Dr. Ryan R. Otter

Professor

Dr. Ryan R. Otter
615-898-2063
Room 2024, Science Building (SCI)
MTSU Box 60, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information

  • PHD, Clemson University (2006)
  • MS, Michigan State University (2002)
  • BS, Michigan State University (2001)

Areas of Expertise

Ecotoxicology & Data Science
Designing studies to determine remedy effectiveness at contaminated sediment sites
Trophic transfer of contaminants (e.g., Hg, PCBs)
Use of tetragnathid spiders as bioindicators

 

 

Biography

I started my science career at Michigan State University as an undergradute researcher working with aquatic insects in swamps.  By knowing the types and amount of bugs living in these swamps I could better understand  the surrounding landscape and the how it impacted the aquatic environment.  After finishing my first study I became more interested in the stressors causing some bugs to thrive and others to die, which led me to a PhD  in environmental toxicology at Clemson U...

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I started my science career at Michigan State University as an undergradute researcher working with aquatic insects in swamps.  By knowing the types and amount of bugs living in these swamps I could better understand  the surrounding landscape and the how it impacted the aquatic environment.  After finishing my first study I became more interested in the stressors causing some bugs to thrive and others to die, which led me to a PhD  in environmental toxicology at Clemson University where I worked on designing biomarker studies in fish that could be used as early detection systems for pollution. During my postdoc training at Miami University (OH) I began working on issues related to the atmospheric depoistion of mercury and nano-materials.  Since arrivng at MTSU in 2007 my work has focused on the toxicological effects of both biotic and abiotic stressors, including the effects of light, temperature, nanomaterials, coal ash, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and mercury at multiple levels of biological organization.

Recently, I have taken on the role of a Director in the Data Science Institute at MTSU.  The use of data science does not replace my interest in ecotoxicology, but instead allows me to ask different questions, which previously could not be answered.  Presently, in my lab projects we design studies at the intersection of ecotoxicology and data science.

 

