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Person Details: Richard T. Di Giulio

Superfund Research Program

Richard T. Di Giulio

Duke University
Nicholas School of the Environment
Box 90328
Durham, North Carolina 27708-0328
Phone: 919-613-8024
Fax: 919-668-1799


Research Briefs

Hazardous Waste Sites

Atlantic Wood Site, Elizabeth River

  • Duke University: Developmental Effects of Superfund Hydrocarbon Mixtures in Fundulus heteroclitus

FCX, Inc. (Washington Plant)

  • Duke University: Developmental Effects of Superfund Hydrocarbon Mixtures in Fundulus heteroclitus

Georgia-Pacific Corporation Hardwood Sawmill, Washington County

  • Duke University: Microbial and Photolytic Transformations of Superfund Chemicals



  • Jasperse L, Di Giulio RT, Jayasundara N. 2023. Bioenergetic effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon resistance manifest later in life in offspring of fundulus heteroclitus from the Elizabeth River. Environ Sci Technol 57(42):15806-15815. doi:10.1021/acs.est.3c03610 PMID:37818763
  • Kozal JS, Jayasundara N, Massarsky A, Lindberg C, Oliveri A, Cooper EM, Levin ED, Meyer JN, Di Giulio RT. 2023. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress contribute to cross-generational toxicity of benzo(a)pyrene in Danio rerio. Aquat Toxicol 263:106658. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2023.106658 PMID:37722151 PMCID:PMC10591944


  • Hawkey AB, Piatos P, Holloway Z, Boyda J, Koburov R, Fleming E, Di Giulio RT, Levin ED. 2022. Embryonic exposure to benzo[a]pyrene causes age-dependent behavioral alterations and long-term metabolic dysfunction in zebrafish. Neurotoxicol Teratol 93:107121. doi:10.1016/ PMID:36089172
  • Trevisan R, Ranasinghe P, Jayasundara N, Di Giulio RT. 2022. Nanoplastics in aquatic environments: Impacts on aquatic species and interactions with environmental factors and pollutants. Toxics 10(6):doi:10.3390/toxics10060326 PMID:35736934 PMCID:PMC9230143


  • Boyda J, Hawkey AB, Holloway Z, Trevisan R, Di Giulio RT, Levin ED. 2021. The organophosphate insecticide diazinon and aging: Neurobehavioral and mitochondrial effects in zebrafish exposed as embryos or during aging. Neurotoxicol Teratol 87:doi:10.1016/ PMID:34224825 PMCID:PMC8440393
  • Chernick M, Lieberman N, Brown DR, Di Giulio RT, Hinton DE, Burke T. 2021. Heart development in two populations of Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) following exposure to a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon mixture. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 208:111580. doi:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111580 PMID:33396103
  • Redfern L, Jayasundara N, Singleton D, Di Giulio RT, Carlson J, Sumner SJ, Gunsch C. 2021. The role of gut microbial community and metabolomic shifts in adaptive resistance of Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Sci Total Environ 776:145955. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145955 PMID:33647645 PMCID:PMC8294123
  • Silva RA, Di Giulio RT, Rice CD. 2021. The in vitro proinflammatory properties of water accommodated sediment extracts from a creosote-contaminated US Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Site. Environ Toxicol Chem 40(6):1576-1585. doi:10.1002/etc.5001 PMID:33512033


  • Babich R, Ulrich JC, Dilini V. Ekanyake E, Massarsky A, De Silva PC, Manage PM, Jackson BP, Ferguson PL, Di Giulio RT, Drummond IA, Jayasundara N. 2020. Kidney developmental effects of metal-herbicide mixtures: Implications for chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology. Environ Int 144:doi:10.1016/j.envint.2020.106019
  • Baldwin WS, Bain LJ, Di Giulio RT, Kullman SW, Rice CD, Ringwood AH, van den Hurk P. 2020. 20th Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms (PRIMO 20): Global issues and fundamental mechanisms caused by pollutant stress in marine and freshwater organisms. Aquat Toxicol 227:doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2020.105620 PMID:32932042
  • Trevisan R, Uzochukwu D, Di Giulio RT. 2020. PAH sorption to nanoplastics and the Trojan Horse Effect as drivers of mitochondrial toxicity and PAH localization in zebrafish. front environ sci 8:doi:10.3389/fenvs.2020.00078


