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Mark J. Melancon

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
12011 Beech Forest Road
Laurel, MD 20708-4041

Photo of Mark J. Melancon

Telephone: 301-497-5710

Fax: 301-497-5675


Emeritus Scientist/Volunteer

Primary Responsibilities: 
Utilize my expertise in biochemistry, chemistry, and toxicology to perform research on wildlife that meets needs of the Department of the Interior and of other units of federal and state government.  Current research involves 1) investigating bioavailability and impacts of aquatic sediment contaminants using the Tree Swallow as a sentinel species, 2) developing genetic markers for cranes, particularly Whooping Cranes, 3) studying avian effects of pyrrole insecticides, and 4) providing laboratory work on biomarkers of contaminant exposure in support of wildlife and habitat studies.


B.A., St. Mary’s, College, 1961, Chemistry/Mathematics

M.S., Loyola University, 1964, Biochemistry

Ph.D., Loyola University, 1966, Biochemistry 

Areas of Expertise/Interest: Uptake, effects, metabolism and excretion of contaminants by wildlife and fish.  Development and application of biomarkers for contaminant exposure and effect.  Molecular genetics techniques and their applications to conservation biology and ecotoxicology.
Have received research grants from the US Environmental Protection Agency and from the Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program. Elected to Membership in Sigma Xi and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.  Hold adjunct faculty appointments in the Toxicology Program of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and at the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory of Southern Illinois University.

Active Projects: 
Use of the Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) to assess the bioavailability and effects of contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Assessing the genetic status of Whooping Cranes with AFLP

Effects of chlorfenapyr on adult birds

Technical assistance in biomarker analyses

Comparative embryotoxicity of PCB congeners by egg injection

Development of microsomal P450 as a bioindicator for environmental contaminant exposure

Melancon, M.J. 2003. Bioindicators of contaminant exposure and effect in aquatic and terrestrial monitoring. Pages 257-278 in D. J. Hoffman, B.A. Rattner, G. A. Burton, Jr. and J. Cairns, Jr. editors, Handbook of Ecotoxicology, 2nd Ed.

Custer, T.W., Custer, C.M., Dickerson, K., Allen, K., Melancon, M.J., and Schmidt, L.J.  2001.  Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons , aliphatic hydrocarbons, trace elements, and monooxygenase activity in birds nesting on the North Platte River, Casper, Wyoming, USA.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 20, 624-631.

Rattner, B.A., Hoffman, D.J., Melancon, M.J., Olsen, G.H., Schmidt, S.R., and Parsons, K.C..  2000.  Organochlorine and metal contaminant exposure and effects in hatching Black-Crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax  nycticorax) in Delaware Bay.  Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 39, 38-45.  

Renauld, A.E., Melancon, M.J.,  and Sordillo, L. M.  1999.  Identification of in vitro cytochrome P450 modulators to detect induction by prototype inducers in the mallard duckling (Anas platyrhynchos).  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C. 122, 273-281.

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