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July 9 - Big Muddy Speaker Series - Rocheport 2013

"Intersex Sturgeon on the Missouri River? - the effects of emerging contaminants on a big river"

presentation by - Diana Papoulias, PhD, Research Fish Biologist US Geological Survey Columbia Environmental Research Centersturgeon

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

7 p.m. presentation
lower floor of the Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro 
in Rocheport, MO (directions below)

Presentation is FREE and open to the public! Come early to purchase a great dinner upstairs at the Bistro!

In 2000, research fish biologist Diana Papoulias began documenting an uptick in previously rare cases of intersex shovelnose sturgeon. These Missouri River fish were developing both male and female reproductive organs.

Those fish were shovelnose sturgeon, which are considered a valid experimental surrogate for the federally endangered pallid sturgeon. Diana's discovery began more than a decade of research into this phenomena, focusing on finding the chemical and environmental causes that are present in Missouri River water that might be effecting the reproduction of the pallid.

This research has been ongoing during a period when a lot of research into "emerging contaminants" in our water supply has shown disturbing effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Diana will describe the reproductive effects they've documented in fish, what is known about the chemical contaminants in the Missouri River, and the pathways for how these chemicals are causing such dramatic changes in fish.

intersex sturgeon

This dissection of an intersex sturgeon shows both male and female reproductive tissue. photo courtesy of Diana Papoulias, USGS.

Diana Papoulias, PhD, is a Research Fish Biologist at the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center. The primary focus of her study is to investigate factors that disrupt normal developmental and reproductive processes in fishes.


  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It's the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in the lower level. You can either enter at the restaurant entrance then go down the stairs to your left past the bar, or you can follow the walk to the right of the restaurant and enter through a glass door into the lower level.
  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO (click for Google Map)

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