  • Di Giulio RT, Newman MC. 2019. Ecotoxicology. Chapter 30 in: Casarett & Doull's Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons, 9th Edition. McGraw Hill Education,
  • Lindberg C, Di Giulio RT. 2019. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and hypoxia exposures result in mitochondrial dysfunction in zebrafish. Aquat Toxicol 216:doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2019.105298 PMID:31586484 PMCID:PMC6917040
  • Trevisan R, Voy C, Chen S, Di Giulio RT. 2019. Nanoplastics decrease the toxicity of a complex PAH mixture but impair mitochondrial energy production in developing zebrafish. Environ Sci Technol 53:8405-8415. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b02003 PMID:31259535 PMCID:PMC6660138
  • Volkoff SJ, Osterberg JS, Jayasundara N, Cooper EM, Hsu-Kim H, Rogers LA, Gehrke GE, Jayaraman S, Di Giulio RT. 2019. Embryonic fundulus heteroclitus responses to sediment extracts from differentially contaminated sites in the Elizabeth River, VA. Ecotoxicology 28:9:1126-1135. doi:10.1007/s10646-019-02116-z PMID:31620948 PMCID:PMC7768734


  • Gearhart-Serna LM, Jayasundara N, Tacam M, Di Giulio RT, Devi GR. 2018. Assessing cancer risk associated with aquatic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollution reveals dietary routes of exposure and vulnerable populations. J Environ Public Health 2018:5610462. doi:10.1155/2018/5610462 PMID:30327676 PMCID:PMC6169233
  • Massarsky A, Abdel A, Glazer L, Levin ED, Di Giulio RT. 2018. Neurobehavioral effects of 1,2-propanediol in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Neurotoxicology 65:111-124. doi:10.1016/j.neuro.2018.02.007 PMID:29432853
  • Osterberg JS, Cammen KM, Schultz TF, Clark BW, Di Giulio RT. 2018. Genome-wide scan reveals signatures of selection related to pollution adaptation in non-model estuarine Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). Aquat Toxicol 200:73-82. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2018.04.017 PMID:29727773 PMCID:PMC6957077
  • Pitt JA, Kozal JS, Jayasundara N, Massarsky A, Trevisan R, Geiter N, Wiesner MR, Levin ED, Di Giulio RT. 2018. Uptake, tissue distribution, and toxicity of polystyrene nanoparticles in developing zebrafish (Danio rerio). Aquat Toxicol 194:185-194. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.11.017 PMID:29197232
  • Pitt JA, Trevisan R, Massarsky A, Kozal JS, Levin ED, Di Giulio RT. 2018. Maternal transfer of nanoplastics to offspring in zebrafish (Danio rerio): A case study with nanopolystyrene. Sci Total Environ 643:324-334. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.186 PMID:29940444


  • Brown DR, Thompson J, Chernick M, Hinton DE, Di Giulio RT. 2017. Later life swimming performance and persistent heart damage following subteratogenic PAH mixture exposure in the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). Environ Toxicol Chem 36:3246-3253. doi:10.1002/etc.3877 PMID:28585726
  • Hartman JH, Kozal JS, Di Giulio RT, Meyer JN. 2017. Zebrafish have an ethanol-inducible hepatic 4-nitrophenol hydroxylase that is not CYP2E1-like. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 54:142-145. doi:10.1016/j.etap.2017.07.004 PMID:28728133 PMCID:PMC5563387
  • Jayasundara N, Fernando PW, Osterberg JS, Cammen KM, Schultz TF, Di Giulio RT. 2017. Cost of tolerance: Physiological consequences of evolved resistance to inhabit a polluted environmental in Teleost fish Fundulus heteroclitus. Environ Sci Technol 51:8763-8772. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b01913 PMID:28682633
  • Lindberg C, Jayasundara N, Kozal JS, Leuthner T, Di Giulio RT. 2017. Resistance to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon toxicity and associated bioenergetic consequences in a population of Fundulus heteroclitus. Ecotoxicology 26(3):435-448. doi:10.1007/s10646-017-1775-6 PMID:28213827
  • Massarsky A, Abdel A, Glazer L, Levin ED, Di Giulio RT. 2017. Exposure to 1,2-propanediol impacts early development of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and induces hyperactivity. Zebrafish 14(3):216-222. doi:10.1089/zeb.2016.1400 PMID:28266909
  • Massarsky A, Kozal JS, Di Giulio RT. 2017. Glutathione and zebrafish: old assays to address a current issue. Chemosphere 168:707-715. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.11.004 PMID:27836271 PMCID:PMC5182135
  • Mu J, Chernick M, Dong W, Di Giulio RT, Hinton DE. 2017. Early life co-exposures to a real-world PAH mixture and hypoxia result in later life and next generation consequences in medaka (Oryzias latipes). Aquat Toxicol 190:162-173. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.06.026 PMID:28728047 PMCID:PMC5584607
  • Raftery TD, Jayasundara N, Di Giulio RT. 2017. A bioenergetics assay for studying the effects of environmental stressors on mitochondrial function in vivo in zebrafish larvae. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 192:23-32. doi:10.1016/j.cbpc.2016.12.001 PMID:27939721 PMCID:PMC5218841
  • Slotkin TA, Skavicus S, Card JA, Di Giulio RT, Seidler FJ. 2017. In vitro models reveal differences in the developmental neurotoxicity of an environmental polycylic aromatic hydrocarbon mixture compared to benzo[a]pyrene: Neuronotypic PC12 Cells and embryonic neural stem cells. Toxicology 377:49-56. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2016.12.008 PMID:28049045 PMCID:PMC5250555


