Dr. Mark E. McMaster

Research Scientist - Study Leader, Aquatic Toxicology, Endocrine Disruptors in Wild Fish Populations

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment Canada’s mandate to conduct research on the Impacts of Contaminants and Other Substances of Concern on Aquatic Ecosystems

  • Re-evaluation of Canada's Areas of Concern using new reproductive endocrine endpoints
  • Development of science for Environmental Effects Monitoring programs for pulp and paper and metal mining industries
  • Effects of municipal wastewater effluents on wild fish reproductive health and community structure
  • Conduct studies following fish for improvement in reproductive function following a number of treatment and process changes at pulp mills in Canada
  • Endocrine disruptor tool development
  • Developing methods for cumulative effects assessments in watersheds including the Federal-Provincial Integrated Monitoring Plan for the Alberta Oil Sands Area.

Professional activities / interests

Lead for Environment Canada's 10 year assessment of the Environmental Impacts of Pulp and Paper Mill Effluents in Canada

Member of the Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) Programs National Team, Chair of the EEM Science committee

Thesis Supervisor of 1 PhD and 2 MSc students, via Adjunct Professorship with the Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Associate Faculty, University of Guelph and Research Associate, University of New Brunswick

Collaborative studies through the Canadian Rivers Institute with Chile examining fish for reproductive alteration in Chilean Rivers

Study Lead for the development of the Fish Health Program of the Federal-Provincial Integrated Monitoring Program for the Alberta Oil Sands. 

Education and awards

NWRI Award for his contributions to the Canada-Alberta Integrated Monitoring Program for the Alberta Oil Sands Area.

Merit award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry for his publication "Development of Methods for Effects-Based Cumulative Effects Assessment Using Fish Populations: Moose River Project (1991-1999)"

Nominated by Environment Canada for Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award

Key publications

Chiang, G., McMaster, M.E., Urrutia, R., Saavedra, M.F., Gavilán, J.F., Tucca, F., Barra, R. and Munkittrick, K.R.  2011. Health status of native fish (Percilia gillissi and Trichomycterus areolatus) downstream of the discharge of effluent from a tertiary-treated Elemental Chorine Free (ECF) pulp mill in Chile.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.  30(8), 1793-1809.

Tetreault, G.R., Bennett, C.J., Shires, K., Knight, B., Servos, M.R. and McMaster, M.E.  2011.  Intersex and reproductive impairment of wild fish exposed to multiple municipal wastewater discharges.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.  104 (3-4), 278-290.

Gilroy, E, McMaster, M., Parrott, J., Hewitt, L.M., Park, B., Brown, S. and Sherry, J.  2012.  Assessment of the Health Status of Wild Fish from the Wheatley Harbour Area of Concern, Ontario. 1 – Biological Effects.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 31(12), 2798-2811.

Scholz, S., Renner, P., Ortego, L.S., Belanger, S., Busquet, F., Davi, R., Demeneix, B., Denny, J., Léonard, M., McMaster, M., Villeneuve, D., and Embry, M. 2012.  Alternatives to in vivo tests to detect endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in fish and amphibians – screening for estrogen, androgen and thyroid hormone disruption.  Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

McMaster, M.E., J.J. Jardine, G. Ankely, W.H. Benson, M. Greeley, T. Gross, L. Guillette, D. MacLatchy, P. Martel, G. Van Der Kraak and K.R. Munkittrick. 2001. An interlaboratory study on the use of steroid hormones in examining endocrine disruption. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 20(9): 2081-2087.

Martel, P.H., Kovacs, T.G., O'Connor, B.I., Semeniuk, S., Hewitt, L.M., MacLatchy, D.L., McMaster, M.E., Parrott, J.L., Van Den Heuvel, M.R. and Van Der Kraak, G.J. 2011.  Effluent monitoring at a bleached kraft mill: Directions for best management practices for eliminating effects on fish reproduction.  Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering. 46(8): 833-843.

Research facility

867 Lakeshore Rd.
Burlington, ON L7S 1A1



Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Waterloo

Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Guelph

Honorary Research Associate, Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick