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Dr. Christina Bottaro

{Dr. Christina Bottaro}
Dr. Christina Bottaro

Assistant professor
Department of Chemistry
Faculty of Science

Main research interests
Dr. Bottaro's current work focuses on finding and identifying new organic compounds in the marine environment and determining whether they elicit a response using tests for bioactivity. This response may be a positive or negative one, but Dr. Bottaro asserts that it's important to isolate the bioactive compounds and determine the mechanism that is causing these effects. This type of testing can give an indication of their impact on the environment, for better or worse. Dr. Bottaro was recently awarded a DFO Research Grant in for $15,000.

Experience
Previous research also focused on environmental and marine tissues. Dr. Bottaro worked on organohalogens, or halogenated organic compounds known to be environmental contaminants. While the perception is that they are man-made, the reality is that dioxins can be produced by natural means, such as forest fires. There are also analogs of PCBs produced in the marine environment by algae, sponges, seaweed and other multi-cell, low-functioning animals. Her post-doctoral work involved the same organohalogens, but emphasized novel compounds with moderately high molecular masses.

Background
Dr. Bottaro describes herself as Canadian, as she has lived all over the country, including New Brunswick, Labrador and Halifax. She received her B.Sc. (Hons.) from St. Mary's University in chemistry, and received her PhD from Dalhousie University in 1999 with a concentration in analytical chemistry. Dr. Bottaro became a Memorial faculty member in January 2002 after completing a post-doctoral position at Dalhousie.