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Dr. Kurt Pontasch

Dr. Kurt Pontasch
Associate Professor
(319) 273-2098
McCollum Science Hall 64
Education: 
  • Ph.D. 1998 Zoology, VPI&SU, Blacksburg, Virginia.
  • Dissertation title: Multispecies Toxicity Tests Using Indigenous Organisms: Predicting the Effects of Hazardous Materials in Streams. Major Professor: Dr. John Cairns, Jr.
  • M.S. 1985. Entomology, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho.
  • Thesis title: Effects of a Catastrophic Gasoline Spill on the Benthic Communities of Wolf Lodge Creek, Idaho.
  • Major Professor: Dr. Merlyn A. Brusven.
  • B.S. 1983. Entomology, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho.

Teaching Interests: 
Ecotoxicology, Interests include the fate and effects of contaminants in aquatic ecosystems, including stream microcosm toxicity tests using naturally occurring macroinvertebrate and periphyton communities, instream bioassessments of benthic community integrity, and the use of aquatic insect cholinesterase activities as potential biomarkers of organophosphorus pesticide contamination in streams.
Publications: 
  • Pontasch, K. W. 1995. The Use of Stream Microcosms in Multispecies Testing. In: (J. Cairns, Jr. and B. R. Niederlehner eds.) Ecological Toxicity Testing: Scale, Complexity, and Relevance. Lewis Publishers, Chelsea MI, pp. 169-191.
  • Breneman, D. H. and K. W. Pontasch. 1994. Stream microcosm toxicity tests: predicting the effects of fenvalerate on riffle insect communities. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 13(3):381-387.
  • Pontasch, K. W. and J. Cairns, Jr. 1991. Multispecies toxicity tests using indigenous organisms: predicting the effects of complex effluents in streams. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 20:103-112.
  • Smith, E. P., Pontasch, K. W. and J. Cairns, Jr. 1990. Community similarity and the analysis of multispecies environmental data: a unified statistical approach. Water Research 24(4):507-514.
  • Niederlehner, B. R., Pontasch, K. W., Pratt, J. R., and J. Cairns, Jr. 1990. Field evaluation of predictions of environmental effects from microcosms and conventional toxicity tests. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 19:62-71.
  • Pontasch, K. W., Smith, E. P. and J. Cairns, Jr. 1989. Diversity indices, community comparison indices and canonical discriminant analysis: interpreting the results of multispecies toxicity tests. Water Research 23:1229-1238.
  • Pontasch, K. W., Niederlehner, B. R. and J. Cairns, Jr. 1989. Comparisons of single-species, microcosm, and field responses to a complex effluent. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 8:521-532.
  • Pontasch, K. W. and M. A. Brusven. 1989. Macroinvertebrate and periphyton response to streambed agitation for release of sediment-trapped hydrocarbons. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 18:545-553.
  • Pontasch, K. W. and J. Cairns, Jr. 1989. Establishing and maintaining laboratory-based microcosms of riffle insect communities: their potential for multispecies toxicity tests. Hydrobiologia 175:49-60.
  • Pratt, J. R., McCormick, P. V., Pontasch, K. W., and J. Cairns, Jr. 1988. Evaluating soluble toxicants in contaminated soils. Water Air and Soil Pollution 37:293-307.
  • Pontasch, K. W. and M. A. Brusven. 1988. Diversity and community comparison indices: assessing macroinvertebrate response following a gasoline spill. Water Research 22:619-626.
  • Pontasch, K. W. and M. A. Brusven. 1988. Macroinvertebrate response to a gasoline spill in Wolf Lodge Creek, Idaho, USA. Archiv. Hydrobiol. 113:41-60.
  • Pontasch, K. W. 1988. Predation by Paragnetina fumosa (Banks) (Plecoptera: Perlidae) on mayflies: the influence of substrate complexity. American Midland Naturalist 119:441-443.
  • Pontasch, K. W. and M. A. Brusven. 1987. Periphyton response to a gasoline spill in Wolf Lodge Creek, Idaho. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 44(9):1669-1673.