Picture of  Markus Hecker

Markus Hecker PhD Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability

Canada Research Chair in Predictive Aquatic Ecotoxicology
Member, Toxicology Centre
Member, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada

Toxicology Centre

Research Area(s)

  • Investigation of biological effects of environmental stressors; environmental risk assessment; aquatic ecology/fish biology; development and application of bioanalytical techniques to assess environmental pollution

Academic Credentials

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Institute of Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, University of Hamburg
  • Diploma (Master of Science Equivalent), Institute of Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, University of Hamburg

Research Profile

Dr. Hecker’s research focuses on ecological and chemical risk assessment, water quality assessment and investigation of the effects of chemicals on aquatic wildlife (fish and amphibians). The ultimate goal of his research is to generate novel information and provide improved strategies and expertise to academic, public, and private sector organizations in support of the protection of aquatic ecosystems and sustainable management of Canada’s natural resources.  These activities contribute to national (Canadian Water Network; Department of Fisheries and Oceans; Environment and Climate Change Canada; US-Environmental Protection Agency) and international (OECD) programs by addressing issues of societal relevance including water security, chemical safety, and protection of the environment.

News and Media

Current Research

  • Predictive Aquatic Ecotoxicology
  • EcoToxChip: A toxicogenonomics tool for chemical prioritization and environmental management
  • Functional Omics of Native Fish Species for Improved Environmental Risk Assessment
Toxicology: Urban Municipal Drainage

Selected Publications

Patterson, S., Zee, J., Wiseman, S., and Hecker, M.  2017.  Effects of chronic exposure to dietary selenomethionine on the physiological stress response in juvenile white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus).  Aquatic Toxicology, 186: 77-86.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.02.003

Brinkmann, M., Koglin, S., Eisner, B., Wiseman, S., Hecker, M., Eichbaum, K., Thalmann, B., Buchinger, S., Reifferscheid, G., and Hollert, H.  2016.  Characterisation of transcriptional responses to dioxins and dioxin-like contaminants in roach (Rutilus rutilus) using whole transcriptome analysis.  Science of the Total Environment, 541: 412-423.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.087

Lyu, H., He, Y., Tang, J., Hecker, M., Liu, Q., Jones, P.D., Codling, G., and Giesy, J.P.  2016.  Effect of pyrolysis temperature on potential toxicity of biochar if applied to the environment.  Environmental Pollution, 218: 1-7.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2016.08.014

Tang, S., Doering, J.A., Sun, J., Beitel, S.C., Shekh, K., Patterson, S., Crawford, S., Giesy, J.P., Wiseman, S.B., and Hecker, M.  2016.  Linking Oxidative Stress and Magnitude of Compensatory Responses with Life-Stage Specific Differences in Sensitivity of White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) to Copper or Cadmium.  Environmental Science and Technology, 50(17): 9717-9726.  https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b03301

Peng, H., Chen, C., Saunders, D., Sun, J., Tang, S., Codling, G., Hecker, M., Wiseman, S., Jones, P., Li, A., Rockne, K., Sturchio, N.C., and Giesy, J.  2015.  Untargeted Screening and Distribution of Organo-Bromine Compounds in Sediments of Lake Michigan.  Environmental Science and Technology, 50(1): 321-330.  https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b04709

Doering J., Farmahin R., Wiseman S., Beitel S., Kennedy S., Giesy J., and Hecker M.  2015.  Differences in activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptors of white sturgeon relative to lake sturgeon are predicted by identities of key amino acids in the ligand binding domain. Environmental Science and Technology, 49(7): 4681-4689.  https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b00085

Liu, Q., Tang, J., Bai, Z., Hecker, M., and Giesy, J.P.  2015.  Distribution of petroleum degrading genes and factor analysis of petroleum contaminated soil from the Dagang Oilfield, China. Scientific Reports, 5: 11068.  https://doi.org/10.1038/srep11068

Doering, J., Beitel, S., Eisner, B., Heide, T., Hollert, H., Giesy, J., Hecker, M., and Wiseman, S. 2015. Identification and response to metals of metallothionein in two ancient fishes: white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) and lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology, 171: 41-48.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2015.03.002

Eisner, B.K., Doering, J.A., Beitel, S.C., Wiseman, S., Raine, J.C., and Hecker M.  2015.  Cross-species comparison of relative potencies and relative sensitivities of fishes to dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, and polychlorinated biphenyls in vitro.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 35:173-181.  https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.3173

Beitel, S.C., Doering J.A., Eisner, B.K., and Hecker, M.  2015.  Comparison of the sensitivity of four native Canadian fish species to 17-α Ethinylestradiol, using an in vitro liver explant assay.  Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 22(24): 20186-20197.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5101-7

Courses Taught

  • ENVS 990 - Seminar in Environment and Sustainability 
  • TOX 844 - Toxicology Techniques
  • TOX 850 - Aquatic Toxicology