Sara McClelland

Ph.D. Student (entered 2014)
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Biological Sciences

Woodley Lab, Mellon Hall
Phone: x4648
mcclell2@duq.edu

Education:

M.S. Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2010 B.S. Biology, Wheeling Jesuit University, 2004
Research Project

I am interested in understanding how human-induced environmental changes affect vertebrate physiology. My current research focuses on the physiological impacts of pesticides at ecologically relevant concentrations. Over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used annually to control pests within the US. Unfortunately these pesticides often contaminate natural habitats and can negatively impact non-target organisms.

More specifically, my work examines the effect of pesticides on neurodevelopment, behavior, and body morphology using an amphibian model. I also investigate the role of the stress hormone corticosterone in neurological and morphological changes caused by exposure to pesticides during development. Finally, I study whether mechanisms of induced tolerance protect animals from pesticide exposures.

My research will provide a better understanding of how amphibians, which often live close to agricultural areas where pesticides are applied, are impacted by pesticides. Second, because amphibians are a common model for vertebrate development, outcomes of this work will give us insight into mechanisms of plasticity that allow vertebrate animals to buffer environmental insults.

Publications
  1. McClelland S.J., Bendis R.J., Relyea R.A., Woodley S.K. 2018. Insecticide-induced changes in amphibian brains: How sublethal concentrations of chlorpyrifos directly affect neurodevelopment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 37 (10): 2692-2698.
  2. McClelland S.J., Gay M., Pabst D.A., Dillaman R., Westgate A.J., and Koopman H.N. 2012. Microvascular patterns in the blubber of shallow and deep diving Odontocetes. Journal of Morphology 273 (8): 932-942.
Awards

Bayer Fellowship. Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Science. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA. May 2018.

P.E.O. Scholar Award. International Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, Nominated by Chapter AA of South Hills, PA. April 2018.

Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Teaching. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA. April 2018.

Tracy Storer Award in Herpetology for Best Poster Presentation. Joint Meeting of Icthyologists and Herpetologists. Rochester, NY. July 2018.

Honorable Mention for the Provost's Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Duquesne University Graduate Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. March 2018.

Best Oral Presentation. Duquesne University Department of Biological Sciences Annual Retreat. August 2017.

Award for Excellence in Graduate Research. Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Science. Duquesne University Graduate Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. March 2017.

Raymond Huey Best Poster Award. Division of Ecology and Evolution. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. New Orleans, LA. January 2017.

Best Oral Presentation by a Master's Student. 18th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Society for Marine Mammalogy. Quebec, Canada. October 2009.

Research Presentations

McClelland, S.J., Woodley, S.K. Neurological impacts of insecticides: How exposure to ecologically relevant concentrations of an organophosphorous pesticide affects stress levels and brain structures in an amphibian model. Ecological Society of America. New Orleans, LA. August 2018. Oral Presentation.

Cha, E.S. , McClelland, S.J, Woodley, S.K. Neurodevelopmental Effects of Corticosterone in Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) Tadpoles, a Common Model. Duquesne University Undergraduate Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. July 2018. Poster Presentation. Presented by an undergraduate that I've mentored in the lab.

McClelland, S.J., Woodley, S.K. Ecologically relevant levels of an organophosphorous pesticide causes changes in stress levels and brain structure in amphibians. Joint Meeting of Icthyologists and Herpetologists. Rochester, NY. July 2018. Poster Presentation.

Bischoff, K., McClelland, S.J, Woodley, S.K. (2018) Monitoring of Coqui frogs in Phipps Conservatory. Duquesne University Undergraduate Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. April 2018. Poster Presentation. Presented by an undergraduate student that I've mentored in the lab. This poster won an Honorable Mention for the Bayer Award for Excellence in Research.

McClelland, S.J., Woodley, S.K. (2018) Exposure to low, ecologically relevant levels of an organophosphorous pesticide causes changes in stress levels and brain structures in a vertebrate model. Duquesne University Graduate Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. March 2018. Poster Presentation.

McClelland, S.J., Woodley, S.K. (2018) Insecticide-Induced Changes During Amphibian Development. Duquesne University Department of Biological Sciences Seminar. Pittsburgh, PA. February 2018. Oral Presentation.

Bischoff K., McClelland S.J, Woodley S.K. (2017) Investigating Induced Tolerance in Amphipods. Duquesne University Undergraduate Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. April 2017. Poster Presentation. Presented by an undergraduate that I've mentored in the lab.

McClelland S.J., Bendis R.J., Woodley S.K., Relyea R.A. (2017) Pesticide-resistant Zooplankton Do Not Buffer the Effects of Chlorpyrifos on Amphibian Neurodevelopment. Duquesne University Graduate Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. March 2017. Poster Presentation.

McClelland S.J., Bendis R.J., Woodley S.K., Relyea R.A. (2017) Pesticide-resistant Zooplankton Do Not Buffer the Effects of Chlorpyrifos on Amphibian Neurodevelopment. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2017 Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, January 2017. Poster Presentation.

McClelland S.J., Gay M., Pabst A., Dillaman R., Westgate A. and Koopman H. (2009) Variation in the vascular patterns of blubber in shallow and deep diving Odontocetes: Implications for diving physiology? 18th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Society for Marine Mammalogy, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, October 2009. Oral Presentation.

McClelland S.J., Gay M., Pabst A., Dillaman R., Westgate A. and Koopman H. (2009) Blubber vasculature of the bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, and the pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps. SEAMAMMS meeting (Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium), Wilmington, NC, April 2009. Oral Presentation.

Grants

Roger Conant Grant in Herpetology. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. June 2017.

Gaige Award. American Society of Icthyologists and Herpetologists. May 2016

Society of Wetland Scientists Mid-Atlantic Chapter Research Grant. April 2016.

G. Murray McKinley Research Grant, Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. February 2016.