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Marine Scientist Wins Top UM Scholarly Research Award

By Diana Udel

Marine Scientist Wins Top UM Scholarly Research Award

By Diana Udel
UM Rosenstiel School faculty member honored for his outstanding fish toxicology research

MIAMI – Martin Grosell, Maytag chair and professor of ichthyology was one of the recipients of the University of Miami’s 2015 Provost’s Award For Scholarly Activity. This award was designed to recognize demonstrated excellence in research by either a single unique achievement or several years of scholarly productivity.

“Today we recognize and celebrate the scholarly promise and achievement of our faculty,” said UM Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc during the March 27 award ceremony on the UM Coral Gables campus. 

Grosell has been a faculty member at the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science since 2002 where his research activities center on comparative physiology and aquatic toxicology to understand how fish and invertebrates cope with environmental challenges, including climate change and contamination. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed research papers as well as numerous books and book chapters on the physiology and mechanistic toxicology of aquatic organisms.

Grosell was a co-author of a recent study that showed heart abnormalities in fish embryos exposed to Deepwater Horizon oil. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study was the first of its kind to analyze the effects of the primary toxic agents released from crude oil on several commercially important pelagic fish species that spawn in the Gulf of Mexico. A second study by a research team that included Grosell showed up to a 37% decrease in overall swimming performance of Deepwater Horizon oil-exposed juvenile mahi-mahi. These ground-breaking studies revealed the toxic effects of crude oil on ecologically and commercially valuable fish that reside in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

In late 2014, Grosell was awarded a $9 million research grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to lead the RECOVER research consortium (Relationships of Effects of Cardiac Outcomes in fish for Validation of Ecological Risk) to conduct further studies on the impacts and toxic effects of crude oil on ecologically and commercially valuable fish that reside in the Gulf of Mexico.

Grosell is the Editor in Chief of the journal Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C and holds a Ph.D. in Toxicology and Physiology from the University of Copenhagen, where he also obtained his B.S. and MSc. He is a member of the Society of Experimental Biology and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

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About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School

The University of Miami is one of the largest private research institutions in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, visit: