Haas Scholars

Selina Pacheco

Effects of Environmental Atrazine Levels on Oxidative Stress in Brains of African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis)

Atrazine (ATR), an herbicide, is used extensively throughout the world and is applied in excess of 70 million pounds annually in the United States alone. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the maximum contaminant level for safe drinking water is 3 parts per billion. However, mounting evidence shows that much lower concentrations pose significant danger to exposed wildlife. Herbicides other than ATR have been linked to cognitive impairment in humans, with oxidative stress, a process which causes cell damage, being the likely culprit. However, there is no evidence that ecologically relevant levels of ATR are a direct causal agent of oxidative stress. Selina’s research will investigate atrazine’s effect on oxidative stress in the brains of African Clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), with implications for wildlife and humans.

  • Major: Molecular & Cell Biology, Global Poverty & Practice minor
  • Mentor: Tyrone Hayes, Integrative Biology