Title of Project

Quantification of Metals in the Shells of the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica, utilizing Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry

Researcher Information

Swati Patel

Project Type

Event

Start Date

7-4-2017 12:00 AM

End Date

7-4-2017 12:00 AM

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Apr 7th, 12:00 AM Apr 7th, 12:00 AM

Quantification of Metals in the Shells of the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica, utilizing Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010 resulted in the largest marine oil spill recorded in U.S. history. Consequently, aquatic and terrestrial wildlife were affected adversely. The purpose of this study was to analyze the level of metals in the shells of the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. Bivalves are suitable indicators of the surrounding ecosystem because they are sessile suspension feeders and are known to accumulate both organic and inorganic materials in their shells and tissues. Hence oysters are suitable indicators of the presence of contaminants in the food web. Analyses were performed on tissue and shell samples utilizing atomic absorption spectrophotometry. This procedure quantitatively determines the presence of metals utilizing changes in wavelengths of light, which are specific for each metal. Comparisons were made among oysters from regions in the Gulf of Mexico over time from 2010 to 2015, with oysters from Chesapeake Bay as a control.