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Meet Great Lake Researcher Deborah Swackhamer

Dr. Deborah Swackhamer is an environmental chemist at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where she has worked since 1987. She is currently serving as interim director of the University’s Institute on the Environment.

Dr. Swackhamer's expertise lies in persistent organic compounds. She studies the processes affecting the behavior and fate of contaminants such as PCBs, dioxins, and pesticides in the Great Lakes. Dr. Swackhamer is also interested in the effects of environmental estrogenic compounds, and developing contaminant indicators of ecosystem health. She has been named a Fellow in the Royal Society of Chemistry of the UK and her work has generated data for the U.S. EPA Great Lakes Fish Monitoring Program. She was awarded the Harvey Rodgers Award from the Minnesota Public Health Association in 2007.

Dr. Swackhamer's recent activities include advisory roles to the:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • International Joint Commission
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Undersea Research Program
  • Environmental Science and Technology Journal
  • Journal of Environmental Monitoring
  • Minnesota Clean Water Council

Current Projects

Estrogenic Compounds: Tracking the Generation and Partitioning in Wastewater Treatment Plants

Development of a Great Lakes Basin Screening Model for Emerging Chemicals

Formation of Polyhalogenated Dioxins and Furans from Triclosan and PBDEs in Rivers