Effects of anthropogenic organochlorines on seabirds

The project aims to evaluate the effects of anthropogenic organochlorine contaminants on one of the most exposed arctic species, the glaucous gull, Larus hyperboreus. A number of biochemical parameters are known to be influenced by exposure to organochlorines. These parameters include vitamin A and thyroid hormone levels, activity of hepatic CYP 450-dependent enzymes and the ability to generate a humoral immune-response. Levels of contaminants, hormones and vitamins will be obtained from captive and free-living gulls. We may by these studies be able to see whether the biochemistry and physiology of the free-living glaucous gulls are disturbed by pollutants in their natural environment. Assimilation of organochlorines in captive gulls fed different diets will also be studied.