W. Tyler Mehler
I became an avid fisherman at a young age (although never a good one) and liked to find and/or catch the different organisms that were associated with each ecosystem, whether it be invertebrates, frogs, and or fish.
W. Tyler Mehler is investigating the suitability of using fish embryos to assess the toxicity of aquatic environments.
Having grown up in the rural areas of Illinois in the United States, I have always been fond of the outdoors and the environment. It was pretty early on that I realised I wanted to work in this setting. Additionally, I became an avid fisherman at a young age (although never a good one) and liked to find and/or catch the different organisms that were associated with each ecosystem, whether it be invertebrates, frogs, and or fish. It wasn't until college that I realised that I could make a profession out of my interests in the field of aquatic toxicology, to study how we as a society can impact these ecosystems.
In the past my research has utilised species that have been worked in the past (two invertebrate species), but being awarded the Jasper Loftus-Hills Award will allow me to investigate a very promising vertebrate species which not has been worked with in this capacity; fish embryos. The use of native fish embryos in Toxicity Identification Values would be beneficial for many reasons including: higher degree sensitivity, quicker results, use of a vertebrate species, and more appeal to the public.
Recently, I went to China to visit with three institutions to discuss my research as well as possible collaborations. It was a great experience, one in which I learned not only about my field of science, but also about culture and work/life balance. I believe this trip benefited me not only professionally, but also personally.
From my experience, the student/professor relationship can be one that is not as much supervisory (unless it needs to be), but rather one where you work together as colleagues. I think is very valuable to the student and encourages them to be more forward without as much pressure.