Photo of Robert Letcher

Robert Letcher

Adjunct Research Professor

Degrees:B.Sc. (Toronto), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Carleton)
Phone:613-998-6696
Email:robert.letcher@canada.ca
Office:Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate
Environment Canada
National Wildlife Research Centre, Bldg. 33
1125 Colonel By Drive (Raven Road)
Carleton University
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0H3
CV:View
Website:Visit my lab website

Education and Affiliations

  • B.Sc. (Honours) (Chemistry) – University of Toronto (1987)
  • M.Sc. (Inorganic/Organic Chemistry) – Carleton University (1991)
  • Ph.D. (Ecotoxicology/Ecological-Environmental Chemistry) – Carleton University (1996)
  • Adjunct Research Professor (Dept. of Chemistry) – Carleton University (2005-present)
  • Associate (Carleton) Coordinator, Ottawa-Carleton Collaborative Chemical and Environmental Toxicology Program (2009 – present)
  • Adjunct Professor (Great Lakes Institute for Environ. Res.) – University of Windsor (2004 – present)
  • Associate Faculty, Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph (2005 – present)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowships (Toxicology, Pharmacology and Environmental Toxicokinetics) – Utrecht University, Wageningen Agricultural University and The Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), The Netherlands (1996-2000)
  • Assistant Professor (Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry) – University of Windsor (2000-2004)
  • Senior Research Scientist and Head (Organic Contaminants Research Lab, National Wildlife Research Centre) – Environment Canada (2004 – present)

Current Research

My research and interests are multidisciplinary with respect to chemical substances in the environments and their impacts on living systems. Research is ongoing on the environmental, forensic and analytical chemistry of established (“legacy”) and emerging organic contaminants in wildlife and fish and their aquatic ecosystems. Bioaccumulation, fate, trophodynamics, and spatial and temporal trends are also studied on established and emerging contaminants and metabolites in wildlife (e.g., top predators), food webs, and aquatic ecosystems (e.g., Arctic and Great Lakes). Activities also include mechanistic and comparative biotransformation and pharmaco( toxico)kinetics of contaminants in wildlife and fish. Finally, research is ongoing on species- and ecosystem-specific ecotoxicology and effects of contaminant and metabolite exposure (e.g., endocrine disruption) and assessments.

Selected Publications

Chen, R.C. Hale, R.J. Letcher. 2015. Photochemical and microbial transformation of emerging flame retardants in the environment: Cause for concern? Environ Toxicol Chem. – Focus Article. 34:687-699.

R.J. Letcher (corresponding author), Z. Lu, S.G. Chu, K.G. Drouillard, C.H. Marvin, G.D. Haffner, J.J.H. Ciborowski. 2015. Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) isomers in sediments from Detroit River and Lake Erie of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 95:21-36.

Su, R.J. Letcher (corresponding author), D. Crump, D. Gooden, H.M. Stapleton. 2015. In vitro metabolism of flame retardant triphenyl phosphate in chicken embryonic hepatocytes and the importance of the hydroxylation pathway. Environ.Sci. Technol. Lett. 2:100-104.

K.E. Pedersen, N. Basu, R.J. Letcher, C. Sonne, R. Dietz, B. Styrishave. 2015. Brain region-specific perfluoroalkylated sulfonate (PFSA) and carboxylic acid (PFCA) accumulation and neurochemical biomarker responses in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Environ. Res. 138:22-31.

R.J. Letcher (corresponding author), L.C. Mattioli, K.J. Fernie, S.G. Chu, D.M. Bird, I.J. Ritchie. 2015. Uptake, distribution, depletion and in ovo transfer of isomers of hexabromocyclododecane flame retardant in diet-exposed American kestrels (Falco sparverius). Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 34:1103-1112.

Trouborst, S.G. Chu, D. Chen, R.J. Letcher (corresponding author). 2015. Methodology and determination of tetradecabromo-1,4-diphenoxybenzene flame retardant and breakdown by-products in sediment from the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. Chemosphere 118-342-348.

G. Su, R.J. Letcher (corresponding author), D. Crump, R. Farmahin, J.P. Giesy, S.W. Kennedy. 2014. Photolytic degradation products of two highly brominated flame retardants cause cytotoxicity and mRNA expression alterations in chicken embryonic hepatocytes. Environ. Sci. Technol. 48:1203.

[top]