Dr. Gretchen K. Bielmyer-Fraser

Gretchen Bielmyer

Contact Information

E-mail: Gretchen K. Bielmyer-Fraser, Ph.D.

Office: Bailey Science Center, Room 1104


B.S.  Biology, University of North Florida

M.S.  Environmental Toxicology, Clemson University

Ph.D.  Environmental Toxicology, Clemson University

Post-doctoral Fellowship, University of Miami

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Biology I
  • Principles of Biology II
  • Graduate Seminar
  • Human Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Current Applications in Biology
  • Aquatic Toxicology

Research interests

My research interests are in the field of Aquatic Toxicology.  The main focus of my research is the effects of metal contaminants on aquatic organisms when exposed through the water or diet.  Mechanisms of toxicity and subsequent effects may differ depending on contaminant exposure route, duration of exposure, water chemistry and the organism exposed.   My research aims to understanding how these variables interact to influence toxicity at both the whole animal (survival, growth, reproduction) and physiological (ion transport, acid-base balance) levels of organization.  Improved understanding of these interactions allows for the development of models that predict toxicity under varying conditions, with the goal of applying these models in environmental regulation. 

A specific example of this model development is the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM).  The model has been used by USEPA to regulate copper in aquatic environments.  My research has focused on refining and validating the model for use with silver as well as developing a marine/estuarine BLM for Zn.

Recently, my lab has been studying the effects of copper on sensitive and ecologically important marine species, such as the sea urchin, Diadema antillarum, the sea anemone, Aiptasia pallida and the scleractinian coral, Acropora cervicornis, Montastraea faveolata, and Pocillopora damicornis. Endpoints, such as behavior, oxidative stress, growth, metal accumulation, carbonic anhydrase activity, algal symbiont speciation, and photosynthetic output, have been assessed in these organisms after waterborne copper exposure with the overall goal to understand the mechanism(s) of toxicity in these sensitive species. 


Siddiqui, S., G.K. Bielmyer-Fraser.  2015.  Responses of the Sea Anemone, Exaiptasia pallida, to Ocean Acidification Conditions and Copper Exposure.  Aquatic Toxicology 167, 228-239. DOI:10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.08.0012

Jarvis, T.A., T. Capo, G.K. Bielmyer-Fraser.  2015.  Dietary Metal Exposure to the Marine Sea Hare, Aplysia californica.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C DOI:10.1016/j.cbpc.2015.06.009

Jarvis, T.A., G.K. Bielmyer-Fraser.  2015.  Accumulation and Effects of Metals in Two Seaweed Species.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C.  171, 28-33. DOI:10.1016/j.cbpc.2015.03.005

Siddiqui, S., R.H. Goddard, G.K. Bielmyer-Fraser.  2015.  Comparative effects of dissolved copper and copper oxide nanoparticle exposure to the sea anemone, Exaiptasia pallidaAquaticToxicology 160, 205-213.  DOI:10.1016/j.aquatox.2015.01.007 

Patel, P., G.K. Bielmyer-Fraser.  2015.  The influence of salinity on copper accumulation and oxidative stress in the sea anemone, Exaiptasia pallida.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C.  168, 39-47.  DOI 10.1016/j.cbpc.2014.11.004

Bielmyer-Fraser, G.K., T.A. Jarvis, H.S. Lenihan, R.J. Miller.  2014.  Cellular partitioning of nanoparticulate versus dissolved metals in marine phytoplankton.  Environmental Science and Technology.  48(22), 13443-50.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es501187g

Brock, J. and G.K. Bielmyer.  2013.  Metal Accumulation and sublethal responses in the sea anemone, Aiptasia pallida after waterborne exposure to metal mixtures.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C  158, 150-158. 

Jarvis, T.A., J.M. Lockhart, W.J. Loughry, G.K. Bielmyer.  2013.  Metal accumulation in wild nine-banded armadillos.  Ecotoxicology  22(6), 1053-1062.

Jarvis, T.A., R.C. Miller, H. Lenihan, G.K. Bielmyer.  2013.  Toxicity of ZnO nanoparticles to the copepod, Acartia tonsa, exposed via a phytoplankton diet.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 32(6), 1264-1269.

