Honors Program

Honors in Biology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Joseph R. Bidwell

Thesis Professor Department

Biological Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Trevor L. Chapman


Climate change has caused an increase in extreme rain events and flooding in certain regions across the globe. During rain events, water flows over impervious surfaces structures such as roads and sidewalks, picking up contaminants such as metals, fertilizers and other nutrients, and various organics that which may impact organisms in such as streams, river, and lakes. Previous work has found significant differences in survival of organisms that were exposed to contaminated stormwater runoff. This study investigated stormwater chemistry parameters at collection sites on the East Tennessee State University campus. Sites were selected based on the extent of human interaction and traffic in the areas. Additionally, acute toxicity of stormwater samples was investigated through 48-h bioassays with the cladoceran, Daphnia magna. In September and November 2022, water chemistry and toxicity analyses were conducted across multiple rain events and over a six-hour time course of an individual rain event. For each of the events and the time course, chlorophyll levels, specific conductivity, pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen were measured. No statistical difference between the water chemistry parameters between sampling sites or between rain events were observed. Additionally, no significant differences in 48-h survival of D. magna were detected between sampling locations or during the single event time course study. These data suggest that there were no pollutant surges at the collection sites and that D. manga survival was not affected by the contaminants.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.