Kaley Major

Kaley Major is a PhD student in the School for the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  She received a BS in integrative biology and an MS in natural resources and environmental science with a focus in soil and water quality from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before coming to UMass Boston to work under Helen Poynton. Major’s research interests lie in the emerging realm of ecotoxicogenomics – a field that seeks to quantify the genomic responses induced by pollution exposure and the subsequent ecological impacts of such responses. Specifically, her dissertation work is focused on elucidating mechanisms of pyrethroid pesticide resistance in the non-target freshwater macroinvertebrate and model laboratory organism Hyalella azteca. Although pyrethroids are used in agriculture, they are also the most common pesticides used residentially in the United States, making them likely to enter waterways via runoff in both rural and urban environments. By focusing on the impacts of pyrethroid pesticides on urban pond ecosystems, Major hopes to promote public environmental awareness and encourage minimal usage of these pesticides.

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