Martinović-Weigelt Lab: Research in Environmental Toxicology

August 23, 2017 / By: Dalma Martinović-Weigelt, PH.D.


Professional Interests

I conduct research that explores how fish respond to natural environmental stimuli (e.g., fluctuations in the oxygen concentrations, stream velocities), as well as to man-made stressors (e.g., chemicals of emerging concern in particular). To determine how fish adapt to and are perturbed by environmental stimuli I combine classic physiological and organismal endpoints (swimming performance, reproductive success, behavior). I am also using functional genomics and systems biology to complement approaches conventionally used for study of the physiological basis of behavior and reproductive toxicology.


Pimephales promelas – fathead minnow

Illustration © Emily Damstra, used with permission


Current Projects

  • Assessing Technique for Eliminating Contaminants to Protect Native Fish and Mussels.Funding provided by: Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. (2016-19)
  • Developing Predictive Approaches to Identify Mixtures of Contaminants of Emerging Concern Adversely Impacting Great Lakes Tributaries. Funding provided by: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. (2016-19)
  • Assessing Load Reduction and Biological Recovery After 500 MGD Treatment Upgrade in an Effluent-Dominated Aquatic Ecosystem. Funding provided by: National Science Foundation, CBET - Environmental Engineering Collaborative Research, (2014-17)
  • Evaluating oil spill toxicity to improve water remediation II. Funding provided by: National Crude Oil Spill Fate and Natural Attenuation Research Site, a collaborative venture of the USGS, Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, the Minnesota Pollution Control agency, and Beltrami County. (2016-17)
  • Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Urban Stormwater: Occurrence, Effects, and Mitigation by Best Management Practices.Funding provided by: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. (2016-17)
  • Utilizing Systems Biology Approaches To Prioritize Environmental Toxicants in Aquatic Ecosystems. Funding provided by: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (2014-15)



Pending Projects

  • Reassessing Toxicity of Petroleum Spills with New Technologies. Funding provided by: Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. (2017-20).


 MN environment natural resources trust logo   NSF logo   usgs logo   fish and wildlife logo


Selected Peer-reviewed Publications 

 (* indicates UST undergraduate students)

