• Ph.D., University of Windsor
  • BSc.H, University of Windsor
  • BEd., University of Windsor
Areas of Interest

Presently, I use fish to assess environmental health and monitor adaptation in northeastern Ohioby measuring tumour suppressor p53 and toxin-metabolizing CYP1A protein expression and identifying abnormal physiological markers in endogenous fish species. At this time, we are also conducting GC-MS analysis in sediment samples from sites that we’ve collected fish from to identify polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We can use sediment composition to see how PAHs influence the expression of our genes of interest and correlate to physiological abnormalities. Sites that have been sampled in Ohio so far: Cuyhoga River, Killbuck Creek, Sippo Lake, Silver Creek (Metro Parks Akron), and Tappen Lake. We aim to continue sampling and explore novel sites, diversifying our fish catalogue over time.

Previously, I studied evolutionary adaptation and physiological acclimation at the population level in Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) fish inhabiting polluted and clean regions of the Detroit River (Windsor, Ontario; Canada and Detroit, MI; USA). I used field expertise and molecular techniques to identify population level differences between clean and polluted site fish. Molecular techniques include gene expression analysis using quantitative real-time PCR, protein expression analysis using western blotting, and enzyme activity quantification using EROD and GST analysis.

In collaboration with undergraduate students: quantified biomarker CYP1A expression levels in a variety of fish species across western New York (Williams et al., 2022; Ecology and Evolution) and conducted a fish biodiversity survey at Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY (Williams et al., 2023; under review).

Courses Taught
  • IDPT410: APEX Fellowship
  • BIOL305: Cell Phsyiology
  • FYSM101: First-Year Seminar
  • BIOL111: Foundations of Biology
  • BIOL201: Gateway to Molecular & Cellular Biology
  • BIOL306: Genese and Genomes
  • BIOL401: Junior Independent Study
  • BIOL451: Senior Independent Study
Independent Study Advising
  • Carter, M. (2023). Are your water systems safe? A study on CYP1A expression in brown bullhead and channel catfish in response to sediment exposure from Killbuck Creek Wooster, Ohio.
  • Crucs, M. A. (2022). Effects Of Xenobiotic Pollution On Histopathological Alterations And CYP1A Expression On Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus Nebulosus) In Wooster, OH.
  • DiBacco, J. A. (2021). Specialization in Youth Sports and Its Effects on Injuries.
  • Evans, K. B. (2021). Using Tau Protein to Investigate the Link between Sleep Deprivation and Alzheimer’s Disease in a Drosophila Model.
  • Fernandes, N. (2023). Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Pollution Analysis and Ameiurus Nebulosus Gene Expression Can Predict Environmental Health.
  • Jouriles, D. Physiological Anomalies in Bullhead (Ameiurus) of Killbuck Creek and the Cuyahoga River.
  • Park, G. (2023) Benzo(a)pyrene induces CYP1A and p53 expression in Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus).
  • Rego, L. P. (2021). A Literature Review in Fish Toxicology: The Impact of Human Made Organic Contaminants in Fish and Their Environments.
  • Stone, K. A. (2021). Implications of Buddhist Monk’s and Olympic Pentathlete’s Diet on Performance in their Respective Fields.
  • Styers, B. R. (2022). The Effects On Lepomis Macrochirus (Bluegill) Foraging Behavior After Chronic Exposure To Sublethal Toxins In Wayne County Creeks.
  • Watkins, B. (2023). Pollutant Benzo(a)pyrene’s Genetic Effect on Brown Bullhead’s p53 and MDM2 Genomic Region.
  • Wiley, M. (2021). Investigating the Role of cAMP in the Sleep Phenotype of the Drosophila Fragile X Syndrome Model.
  • Assad, J*., Cho, S.Dileo, V*.Gascoigne, G*., Hubberstey, A. V., Patterson, D*., & Williams, R. (2023). Contaminated sediment in the Detroit River provokes acclimated responses in wild brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) populations. Aquatic Toxicology, 106772. 
  • Williams, R., Taggart, T., Ganger, K., Koetsier, T., Johnson, S., & Dinchman, A*. (2022). CYP1A expression in freshwater fish of western New York as an indicator of pollution levels. Ecology and Evolution12(1), e8526.   
  • Williams, R. and Hubberstey, A. (2014). Benzo(a)pyrene exposure causes adaptive changes in p53 and CYP1A gene expression in Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus). Aquatic Toxicology. 

(underline indicates undergraduate researchers, asterisk* indicates College of Wooster student)

Professional Affiliations