Robert Griffitt, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Coastal Sciences

My research interests are broadly in the ability to use molecular and genomics tools to answer toxicological questions (toxicogenomics). More specifically, I am interested in the effects xenobiotics have on gene and protein expression in different organisms. I am very interested in whole-genome approaches that allow the entire transcriptome to be assayed simultaneously. My research synthesizes traditional ecotoxicological concepts with cutting edge genomics tools to investigate global gene transcriptional changes in aquatic species exposed to environmental contaminants.

My lab currently focuses on two research areas. First, we are continuing to investigate the impacts of metallic nanoparticles in aquatic and marine ecosystems. Secondly, we are heavily involved in research aimed at understanding the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the northern Gulf of Mexico. In both cases, we use a combination of molecular and whole-animal endpoints to try to assess toxicological impacts at both cellular and organism levels.

Karels, AA, M Brouwer, and RJ Griffitt. In preparation. Cloning and phylogeny of hypoxia inducible factors-1α, -2α, and prolyl hydroxylase 3 of sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus).

Hedgpeth, B, and RJ Griffitt. In preparation. Simultaneous exposure to chronic hypoxia and dissolved PAHs results in reduced egg production and larval survival in the sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus).

Boube, II, JM Lotz, AE Pozhitkov, S Li, and RJ Griffitt. Identification of genes involved in Taura syndrome virus resistance in Litopenaeus vannamei. Submitted, Journal of Aquatic Animal Health.

Brewton, RA, RS Fulford, and RJ Griffitt. 2014. Gene expression and growth as indicators of effects of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Cynoscion nebulosus. In press, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.

Brown-Peterson, NJ, RA Brewton, RJ Griffitt, and RS Fulford. 2014. Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the Reproductive Biology of Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus). Accepted, Impacts of Oil Spill Disasters on Marine Fisheries in North America. B. Alford, M. S. Peterson, and C. Green, editors. Taylor and Francis Press.

Fulford, RS, RJ Griffitt, NJ Brown-Peterson, H. Perry, and G. Sanchex-Rubio. 2014. Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, larval settlement in Mississippi, USA. Accepted, Impacts of Oil Spill Disasters on Marine Fisheries in North America. B. Alford, M. S. Peterson, and C. Green, editors. Taylor and Francis Press.

Brown-Peterson, NJ, CS Manning, M Brouwer, and RJ Griffitt. 2013. The effects of pyrene exposure on Sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) reproduction. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.

Feswick, A., RJ Griffitt, K. Siebein, DS Barber. 2013. Uptake and retention of quantum dots in daphnia is influenced by particle surface functionalization. Aquatic Toxicology. 130-131, 210-218.

Griffitt, RJ, CM Lavelle, AS Kane, ND Denslow, DS Barber. 2013. Chronic Nanoparticulate Silver Exposure Results in Tissue Accumulation and Transcriptomic Changes in Zebrafish. Aquatic Toxicology 130-131, 192-200.

Griffitt, RJ, RA Ryan, NB Brown-Peterson, I Boube, DA Savin, M Brouwer. 2012. Effects of chronic nanoparticulate silver exposure to juvenile and adult sheepshead minnow. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31(1) 160-167.(Invited contribution, special issue on Nanoparticles in the Environment).

Denslow, ND, Griffitt, RJ, Martyniuk, CJ. 2012. Advancing the Omics in aquatic toxicology: SETAC North America 31st Annual Meeting. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 76(1) 1-2.

Griffitt, RJ, A Feswick, R Weil, K Hyndman, P Carpinone, K Powers, ND Denslow, DS Barber.2011. Investigation of acute nanoparticulate aluminum toxicity in zebrafish. Environmental Toxicology 26(5).541-51.

Denslow, ND, RJ Griffitt, and CJ Martyniuk, 2011. Advancing the Omics in Aquatic Toxicology and Ecology. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 30(2) 263-264. (Special Issue on omics technologies).

Spade DJ, Griffitt RJ, Liu L, Brown-Peterson NJ, Kroll KJ, et al. 2010 Queen Conch (Strombusgigas) Testis Regresses during the Reproductive Season at Nearshore Sites in the Florida Keys. PLoS ONE 5(9): e12737.

Carter, B.J., R.J. Griffitt, N.J. Brown-Peterson, H.R. Hammers and D.S. Barber. 2009. Size matters: The outer diameter of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) affects gene expression in female fathead minnows (Pimephalespromelas). Pages 387-390 In M. Loudon and B. Romanowicz, eds. Nanotech Conference & Expo 2009, Vol 2, Technical Proceedings - Nanotechnology 2009: Life Sciences, Medicine, Diagnostics, Bio Materials and Composites. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Barber, DS, ND Denslow, RJ Griffitt, and CJ Martyniuk. Sources, Fate and Effects of Engineered Nanomaterials in the Aquatic Environment. In: Nanotoxicology: In Vivo and In Vitro Models to Health Risks.S. Sahu and D. Casciano, Eds.2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Griffitt, RJ, K. Hyndman, ND Denslow, DS Barber. 2009. Comparison of molecular and histological changes in zebrafish gills exposed to metallic nanoparticles. Tox. Sci.107(2) 404-415.

Garcia-Reyero*, N, Griffitt*, RJ, L Liu, KJ Kroll, WG Farmerie, DS Barber, and ND Denslow. 2008. Construction of a robust microarray from a non-model species (Largemouth Bass) using pyrosequencing technology.Journal of Fish Biology. 72, 2354-2376. * denotes shared first authorship

Griffitt, RJ, J Liu, J Gao, CW Bonzango, and DS Barber. 2008. Acute toxicity of metallic nanoparticles to aquatic organisms. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 27(9), 1972-1978.

Griffitt, RJ, RW Weil, K. Hyndman, K Powers, ND Denslow, and DS Barber. 2007. Exposure to copper nanoparticles induce gill injury and acute lethality in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Environ. Sci. and Toxicol. 41, 8178-8196.

Griffitt, RJ, TL Greig, GT Chandler, and JM Quattro.2007. Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) reveals identifiable patterns in transcriptome profiles of Palaemonetes pugio exposed to three common environmental stressors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 26(11), 2413-2419.

Griffitt, RJ, GT Chandler, T.W. Greig, and JM Quattro. 2006. Cathepsin B and Glutathione Peroxidase show differing transcriptional responses in the grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio following exposure to three xenobiotics. Environmental Science and Toxicology. 40, 3640-3645.

Staton JL, Schizas NV, Klosterhaus SL, Griffitt RJ, Chandler GT, Coull BC. 2002. Effect of salinity variation and pesticide exposure on an estuarine harpacticoid copepod, Microarthridion littorale(Poppe 1881), in the southeastern US. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology,278(2): 99-108.

Griffitt, J, M Posey, and T Alphin. 1999. Effects of edge fragmentation on oyster reef utilization by transientnekton. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, 99(2).98-102.