A new pollution study for the Grand Portage Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota is tapping the modeling expertise of Assistant Professor Matteo Convertino. The project aims to assess the health threat from chemical pollutants in the environment and in the fished, hunted, and gathered food reservation residents eat. The study was initiated after previous surveys detected the presence of heavy metals in fish species and bioactive, chemical contaminants in remote lakes.
Convertino’s work with the Grand Portage study involves analyzing collected data and communicating it using spatial mapping models designed to interact with managers and policymakers. In this work, he’ll connect epidemiological and environmental dynamics to provide ecosystem management recommendations. Convertino has done similar studies for other communities with major water-bodies, such as the Florida Everglades.
“I love to apply my models to ecosystems in order to test their validity in different settings and propose optimal solutions,” says Convertino.
Convertino became connected with the study through his collaboration with the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Ecosystem Health Division and the Institute on the Environment.