty and audience evaluations

Publication of research

Faculty and journal critical evaluations of articles and publishing success

Adaptability to new avenues of scientific inquiry that offer interdisciplinary and practical applications to commercial and public needs

Student Performance Indicator

Assessment Method

Application of dissertation results to broader impacts

Faculty evaluation from dissertation review and defense

Performance in interdisciplinary studies and coursework

Faculty evaluations and course grades from interdisciplinary topics

Alumni opinions while in post-graduate appointments and other career activities

Alumni surveys

 Use of Results

The Environmental Toxicology faculty will use the results of the assessment to develop recommendations on changes or additions to course content, curriculum requirements, students recruitment and student advisement. This committee will present their summary and recommendations to the Environmental Toxicology graduate faculty for discussion and action. The Environmental Toxicology faculty will also be asked to review and approve a plan for future ongoing assessment activities.

Implementation Plan

Data required for the assessment process (course grades, seminar evaluations, supervisor evaluations of research assistants, dissertation review, and defense evaluations, etc.) will be requested of the faculty during the coming semesters. The faculty will also be asked to suggest additional performance measures for graduate research projects and interdisciplinary coursework.

The Environmental Toxicology faculty will undertake the assessment process during the Fall semester and will report on possible curriculum changes and ongoing assessment methods during the Spring semester. Modifications and additions to the curriculum, recruitment and advisement will be implemented as soon as feasible while continuing to meet the programmatic needs of the students currently working on their degree.