Bielmyer, G.K., C. DeCarlo, C. Morris, T. Carrigan.  2013.  The effects of salinity and water chemistry on acute nickel toxicity to Fundulus heteroclitus and Kryptolebias marmoratus.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 32(6), 1354-1359.

Shyn, A., S.J. Chalk, K. Smith, N. Charnock, G.K. Bielmyer. 2012. The effects of salinity on zinc accumulation in the euryhaline fish, Fundulus heteroclitus. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 63, 544–553.

Bielmyer, G.K., J.B. Bullington, C.A. DeCarlo, N.L. Charnock. S.J. Chalk, K. Smith. 2012. The effects of salinity on acute toxicity of zinc to two euryhaline species of fish, Fundulus heteroclitus and Kryptolebias marmoratus. Integrative and Comparative Biology 52(6), 753-760. DOI: 10.1093/icb/ics045.

Bielmyer, G.K., T. Jarvis, B.T. Harper, B. Butler, L. Rice, S. Ryan. 2012. Metal Accumulation from Dietary Exposure in the Sea Urchin, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 63, 86–94.

Bielmyer G.K., W.R. Arnold, J.J. Isely, S.J. Klaine, J. Tomasso. 2012. Effects of roof and rainwater characteristics on copper concentrations in roof runoff. Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 184, 2797–2804.

Pyati, R., Bielmyer, G.K., Chalk, S., McCarthy, D., McCarthy, H., Pinto, G., Sonnenberg, L., Welsh, P.  2012.  “Case Study: St. Johns River Basin, USA,” Fourth United Nations World Water Development Report, World Water Assessment Programme 2012, Paris: UNESCO Publishing

Bland, M.J., G.K. Bielmyer, B.C. Ring.  2011.  Toxic Effects of Hygromycin B on Kryptolebias marmoratus early development.  GA J Sci  68(3), 140-148.

Bielmyer G.K., M. Grosell, R. Bhagooli, A.C. Baker, C. Langdon, P. Gillette, T. Capo. 2010. Differential effects of copper on three species of scleractinian corals and their algal symbionts (Symbiodinium spp.). Aquat Toxicol 97,125-133.

Main W.P.L., C. Ross, G.K. Bielmyer. 2010. Copper accumulation and oxidative stress in the sea anemone, Aiptasia pallida, after waterborne copper exposure. Comp Biochem Physiol C 151, 216-221.

Bielmyer, G.K., Grosell, M. 2010. Emerging issues in marine metal toxicity. In Bury, N, Handy, R., eds, Essential Reviews in Experimental Biology. Kings College, London, UK, vol. 2, pp. 129-158.

Bielmyer G.K., K.V. Brix, M. Grosell.  2008.  Is Cl- protection against silver toxicity due to speciation?  Aquat Toxicol  87:81-87.

Bielmyer G.K., M. Grosell, P.R. Paquin, R. Mathews, K.B. Wu, R.C. Santore, K.V. Brix.  2007.  Validation study of the acute biotic ligand model for silver. Env Toxicol Chem  26(10):2241-2246.

Bielmyer G.K., J. Tomasso, S.J. Klaine.  2006.  Physiological responses of hybrid striped bass to aqueous copper in freshwater and saltwater.  Arch Env Contam Toxicol  50:531-538.

Bielmyer G.K., M. Grosell, K.V. Brix.  2006.  Toxicity of silver, zinc, copper, and nickel to the copepod, Acartia tonsa, exposed via a phytoplankton diet. Env Sci  Technol  40:2063-2068.

Bielmyer G.K., K.V. Brix, T.R. Capo, M. Grosell.  2005.  The effects of metals on embryo-larval and adult life stages of the sea urchin, Diadema antillarumAquat Toxicol  74(3):254-263.

Bielmyer G.K., J. Tomasso, D. Gatlin, J. Isely, S.J. Klaine.  2005.  Responses of hybrid Striped bass to waterborne and dietary copper in freshwater and saltwater. Comp Biochem Physiol C  140:131-137.

Bielmyer G.K., R. Arnold, J. Tomasso, S.J. Klaine.  2004.  Influence of salt source on synthetic saltwater quality.  Chemosphere  57:1707-1711.

Bielmyer G.K., R.A. Bell, S.J. Klaine.  2002.  The effects of ligand-bound silver to Ceriodaphnia dubiaEnviron Toxicol Chem  21(10):2204-2208.