Chemistry Department

Karen Tuerk      Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding
Program in Environmental Science
Trumbower 339
 (484) 664-3267


B.S., Environmental Science, Western Washington University
M.S., Marine Biology, University of South Carolina, College of Charleston


Research Interests:

My graduate and post-graduate work focused on the unintentional impacts of human activities on marine and estuarine environments. In collaboration with the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, I detected and quantified the presence of persistent organic pollutants (including pesticides and flame retardants) in the body tissues of temperate and subtropical dolphin populations. At the University of South Carolina I took part in the interdisciplinary, multi-partner Land-Use Ecosystem Study (LU-CES). Our laboratory quantified the microbial response to nutrient loading in estuaries adjacent to golf courses and residential developments.


Select Publications:

Tuerk, K.J.S., J. R. Kucklick, W.E. McFee, R.S. Pugh, and P.R. Becker. 2005. “Factors influencing persistent organic pollutant concentrations in the Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus).” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 24: 1079-1087.

Tuerk, K.J.S., J.R Kucklick, P.R. Becker, H.M. Stapleton, and J.E. Baker. 2005. “Persistent organic pollutants in two dolphin species with focus on toxaphene and polybrominated diphenyl ethers.” Environmental Science and Technology. 39: 692-698.

Tuerk, K.J.S. and C.M. Aelion. 2005. “Microbial nitrogen removal in a developing suburban estuary along the South Carolina coast.” Estuaries and Coasts. 28; 364-372.

Aelion, C.M. and K. Tuerk. 2005. “Technology development for environmental problems of the Southeastern United States.” International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management. 5: 183-202.

Kucklick, J.R., K.J.S. Tuerk, S.S. Vander Pol, M.M. Schantz and S.A. Wise. 2004. “Polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners and toxaphene in selected marine standard reference materials.” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 378: 1147-1151.

Courses Taught:

ESC 111  Topics in Environmental Science
ESC 113  Environmental Science I
ESC 114  Environmental Science II
ESC 281  Science Behind News Stories