Erik Folkerts


PhD Student

My graduate study research is to identify and characterize the toxicity of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water (FPW) in the aquatic environment. In particular, my research focuses on sub-lethal toxicological effect detection in FPW exposed aquatic organisms. Using invertebrate (Daphnia) and vertebrate (zebrafish and rainbow trout) species models, I aim to determine modes of FPW sub-lethal toxicity at both cellular and whole-organism levels. To assess sub-lethal toxicity, I employ a comprehensive suite of toxicity assays and biomarkers to determine changes in organism physiological responses to FPW exposure. Physiological responses include changes in energy consumption/organism fitness, oxidative stress management, xenobiotic metabolism, ion regulation, and endocrine disruptive effects. The goal of my research is to begin to provide information to environmental agencies and remediation policy makers on how to detect, monitor, and determine the extent of damage to ecosystem health when FPW spills occur.

For full list of publications, see Erik Folkert’s orcID: 0000-0003-2400-0972