Andrew J. Vacca, Ph.D. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems and Society Graduate Program
Class of '78 Life Sciences Center, Office 007E
78 College Street
Hanover, NH 03755
Areas of Expertise/Interest: environmental and behavioral toxicology, ecology, insect physiology, environmental sciences
Background: M.S., Biology (2013), Department of Biology, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY; B.S., Environmental Sciences, Biology Concentration (2010), Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany State University of New York, Albany, NY.
Research/Experience: My primary interest is in examining how changes in the environment affect animal communities and ecosystem integrity. I am particularly interested in working in environments that have been highly impacted by anthropogenic modifications, including, but not limited to, the input of environmental contaminants and toxic materials. My work typically involves insect populations because they are ubiquitous across environments and often perform vital ecosystem services. Insects are also critical trophic intermediaries, making them important target organisms when investigating the movement of environmental contaminants along and within food webs. I am currently investigating how the bioaccumulation of methylmercury affects insect physiology, behavior and population dynamics using dragonflies (Odonata) as biovectors of contaminant flux from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems.