Rosenstiel School Faculty Member McDonald to Speak at UMX

Happy fish? The impact of the antidepressant Prozac&tm; on toadfish physiology and behavior

Danielle McDonald

MIAMI – A variety of pharmaceuticals and personal care products are now found in measurable quantities within freshwater and marine coastal environments. Since the concentration of these compounds in the environment is very low, many of them do not pose a direct risk to human health; however, there is ample evidence suggesting that fish exposed to these conditions over their lifetime do, in fact, experience physiological and behavioral effects.

Dr. Danielle McDonald’s laboratory at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science focuses on the impact of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor Prozacª, most commonly known for its use in the treatment of human depression, on the physiology and behavior of the Gulf toadfish, Opsanus beta. McDonald and her team have found that treatment with Prozacª has several physiological and behavioral effects, such as increases in aggression, stimulation of the stress response, changes in nitrogen waste excretion and interference with the hypoxia response.

McDonald will speak on November 4 at 11 a.m. at the UM Newman Alumni Center, during The Audrey R. Finkelstein Experience (UMX). The lecture is part of the daylong event designed to give returning alumni and guests an interactive educational experience on timely topics being studied at UM during Alumni Weekend. For more information, please visit

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

dr. danielle mcdonald •  physiology •  lecture •  environmental •