  • Brown DR, Bailey JM, Oliveri A, Levin ED, Di Giulio RT. 2016. Developmental exposure to a complex PAH mixture causes persistent behavioral effects in naive Fundulus heteroclitus (killifish) but not in a population of PAH-adapted killifish. Neurotoxicol Teratol 53:55-63. doi:10.1016/ PMID:26548404 PMCID:PMC4803068
  • Brown DR, Clark BW, Garner LV, Di Giulio RT. 2016. Embryonic cardiotoxicity of weak aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists and CYP1A inhibitor fluoranthene in the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 188:45-51. doi:10.1016/j.cbpc.2016.05.005 PMID:27211013
  • Riley AK, Chernick M, Brown DR, Hinton DE, Di Giulio RT. 2016. Hepatic responses of juvenile Fundulus heteroclitus from pollution-adapted and nonadapted populations exposed to Elizabeth River sediment extract. Toxicol Pathol 44(5):738-748. doi:10.1177/0192623316636717 PMID:26992886 PMCID:PMC4912431



  • Fang M, Getzinger GJ, Cooper EM, Clark BW, Garner LV, Di Giulio RT, Ferguson PL, Stapleton HM. 2014. Effect-directed analysis of Elizabeth River porewater: developmental toxicity in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Environ Toxicol Chem 33(12):2767-2774. doi:10.1002/etc.2738 PMID:25196082 PMCID:PMC4393830


  • Bozinovic G, Sit TL, Di Giulio RT, Wills LF, Oleksiak MF. 2013. Genomic and physiological responses to strong selective pressure during late organogenesis: Few gene expression changes found despite striking morphological differences. BMC Genomics 14:779. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-779 PMID:24215130 PMCID:PMC3835409
  • Clark BW, Bone AJ, Di Giulio RT. 2013. Resistance to teratogenesis by F1 and F2 embryos of PAH-adapted Fundulus heteroclitus is strongly inherited despite reduced recalcitrance of the AHR pathway. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int doi:10.1007/s11356-013-2446-7 PMID:24374617 PMCID:PMC4074458
  • Clark BW, Cooper EM, Stapleton HM, Di Giulio RT. 2013. Compound- and mixture-specific differences in resistance to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and PCB-126 among Fundulus heteroclitus subpopulations throughout the Elizabeth River Estuary (Virginia, USA). Environ Sci Technol 47(18):10556-10566. doi:10.1021/es401604b PMID:24003986 PMCID:PMC4079253
  • Garner LV, Brown DR, Di Giulio RT. 2013. Knockdown of AHR1A but not AHR1B exacerbates PAH and PCB-126 toxicity in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos. Aquat Toxicol 142-143:336-346. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2013.09.007 PMID:24084256 PMCID:PMC3837554
  • Zhao B, Bohonowych JE, Timme-Laragy AR, Jung D, Affatato AA, Rice RH, Di Giulio RT, Denison MS. 2013. Common commercial and consumer products contain activators of the aryl hydrocarbon (dioxin) receptor. PLoS One 8(2):e56860. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056860 PMID:23441220 PMCID:PMC3575475



