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Ecosystems Research

Tom Purucker

My current research involves parameter estimation and model selection for ecological risk assessment algorithms used by the EPA for pesticide registration. My lab has updated many of these models so they are hosted in the “cloud” and can be accessed and executed from a web browser, the übertool, which is an ecological risk web application for pesticide modeling. We also conduct applied research on amphibian exposures, implementing lab and field studies to characterize pesticide transfer rates across the dermis and subsequent impacts on amphibian metabolism. More recently, we initiated a Regional Applied Research Effort with Ohio State University to investigate pesticide exposures and effects on honeybee colonies in the Midwest. This research is also expected to assist the Office of Pesticide Program’s Environmental Fate and Effects Division in developing a model to estimate impacts for pesticide registration decisions. In addition, I teach introductory courses in biology and statistics at the University of North Georgia.

Biographical Information

Name: Tom Purucker
Title: Ecologist

Contact Info:
Ecosystems Research Division
National Exposure Research Laboratory
Office of Research and Development
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
960 College Station Road
Athens, GA 30605 30605

Telephone: 706-355-8123
Email: purucker.tom@epa.gov


Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, 2006
B.A. Zoology, University of Tennessee, 1991

Professional Experience

Research Ecologist, USEPA, ORD, NERL-ERD, Athens, GA, 2009–present
Instructor, Adjunct Faculty, College of Science & Mathematics, University of North Georgia, 2013-present
Instructor, Adjunct Faculty, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, Gainesville State College, 2007-2012
Postdoctoral Fellow, Ecologist, USEPA, ORD, NERL-ERD, Athens, GA, 2006–2009
Senior Research Associate, Institute Environmental Modeling, University of Tennessee, 1999–2006
Research Associate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Health Sciences Research Division, 1992–1999

Invited Lectures/Symposia

Purucker, S.T., Rashleigh, B., Suárez, L.A., 2009.  Modeling ecosystem services: the devil is not always in the details. Interagency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Models:  Annual Public Meeting & Workshop on Environmental Modeling

Purucker, S.T., 2009.  Including the value of ecosystem services in environmental decisions.  Gainesville State College, Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis Colloquium series, Gainesville, GA

Purucker, S.T., R.N. Stewart and C.J.E. Welsh.  2005.  Use of habitat-contamination spatial correlation to determine when to perform a spatially explicit ecological risk assessment. Society for Environmental Toxicity and Chemistry, Baltimore, MD

Purucker, S.T. 2004.  Characterizing Risk in SADA. Geostatistical Analysis of Health and Exposure Conference, Ann Arbor, MI

Purucker, S.T. 2003.  Spatial Methods for Environmental Sampling, Risk Characterization, and Management. Society for Risk Analysis, World Congress on Risk; Brussels


2012, Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering
2012, Honorable Mention, Scientific and Technological Achievement Award
2011, Team Award, US Environmental Protection Agency
2010, Level II Scientific and Technological Achievement Award
2010, Team Award, US Environmental Protection Agency
2008, US EPA Superior Accomplishment Recognition Award

Publications and Presentations

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