  • Martinović-Weigelt D, Mehinto AC, Ankley GT, Berninger JP, Collette TW, Davis JM, Denslow ND, Durhan EJ, *Eid E, Ekman DR, Jensen KM. Derivation and Evaluation of Putative Adverse Outcome Pathways for the Effects of Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors on Reproductive Processes in Female Fish. Sci. 2017. kfw257. DOI:
  • Schroeder AL, Martinović-Weigelt D, Ankley GT, Lee KE, Garcia-Reyero N, Perkins EJ, Schoenfuss HL, Villeneuve DL. Prior knowledge-based approach for associating contaminants with biological effects: A case study in the St. Croix River basin, MN, WI, USA. Pollut. 2017Feb 28; 221:427-36.
  • Milsk, R., Cavallin, J.E., Durhan, E.J., Jensen, K.M., Kahl, M.D., Makynen, E.A., Martinović-Weigelt, D., Mueller, N., Schroeder, A., Villeneuve, D.L. and Ankley, G.T. A study of temporal effects of the model anti-androgen flutamide on components of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in adult fathead minnows. Toxicol. 2016. 180:164-172.
  • Mark Ferrey, Dalma Martinović, Will Backe, April Andrews. Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals of Concern in Rivers: Occurrence and Biological Effects, MNPollution Control Agency. Document number: tdr-g1-20. Jan 2017.
  • Wammer, K.H., Anderson, K.C. *, Erickson, P.R., Kliegman, S., Moffatt, M.E. *, Berg, S.M. *, Heitzman, J.A. *, Pflug, N.C. , McNeill, K., Martinovic-Weigelt, D. and Abagyan, R., Cwiertny D.M., Kolodziej, E.P. Environmental Photochemistry of Altrenogest: Photoisomerization to a Bioactive Product with Increased Environmental Persistence via Reversible Photohydration. Environ. Sci. Technol. 201650(14): 7480-7488.
  • Collette TW, Skelton DM, Davis JM, Cavallin JE, Jensen KM, Kahl MD, Villeneuve DL, Ankley GT, Martinović-Weigelt D, Ekman DR. Metabolite profiles of repeatedly sampled urine from male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) contain unique lipid signatures following exposure to anti-androgens. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part D: Genomics and Proteomics. 2016.
  • Martinović-Weigelt D, Mehinto AC, Ankley GT, Denslow ND , Barber LB, Lee KE, King, RJ*, Schoenfuss HL, Schroeder, A.L., Villeneuve DL. Transcriptomic Effects-Based Monitoring for Endocrine Active Chemicals: Environ. Sci. Technol.  2014; 48, 2395-2403.
  • Skelton DM, Ekman DR, Martinović-Weigelt D, Ankley GT, Villeneuve D , Teng Q, Collette TW. Metabolomics for In Situ Environmental Monitoring of Surface Waters Impacted by Contaminants from Both Point and Non-point Sources., Environ. Sci. Technol. 2014; 48, 2395-2403
  • Martinovic-Weigelt D, Minarik TA, Curran EM, Marchuk JS*, Pazderka MJ*, Smith EA*, Goldenstein RL*, Miresse CL*, Matlon TJ*, Schultz MM, Schoenfuss, HL. Environmental Estrogens in an Urban Aquatic Ecosystem: I. Spatial and Temporal Occurrence of Estrogenic Activity in Effluent-Dominated Systems. Environ Int. 2013; 61, 127-137.
  • Villeneuve DL, Garcia-Reyero N, Martinović-Weigelt D, Li Z, Watanabe KH, Orlando EF, Lalone CA, Edwards SW, Burgoon LD, Denslow ND, Perkins EJ, Ankley GT.. A graphical systems model and tissue-specific functional gene sets to aid transcriptomic analysis of chemical impacts on the female teleost reproductive axis. MutationResearch, 2012; 746, 151-162.
  • Hala D, Petersen LH, Martinovic D, Huggett DB. Constraints-based stoichiometric analysis of hypoxic stress on steroidogenesis in fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas. J Exp Biol. 2012; 15; 215(Pt 10):1753-65.
  • Martinovic-Weigelt D, Ekman DR, Villeneuve DL, James CM*, Teng Q, Collette TW, Ankley GT. Fishy Aroma of Social Status: Urinary Chemo-Signalling of Territoriality in Male Fathead Minnows (Pimephales promelas). PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e46579.  
  • Collette TW, Teng Q, Jensen KM, Kahl MD, Makynen EA, Durhan EJ, Villeneuve DL, Martinović-Weigelt D, Ankley GT, Ekman DR. Impacts of an anti-androgen and an androgen/anti-androgen mixture on the metabolite profile of male fathead minnow urine. Environ Sci Technol. 2010; 1;44: 6881-6. 
  • Ankley GT, Jensen KM, Kahl MD, Durhan EJ, Makynen EA, Cavallin JE, Martinović D, Wehmas LC, Mueller ND, Villeneuve DL. Use of chemical mixtures to differentiate mechanisms of endocrine action in a small fish model. Aquat Toxicol. 2010; 99:389-96
  • Martinovic D., Villeneuve D.L., Kahl M.D., Blake L.S., Brodin J.D., Ankley G.T. Hypoxia alters gene expression in the gonads of zebrafish (Danio rerio). 2009. Aquat Toxicol.13; 95:258-72.
  • Martinović D, Blake LS, Durhan EJ, Greene KJ, Kahl MD, Jensen KM, Makynen EA, Villeneuve DL, Ankley GT. Characterization of reproductive toxicity of vinclozolin in the fathead minnow and co-treatment with an androgen to confirm an anti-androgenic mode of action. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2008. 27:478-488.
  • Martinović D, Denny JS, Schmieder PK, Ankley GT, Sorensen PW. Temporal variation in the estrogenicity of a sewage treatment plant effluent and its biological significance. Environ Sci Technol. 2008. 42:3421-3427.
  • Martinovic D, Hogarth WT, Jones RE, Sorensen PW. 2007. Exposure to environmental estrogens suppresses the hormones, behavior and competitive reproductive fitness of adult male fathead. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2007. 26:271-278.


Selected Awards and Fellowships

  • Undergraduate Research Award, University of St. Thomas, MN 2016
  • Distinguished Early Career Grant, University of St. Thomas, MN 2016 
  • U.S. EPA’s Scientific and Technological Achievement Award (ranging from Honorable mention to Level II) 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2012, 2015
  • Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellowship, 2015
  • Curricular Innovation in Sustainability Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of St. Thomas, MN, 2012
  • National Academies of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2005-2008
  • Open Society Fund, Soros Found Fellowship for Study in USA, Budapest, Hungary, 1995
  • Rector’s Award, University of Zagreb, Croatia, 1992