  • Fleming CR, Di Giulio RT. 2011. The role of CYP1A inhibition in the embryotoxic interactions between hypoxia and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and PAH mixtures in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Ecotoxicology 20:1300-1314. doi:10.1007/s10646-011-0686-1 PMID:21706407 PMCID:PMC4018733
  • Jung D, Matson CW, Collins LB, Laban G, Stapleton HM, Bickham JW, Swenberg JA, Di Giulio RT. 2011. Genotoxicity in Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) from a PAH-contaminated Superfund site on the Elizabeth River, Virginia. Ecotoxicology 20:1890-1899. doi:10.1007/s10646-011-0727-9 PMID:21706406 PMCID:PMC3203518





  • Burnett KG, Bain LJ, Baldwin WS, Callard GV, Cohen S, Di Giulio RT, Evans DH, Gomez-Chiarri M, Hahn ME, Hoover CA, Karchner SI, Katoh F, MacLatchy DL, Marshall WS, Meyer JN, Nacci DE, Rees BB, Singer TD, Stegeman JJ, Towle DW, van Veld PA, Vogelbein WK, Whitehead A, Winn RN, Crawford DL, Oleksiak MF. 2007. Fundulus as the premier teleost model in environmental biology: opportunities for new insights using genomics. Comp Biochem Physiol Part D Genomics Proteomics 2(4):257-286. doi:10.1016/j.cbd.2007.09.001 PMID:18071578 PMCID:PMC2128618
  • Ostrander GK, Di Giulio RT, Hinton DE, Miller MR, Rotchell JR. 2007. Chemical Carcinogensis. In: The Toxicology of Fishes. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Timme-Laragy AR, Cockman C, Matson CW, Di Giulio RT. 2007. Synergistic induction of AHR regulated genes in developmental toxicity from co-exposure to two model PAHs in zebrafish. Aquat Toxicol 85(4):241-50. PMID:17964672


  • Arzuaga X, Wassenberg DM, Di Giulio RT, Elskus AA. 2006. The chlorinated AHR ligand 3,32,4,42,5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB126) promotes reactive oxygen species (ROS) production during embryonic development in the killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). Aquat Toxicol 76(1):13-23.
  • Billiard SM, Timme-Laragy AR, Wassenberg DM, Cockman C, Di Giulio RT. 2006. The role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor pathway in mediating synergistic developmental toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to zebrafish. Toxicol Sci 92:526-536. PMID:16687390
  • Embry MR, Billiard SM, Di Giulio RT. 2006. Lack of p53 induction in fish cells by model chemotherapeutics. Oncogene 25(14):2004-2010. doi:10.1038/sj.onc.1209238 PMID:16434976
  • Timme-Laragy AR, Levin ED, Di Giulio RT. 2006. Developmental and behavioral effects of embryonic exposure to the polybrominated diphenylether mixture DE-71 in the killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). Chemosphere 62(7):1097-1104. PMID:16045967


  • Meyer JN, Volz DC, Freedman JH, Di Giulio RT. 2005. Differential display of hepatic mRNA from killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) inhabiting a Superfund estuary. Aquat Toxicol 73(4):327-341. PMID:15916819
  • Nacci DE, Coiro L, Wassenberg DM, Di Giulio RT. 2005. A non-destructive technique to measure cytochrome P4501A enzyme activity in living embryos of the estuarine fish Fundulus heteroclitus. Chapter Vol. 2 in: Techniques in Aquatic Toxicology. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL. pp.209-226.
  • Timme-Laragy AR, Meyer JN, Waterland RA, Di Giulio RT. 2005. Analysis of CpG methylation in the killifish CYP1A promoter. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 141(4):406-411. PMID:16257583
  • Wassenberg DM, Nerlinger AL, Battle LP, Di Giulio RT. 2005. Effects of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon heterocycles, carbazole and dibenzothiophene, on in vivo and in vitro CYP1A activity and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-derived embryonic deformities. Environ Toxicol Chem 24(10):2526-2532. PMID:16268154


