Dr Robert Angus

Professor, Aquatic Toxicology





(205) 934-4799


(205) 975-6097


Ph.D. - University of Connecticut

Research Description:
Current research interests include:

Endocrine Disruptors in the Environment-

I have been involved, with students and colleagues, in numerous studies using the mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) as a model organism for evaluating the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Expression of the (normally female-limited) vitellogenin gene in males is used to test chemicals for estrogenic activity. A morphological trait (modified anal fin called a gonopodium) is used to test for androgenic activity.


Effects of Ocean Acidification on Antarctic Invertebrates - I have been collaborating with Drs. McClintock and Amsler and graduate students on the effects of lowered seawater pH, due to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2, on the fitness of antarctic invertebrates that make calcareous shells. Under acidic conditions, calcite becomes soluble in seawater and it becomes difficult to produce and maintain calcite-containing structures. Additionally, reduced pH may have other effects, such as on larval development or survivability.


Effects of urban development in a watershed on aquatic habitat quality and biological diversity in rivers - These studies, in collaboration with Dr. Ken Marion of our department and several graduate students, employ EPA-recommended methods to assess the quality of the aquatic habitat and biological diversity (fish and macroinvertebrates) at numerous sites on rivers in the Birmingham, AL vicinity. Some rivers in the Birmingham vicinity (e.g. Five Mile Creek) have been impacted by pollution from industrial activity. Others (e.g. Cahaba River) are being impacted by urban development in the watershed. The major objectives are (a) to provide baseline information on the current biological status of the aquatic communities so that changes, either in response to remediation measures or to further development can be quantified; (b) to identify the most severe stressors on aquatic systems and (c) devise ways in which they may be minimized in the future.


Representative Publications:

Raut, S.A., Angus, R.A. 2010. Triclosan has endocrine-disrupting effects in male western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 29(6):1287-1291.


Amsler, M.O., McClintock, J.B., Amsler, C.D., Angus, R.A., Baker, B.J. 2009. An evaluation of sponge-associated amphipods from the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctic Science 21(6):579-589.


McClintock, J. B., Angus, R.A., McDonald, M.R., Amsler, C.D., Catledge, S.A., Vohra, Y.K. 2009. Rapid dissolution of shells of weakly calcified Antarctic benthic macroorganisms indicates high vulnerability to ocean acidification. Antarctic Science 21(05):449-456.


McDonald, M.R., McClintock, J.B., Amsler, C.D., Rittschof, D., Angus, R.A., Orihuela, B., Lutostanski, K. 2009. Effects of ocean acidification over the life history of the barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite. Marine Ecology Progress Series 385: 179–187.


McClintock, J.B., Angus, R.A., Ho, C., Amsler, C.D., Baker, B.J. 2008. A laboratory study of behavioral interactions of the Antarctic keystone sea star Odontaster validus with three sympatric predatory sea stars. Marine Biology, 154:1077–1084.


McClintock, J.B., Angus, R.A., Ho, C., Amsler, C.D., Baker, B.J. 2008. Intraspecific agonistic arm-fencing behavior in the Antarctic keystone sea star Odontaster validus influences prey acquisition. Marine Ecology Progress Series 371: 297–300.

Viamonte, L.D., Marion, K.R., Hofer, S.C., Angus, R.A. 2007. Five Mile Creek bioassessment study: baseline evaluation of stream health using fish communities. Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science 78:231-247.

Stanko, J.P., Angus, R.A. 2007. In vivo assessment of the capacity of androstenedione to masculinize female mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) exposed through dietary and static renewal methods. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 26(5):920-926.

Estes, E.C.J., Katholi, C.R., and Angus, R.A. 2006. Elevated fluctuating asymmetry in eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) from a river receiving paper mill effluent. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 25(4):1026-1033.

Angus, R.A., Stanko, J.P., Jenkins, R.L., and Watson, R.D. 2005. Effects of 17alpha-ethynylestradiol on sexual development of male western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C, 140:330-339.

Stanko, J.P., and Angus, R.A. 2005. Paper manufacture and its impact on the aquatic environment. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 185:67-92.

Jenkins, R.L., Wilson, E.M., Angus, R.A., Howell, W.M., Kirk, M., Moore, R, Nance, M., and Brown, A. 2004. Production of androgens by microbial transformation of progesterone in vitro: a model for androgen production in rivers receiving paper mill effluent. Environmental Health Perspectives 112: 1508-1511.