Marine Mammal Ecotoxicology - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128121443

Marine Mammal Ecotoxicology

1st Edition

Impacts of Multiple Stressors on Population Health

Editors: Maria Fossi Cristina Panti
Paperback ISBN: 9780128121443
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st August 2018
Page Count: 416
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Marine Mammal Ecotoxicology: Impacts of Multiple Stressors on Population Health assists researchers and those in relevant disciplines with developing a comprehensive methodology for the study of the threats of marine mammals combined with a conservation-biology approach to new and emerging and technologies. As apex predators, marine mammals feed at or near the top of the food chain, with levels of anthropogenic contaminants found in top predator and long-living species tissues typically high, with effects of exposure to multiple stress and pollutants in the marine environment seen at multiple levels of the ecosystem. This work helps provide crucial knowledge about the status of marine mammal populations to understand the ecosystem’s health and to instigate mitigation measures for their conservation. This knowledge can be exploited in hot spot areas where different species can serve as sentinels of marine environmental quality at different times during the annual cycle. Chapters also provide critical information on organisms that have relatively long lifespans (such as cetaceans), allowing for the study of chronic diseases including reproductive failure, abnormalities in growth and development, and cancer.

The application of robust examination procedures and biochemical, immunological, and microbiological techniques, combined with pathological examination and behavioral analysis, has led to the development of health assessment methods at the individual and population levels in wild marine mammals. This volume provides information on these dynamic tools to further help investigators unravel the relationships between exposures to environmental multiple stressors (e.g. climate change, pollutants, marine litter, pathogens, biotoxins) and a range of disease endpoints in marine mammal species as an indicator of ecosystems health.

Key Features

  • Provides a comprehensive, worldwide update and state of knowledge on current research and topics on marine mammal ecotoxicology
  • Includes coverage of both new and emerging technologies
  • Features a multidisciplinary approach that gives readers a broad, updated overview of the threats facing marine mammals and related conservation measures


Marine biologists, mammalogists, and ecotoxicologists; vertebrate zoologists, veterinary medicine researchers, ecologists, pathologists, conservation biologists, fisheries biologists, and those interested in the anatomy, evolutionary biology, physiology, toxicology, and morphology of marine mammals. Researchers, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students interested in these disciplines or teaching a class in marine biology, zoology or veterinary medicine. Field biologists and veterinarians who work with marine mammals in captivity or in coastal and off-shore environments. Those at NGOs, consultants, and academic libraries, environmentalists, members of marine industry, political managers, climate biologists, policy makers, and those at Conservation agencies (e.i. CITES, IUCN, etc), Regulatory bodies, the International Whaling Commission, ACCOBAMS, ASCOBAMS, Environmental Protection Agencies

Table of Contents

PART 1. Legacy and emerging contaminants in marine mammal populations
1. Organochlorine contaminants and reproductive implication in cetaceans
Paul Jepson, Robin Law
2. Heavy metals exposure in Odontocetes
Gregory Bossart
3. Oil pollution and cetaceans: a particular insight on the Deep-water Horizon oil spill
Teresa Rowles, Gina Ylitalo, Lori Schwacke
4. Legacy contamination in estuarine dolphin species from the South American coast
Salvatore Siciliano and other colleagues
5. Perfluorinated compounds in dolphins
Patricia Fair and colleagues
6. Marine debris interaction with marine mammals
Maria Cristina Fossi, Cristina Panti, Sara Baulch
7. Contamination in hot spot areas: the Mediterranean Sea
Assuncion Borrell, Begona Jimenez, Letizia Marsili


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© Academic Press 2018
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:

About the Editor

Maria Fossi

Maria Cristina Fossi is Associate Professor of ecology and ecotoxicology at the University of Siena, Italy, and since 2000 has been Scientific Director of the Biomarker Laboratory (CIBM). She gave a key contribution to the development of the biomarker approach in terrestrial and marine ecotoxicology. Thanks to her work on non-destructive biomarker on skin biopsies, since 1991 she has been a world reference for the assessment of ecotoxicological risk in cetaceans. Since 1994 she has developed innovative diagnostic tools for ecotoxicological assessment of threatened species (marine mammals, birds, reptiles) bringing about the establishment of methods (non-destructive biomarker approach) currently acknowledged as the gold standard at the international level. Her research group supports the anti-whaling activity within the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

In 2001 she published the first papers on effects of on Endocrine Disruptors (EDs) in Mediterranean marine top predators (pelagic fish-swordfish- and cetaceans) and long-living organisms (sea turtles). In 2012 she provided the first evidence worldwide on the effects of microplastics on Mediterranean cetaceans. She is author or co-author of more than 550 original papers (articles, review articles, chapters and books). She has been coordinator of more than 25 national and International research projects. She is involved in several international scientific organizations (e.g. Past-president of SETAC Italian Branch). With a notable ability to involve young people in research and conservation activities, her research group is composed by 2 senior researchers, 2 post-Docs and 4 PhD students. She has been a panel member for evaluation of projects for EU Commission (e.g. BONUS) and international institutions (e.g.: MISTRA, Barcelona Convention, CIEMS). She is associate editor of Environmental Pollution, and is involved in intense scientific communication and dissemination activity (media, magazines, web, film) about the ecotoxicological effects of contaminants in Mediterranean fauna, and in particular on the effects of plastic and microplastics and in cetaceans and sea turtles.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Siena, Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, Siena, Italy

Cristina Panti

Cristina Panti (PhD 2009) is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Siena. She has expertise on molecular (gene expression, genetic analysis) and ecotoxicological investigations for the assessment and monitoring of cetaceans and top predators’ health, developing innovative methods and the effects of plastic on marine fauna. She has participated in several projects including: “Toxicology of dolphins in Queensland” with Southern Cross University (Australia); Bilateral Cooperation project IT-MX with UABCS (MX); and “Effects of microplastics on fin whale from Pelagos Sanctuary”. She has been a visiting fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanic Institution (USA) and the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). She has authored multiple papers in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in books, and more than 40 conference proceedings . Her well known research group has been involved in national and international research projects concerning development of non-destructive biomarkers on sea-birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals worldwide for endocrine disrupters, bio-monitoring of industrial activities, and study of macro/microplastics in Mediterranean Sea. The lab has a central position for research on marine litter on Mediterranean Sea and a key role in the implementation of the EU MSFD at national level (D8-D10).

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Siena, Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, Siena, Italy

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