Paulina Bahamonde Cárdenas

PhD candidate (September 2010 - present) 

Paulina Bahamonde CárdenasHometown: Los Angeles, Chile
Education: Biochemist 2008. University of Concepcion, Chile. Diploma Environmental Management; 2009 University of Concepcion, Chile.
Contact:, 506-648-5985

Research: "The development of molecular tools for evaluating intersex associated with exposure of fish to of municipal wastewater effluents (MWWE)."  (Co-supervised by Dr. Chris Martyniuk)

I am currently a PhD candidate in Biology at the Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Canada. I study the impact of wastewater discharges on ecosystem health.

My project and also my interest is to examine the effects of biologically active chemicals from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) discharges on Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum) in Grand River. The Grand River is a watershed that flows 300 km through southwestern Ontario from the highlands of Dufferin County to Port Maitland on Lake Erie. To examinate these effects, I want to develop sensitive genetic markers and also to determine how far downstream of the WWTP discharge those effects are detected. Previous studies have shown intersex levels as high as 70-80% in Rainbow Darter downstream of the WWTP effluents.

The first step of this study is to design a microarray for rainbow darter. Microarrays will be performed with samples from reference and polluted sites to identify genes differentially expressed between individuals found at reference sites and those found in impacted sites. Another molecular technique used in this project is qPCR. qPCR will be developed to determinate any dimorphic expression patterns in exposed fish, with a focus on sex-specific genes.

En resume, the significance of this project and also my interest on it is to explain and to understand the mechanism leading to the presence of intersex and which molecular pathways are involved in this process. Also, endpoints may indicate how far away from the wastewater treated discharge effects are detectable.

Recent scientific publications     

Ings, J.S., George, N., Peter, M.C.S., Servos, M.R. and Vijayan, M.M. (2012) Venlafaxine and atenolol disrupt epinephrine-stimulated glucose production in rainbow trout hepatocytes. Aquatic Toxicology. 106-107, 48-55.

Ings, J.S., Vijayan, M.M. and Servos, M.R. (2012) Tissue-specific metabolic changes in response to an acute handling disturbance in juvenile rainbow trout exposed to municipal wastewater effluent. Aquatic Toxicology. 108, 53-59.

Ings, J.S., Servos, M.R. and Vijayan, M.M. (2011) Exposure to municipal wastewater effluent impacts stress performance in rainbow trout. Aquatic Toxicology. 103(1-2), 85-91.

Ings, J.S., Servos, M.R. and Vijayan, M.M. (2011) Hepatic transcriptomics and protein expression in rainbow trout exposed to municipal wastewater effluent. Environmental Science and Technology. 45(6), 2368-2376