Welcome to the Brasso lab at Southeast Missouri State University: Ornithology & Wildlife toxicology


      Dr. Rebecka Brasso, Department of Biology
      Southeast Missouri State University

Our research is focused on the use of birds as biomonitors of environmental pollutants in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.  In particular, we are interested in research questions that examine variation in exposure to heavy metals across small and large spatial scales as well as over time.  While our target study species are often songbirds, you are what you eat! We therefore also spend time studying lower trophic organisms such as aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates as well as monitoring metal concentrations in a variety of environmental matrices (you are where you eat, too).  We currently have two large projects underway in different regions of southeast Missouri: one studying the effects of legacy lead (Pb) contamination on breeding songbirds and a second investigating mercury (Hg) cycling in wetland ecosystems using tree swallows as biomonitors.  Dr. Brasso loves to use nest box breeding birds as target study species: watch out Missouri--100s of nest boxes may be coming to a park near you!

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