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Matthew J. Zwiernik

Matthew J. Zwiernik

Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, Director, Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory

Anthony Hall
474 S. Shaw Lane Rm 3270D
East Lansing, MI 48824

Research Interests:
Dr. Zwiernik’s research focuses on assessing the impacts of environmental chemical exposure to wildlife ranging from oil spills to superfund sites.  His work combines direct measures of wildlife exposure and population health with controlled laboratory studies identifying mechanism of action and toxicity. Dr. Zwiernik is particularly interested in improving the certainty of the quantification of the ecological risk associated with wildlife exposure to complex contaminant mixtures by improving approaches for the identification of contaminants, contaminant interactions, identification of receptors of concern, applicable measurement parameters, site-specific chemodynamics, derivation of toxicity reference values, risk characterization, and the use of risk assessment in sustainable development. His team specializes in working with wildlife species including great horned owl, osprey, bald eagle, great blue heron, kingfisher, wood duck, tree swallow, house wren, bluebirds, American robin, coyote, American mink and shrews as receptors of concern. His laboratory performs controlled studies identifying measurement endpoints and associated threshold concentrations, including toxicokinetics and species sensitivity.  The laboratory also boasts an exceptional environmental chemistry analytical capability including preparation, isolation, and quantification of a variety of environmental contaminants.  Instrumental techniques include gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and chromatography / electron capture detection (GC/ECD).  The laboratory also has the capability to customize instrumental and preparative techniques for unique compounds of interest. Additional expertise includes applied environmental microbiology, identification and evaluation of intrinsic bioremediation, fate and transport modeling, geochemical and biogeochemical processes and molecular biology.

Educational Background:
Michigan State University, B.S., 1989, Biochemistry 
Michigan State University, Ph.D., 1998, Environmental Toxicology

Selected Professional Activities:
Dr. Zwiernik is currently a member of the American Society for Microbiology and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He is an Expert Consultant to the International Joint Commission on Issues of Emerging Contaminants in the Great Lakes and is Technical Advisor to the Pine River Superfund Community Advisory Committee.


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Laboratory Trainees:

  • Will Folland
  • Mike Nadeau