  • Bacanskas LR, Whitaker J, Di Giulio RT. 2004. Oxidative stress in two populations of killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) with differing contaminant exposure histories. Mar Environ Res 58(2-5):597-601. doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2004.03.048 PMID:15178085
  • Craft ES, Embry MR, Di Giulio RT, Freedman JH. 2004. Evidence for the role of p53 in metal-induced activation of metallothionein gene expression. In: Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine: Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine. John Libbey Eurotext Publishers, Montrouge, France.
  • Embry MR, Whitaker J, Freedman JH, Di Giulio RT. 2004. Differential susceptibility of fish and rat liver cells to oxidative stress and cytotoxicity upon exposure to prooxidants. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 137(4):335-342. PMID:15228951
  • Wassenberg DM, Di Giulio RT. 2004. Synergistic embryotoxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists with cytochrome P4501A inhibitors in Fundulus heteroclitus. Environ Health Perspect 112(17):1658-1664. PMID:15579409
  • Wassenberg DM, Di Giulio RT. 2004. Teratogenesis in Fundulus heteroclitus embryos exposed to a creosote-contaminated sediment extract and CYP1A inhibitors. Mar Environ Res 58(2-5):163-168. PMID:15178029


  • Meyer JN, Di Giulio RT. 2003. Heritable adaptation and fitness costs in killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) inhabiting a polluted estuary. Ecol Appl 13(2):490-503.
  • Meyer JN, Smith JD, Winston GW, Di Giulio RT. 2003. Antioxidant defenses in killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) exposed to contaminated sediments and model prooxidants: short-term and heritable responses. Aquat Toxicol 65(4):377-395. doi:10.1016/j.aquatox.2003.06.001 PMID:14568353
  • Meyer JN, Wassenberg DM, Karchner SI, Hahn ME, Di Giulio RT. 2003. Expression and inducibility of aryl hydrocarbon receptor pathway genes in wild-caught killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) with different contaminant-exposure histories. Environ Toxicol Chem 22(10):2337-2343. PMID:14551997


  • Meyer JN, Di Giulio RT. 2002. Patterns of heritability of decreased EROD activity and resistance to PCB 126-induced teratogenesis in laboratory-reared offspring of killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) from a creosote-contaminated site in the Elizabeth River, VA, USA. Mar Environ Res 54(3-5):621-626. PMID:12408627
  • Meyer JN, Nacci DE, Di Giulio RT. 2002. Cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) in killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus): heritability of altered expression and relationship to survival in contaminated sediments. Toxicol Sci 68(1):69-81. PMID:12075112
  • Schlenk D, Di Giulio RT. 2002. Biochemical responses as indicators of aquatic ecosystem health. In: Biological Indicators of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. pp.13-422.
  • Wassenberg DM, Swails EE, Di Giulio RT. 2002. Effects of combined exposures to benzo[a]pyrene and 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl on Fundulus heteroclitus. Mar Environ Res 54(3-5):279-283.


  • Toomey BH, Bello SM, Hahn ME, Cantrell S, Wright P, Tillitt DE, Di Giulio RT. 2001. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin induces apoptotic cell death and cytochrome P4501A expression in developing Fundulus heteroclitus embryos. Aquat Toxicol 53(2):127-138. PMID:11311389
  • Willett KL, Lienesch L, Reichert W, Di Giulio RT. 2001. In vivo and in vitro inhibition of CYP1A-dependent activity in Fundulus heteroclitus by the polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) fluoranthene. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 177(3):264-271. PMID:11749126


  • Toomey BH, Bello SM, Hahn ME, Cantrell S, Wright P, Tillitt DE, Di Giulio RT. 2000. TCDD induces apoptotic cell death and cytochrome P4501A expression in developing Fundulus heteroclitus embryos. Aquat Toxicol


  • Ploch SA, Nakamura J, Swenberg JA, Di Giulio RT. 1998. Assessment of AP site formation in isolated hepatocytes from brown bullhead upon treatment with benzo(a)pyrene. Fundam Appl Toxicol 42:82.


  • Gray LE, Klece WR, Wiese T, Tyl R, Gaido KW, Cook J, Klinefelter G, Desaulniers D, Wilson E, Zacharewski TR, Waller C, Foster P, Laskey J, Reel J, Giesy JP, Laws S, McLachlan JA, Breslin W, Cooper R, Di Giulio RT, Johnson R, Purdy R, Mihaich E, Safe SH, Sonnenschein C, Welshons W, Miller R, McMaster S, Colborn T. 1997. Endocrine screening methods workshop report: detection of estrogenic and androgenic hormonal and antihormonal activity for chemicals that act via receptor or steroidogenic enzyme mechanisms. Reprod Toxicol 11(5):719-750. PMID:9311581
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