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Ryan E. Casey

Environmental Chemistry

Office: 561 Smith
Phone: (410)704-3051


Education B.S. Chemistry (1995) Virginia Tech, cum laude
Ph.D. Environmental Toxicology (1999) Clemson University
Postdoctoral Associate (2000) Clemson University
Teaching Introduction to Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 104)
General Chemistry I,II (CHEM 110/111)
Chemical Toxicology (CHEM 480/580)
Environmental Chemistry (ENVS 602)
Research My research involves quantifying biogeochemical processes at the interface between terrestrial and aquatic systems. Currently I am focusing on quantifying major and trace element fluxes from urban impervious surfaces (e.g. roads, parking lots) into storm water retention ponds. We are investigating the role of road salt and stormwater ponds in the long term salinization of surface waters in this region. Other studies have shown that Cl- levels are increasing in area streams draining impervious surfaces and have predicted that if this increase continues, sensitive organisms may be eliminated from these waters due to salt stress. We hypothesize that stormwater ponds introduce significant quantities of road salt into the subsurface where it can slowly migrate to surface waters throughout the course of the year. We are also evaluating changes in cation distribution that occur during salinization and the potential impacts those changes have on trace metal bioavailability and biota in stormwater ponds.

Recently we have also investigated the relative importance of sediment and biofilm for uptake of trace elements into larval amphibians. These organisms graze on biofilms and co-ingest sediments, both of which may be contaminated in stormwater ponds and other sites. This work addresses the question of whether ingested biofilm is as important as ingested sediment in trace element accumulation. Results to date indicate the biofilm is an important consideration for the accumulation of As and Se, while sediment is the dominant source for Cr and Ni.
Selected Publications
  1. Simon, J.A., J.W. Snodgrass, R.E. Casey, S.A. Atueyi, D.W. Sparling “Relationships among land cover and amphibian use of constructed wetlands” Landscape Ecology, accepted.
  2. Snodgrass, J.W., J. Simon**, R.E. Casey “Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles in Urban Environments: A Review of Potential Exposure Routes and Bioaccumulation” In: Urban Herpetology: Ecology, Conservation and Management of Amphibians and Reptiles in Urban and Suburban Environments. Herpetological Conservation 3, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles: Salt Lake City, UT. R.E. Jung and J.C Mitchell, eds. in press
  3. Snodgrass JW, RE Casey, D Joseph*, JA Simon** “Microcosm investigations of stormwater pond sediment toxicity to embryonic and larval amphibians: Variation in sensitivity among species” Environ. Pollut. 2008, 154, 291-297. Link to Full Article
  4. Massal, L.R.**, J.W. Snodgrass, R.E. Casey “Nitrogen pollution of stormwater ponds and amphibian habitat value” Applied Herpetology. 2007, 4, 19-29. Link to Full Article
  5. Casey, R.E., J.A. Simon**, S. Atueyi*, J.W. Snodgrass, N. Karouna-Renier, D.W. Sparling “Temporal Trends of Trace Metals in Sediment and Invertebrates from Stormwater Management Ponds” Water Air Soil Pollut. 2007, 178, 69-77. Link to Full Article
  6. Casey, R.E., F.A. Pittman “Intermolecular forces as a key to understanding the environmental fate of organic xenobiotics” J. Chem. Ed. 2005, 82, 260-264.
  7. Casey, R.E., M.D. Taylor, S.J. Klaine, “Localization of denitrifying activity in preferential flow pores in a riparian wetland”, Soil Biol. Biochem. 2004, 36, 563-569. Link to Full Article
  8. Casey, R.E., M.D. Taylor, S.J. Klaine, “Mechanisms of nutrient attenuation in a subsurface flow riparian wetland”, J. Environ. Qual. 2001, 30, 1732-1737. Link to Full Article
  9. Casey, R.E. and S.J. Klaine, “Nutrient attenuation by a riparian wetland during natural and artificial runoff events”, J. Environ. Qual. 2001, 30, 1720-1731. Link to Full Article

Faculty & Staff

Department of Chemistry
Smith Hall 543
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252