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Publications

  • Olson C.I., Beaubien G.B., Sims J.L. Otter R.R. 2019. Mercury accumulation in millipedes (Narceus spp.) living adjacent to a southern Appalachian Mountain stream (USA). Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 103(4):528-532
  • Beaubien G.B., Olson C.I., Otter R.R. 2019. The role of sexual dimorphism and tissue selection in ecotoxicological studies using the riparian spider Tetragnatha elongate. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 103:225-232
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  • Olson C.I., Beaubien G.B., Sims J.L. Otter R.R. 2019. Mercury accumulation in millipedes (Narceus spp.) living adjacent to a southern Appalachian Mountain stream (USA). Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 103(4):528-532
  • Beaubien G.B., Olson C.I., Otter R.R. 2019. The role of sexual dimorphism and tissue selection in ecotoxicological studies using the riparian spider Tetragnatha elongate. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 103:225-232
  • Connors K., Beasley A., Baron M., Belanger S., Bonnell M., Brill J., de Zwart D., Kienzler A., Krailler J., Otter R.R., Phillips J., Embry M. 2019. Creation of a curated aquatic toxicology database: EnviroTox. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 38(5):1062-1073
  • Olson C.I., Beaubien G.B., McKinney A.D., Otter R.R. 2019. Identifying contaminants of potential concern in remote headwater streams of Tennessee’s Appalachian Mountains. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 191:176. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-019-7305-7
  • Smith-Peavler E., Gardner G., Otter R.R. 2019. PowerPoint use in the Undergraduate Biology Classroom: Perceptions and Impacts on Student Learning. Journal of College Science Teaching. 48(3):48-5
  • Walters D.M., Otter R.R., Kraus J.M. Mills M.A. 2017. Riparian spiders yield insight on the extent and sources of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination at the Ashtabula River Area of Concern (AOC), USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 37(9):2467-2474
  • Stallard M.A., Otter R.R., Winesett S., Barbero M., Bruce M., Layton A., Bailey F.C. 2016. Meta-analysis of seasonal concentrations- and -flow-based results for Escherichia coli, and indicator of fecal bacteria exposure in inland waters. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 97(6):838-842
  • Otter R.R., Bachner B., Weatherly J., Gilson S., Brown H., DiVincenzo J.P. 2015. Fly ash amended pervious concrete: A laboratory study on removal potential for inorganic contaminants. International Journal of Environmental Engineering. 8(1):12-29
  • Cusaac P.J., Plant V.K., Wright R., Henry C., Otter R.R., Bailey F.C. 2015. Effects of maternally-transferred methylmercury on stress physiology in noorthern water snake (Nerodia sipedon) neonates. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 96(6):725-731
  • Otter R.R., McKinney D., Brown B., Lainer S., Monroe W., Hubbs D., Read B. 2015. Bioaccumulations of metals in three freshwater mussels species exposed in situ during and after dredging at a coal ash spill site (Tennessee Valley Authority – Kingston Fossil Plant. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-015-4578-3
  • Beasley A., Brill J.B., Belanger S.E., Otter R.R. 2015. Evaluation and comparison of the relationship between NOEC and EC10/EC20 values in chronic Daphnia toxicity testing. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 34(10):2378-2384
  • Beasley A., Belanger S.E., Otter R.R. 2015. Stepwise Information-Filtering Tool (SIFT): A method for using risk assessment data in a novel way. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 34(6):1436-1442
  • Beasley A., Graham C., Otter R.R., Elrod-Erickson M. 2014. A molecular method for assessing the effects of potential contaminants on the rate of zebrafish (Danio rerio) development. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 33(1):238-242
  • Otter R.R., Seipel S., Graeff T., Alexander B., Boraiko C., Gray J., Petersen K., Sadler K. 2013. Comparing student and faculty perceptions of online and traditional courses. Internet and Higher Education 19:27-35
  • Otter R. R., Hayden M., Mathews T., Fortner A., Bailey F.C. 2013. The use of tetragnathis spiders as bioindicators of metal exposure at a coal ash spill site. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 32(9):2065-2068
  • Keasling A.W., Otter R.R., Bailey F.C. 2013. Phytotoxicity of Passiflora incarnate extracts on germination and growth of Hordeum vulgare and Raphanus sativus. Allelopathy Journal 31(2):319-332.
  • Otter R. R., Schreiber E.A., van den Hurk P., Klaine S.J. 2012. Assessment of heavy metal and PAH exposure in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) in the Reedy River watershed, South Carolina, USA: A multi-season assessment of metallothionein and bile fluorescence. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31(12):2763-2770.
  • Otter R.R., Bailey F.C., Fortner A.M., Adams S.M. 2012. Trophic structure and metal bioaccumulation differences in multiple fish species exposed to coal ash-associated metals. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 85:30-36.
  • Beasley A., Elrod-Erickson M., Otter R.R., 2012. Consistency of morphological endpoints used to access developmental timing in zebrafish (Danio rerio) across a temperature gradient. Reproductive Toxicology 34:561-567.
  • Otter R.R., Meier J., Kubach K.M., Lazorchak J.M., Klaine S.J. 2012. The effects of urbanization on Lepomis macrochirus using the comet assay. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 84:299-303.
  • Bowman C., Bailey F.C., Elrod-Erickson M., Neigh A., Otter R.R. 2012. The effects of silver nanoparticles on zebrafish (Danio rerio) and Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922): A comparison of toxicity based on total surface area versus mass concentration of particles in a model eukaryotic and prokaryotic system. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31(12):1-8.
  • Drevnick P.E., Otter R.R., Gorski P.R., Long D.T., Canfield D.E., Oris, J.T. 2009. Lake-specific responses in sedimentary sulfur after copper sulfate additions to Michigan lakes. Lake and Reservoirs: Research and Management. 14:193-201
  • Walters D.M., Fritz K.M., Otter R.R. 2008. The dark side of subsidies: quantifying contaminant exposure to riparian predators via stream insects. Ecological Applications 18(8):1835-1841.
  • Drevnick P.E., Roberts A.P., Otter R.R., Hammerschmidt C.R., Klaper R., Oris J.T. 2008. Mercury toxicity in liver of northern pike from Isle Royale National Park. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology and Pharmacology 147:331-338.
  • Drevnick P.E., Canfield D.E., Gorski P.R., Shinneman A.L.C., Engstrom D.R., Muir D.C.G., Smith G.R., Garrison P.J., Cleckner L.B., Hurley J.P., Noble R.B., Otter R.R., Oris J.T. 2007.
  • Deposition and cycling of sulfur controls mercury accumulation in Isle Royale fish Environmental Science & Technology 41:7266-7272.
  • Schreiber E.A., Otter R.R. and van den Hurk P. 2006. A biomarker approach to measure biological effects of contaminant exposure in largemouth bass from Lake Conestee, SC, USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 25:1926-1932.

Book Chapters

  • Roberts A.P., Otter R.R. “Ecological toxicology of engineered carbon nanoparticles” in Carbon Nanoparticles. Ed. Geckeler K.E., Nishide H. Wiley-VCH. 2010. 595-610.

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