Ryan E. Casey
Office: 561 Smith
|Education|| B.S. Chemistry (1995) Virginia Tech, cum laude
Ph.D. Environmental Toxicology (1999) Clemson University
Postdoctoral Associate (2000) Clemson University
Introduction to Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 104)
General Chemistry I,II (CHEM 110/111)
Chemical Toxicology (CHEM 480/580)
Environmental Chemistry (ENVS 602)
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.