Joanne L. Parrott

Image Joanne Parrott
Senior Research Scientist

Development of fish bioassays for reproductive and endocrine effects, using reproductive endpoints (egg production and sex characteristics) for use in environmental risk assessments and Canadian regulatory programs.

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment Canada’s mandate to conduct research on the effects of contaminants and other substances of concern on fish

  • Development of fish bioassays for reproductive and endocrine effects, using reproductive endpoints (egg production and sex characteristics) for use in environmental risk assessments and Canadian regulatory programs
  • Fish lifecycle tests cover all stages of a fish life, and so represent the closest we can get in the lab to predict effects on wild fish in Canadian environments
  • Testing effluents (pulp mill and municipal wastewater effluent) and individual chemicals (such as hormones, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals) effects on fish in the lab
  • Assessing sediment mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, from Hamilton Harbour) and sediments from oil sands in Alberta for effects in larval fish

Professional activities / interests

Member of OECD Ecotoxicological tests for endocrine-disrupting substances (EDS)

Water S&T lead for effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment

Member of Environmental Assessment Work Group (EAWG) that will recommend new environmental risk assessment for food and drug act chemicals (including pharmaceuticals and personal care products)

Elected to Board of Directors of SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) 2005-2008

Education and awards

Upper Lakes Environmental Research Network – Fruchter Award 2003

Ph.D. Biology, University of Waterloo, 1993

M.Sc. Zoology, University of Guelph, 1988

Key publications

Parrott JL, Marentette JR, Hewitt LM, McMaster ME, Gillis PL, Norwood WP, Kirk JL, Peru KM, Headley JV, Wang Z et al. 2018. Meltwater from snow contaminated by oil sands emissions is toxic to larval fish, but not spring river water. Science of The Total Environment. 625:264-274.


Raine JC, Turcotte D, Romanowski L, Parrott JL. 2018. Oil sands tailings pond sediment toxicity to early life stages of northern pike (Esox lucius). Science of The Total Environment. 624:567-575.


Parrott JL, Metcalfe CD. 2018. Nest-defense behaviors in fathead minnows after lifecycle exposure to the antidepressant venlafaxine. Environmental Pollution. 234:223-230.


Prosser RS, Parrott JL, Galicia M, Shires K, Sullivan C, Toito J, Bartlett AJ, Milani D, Gillis PL, Balakrishnan VK. 2017. Toxicity of sediment-associated substituted phenylamine antioxidants on the early life stages of Pimephales promelas and a characterization of effects on freshwater organisms. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 36(10):2730-2738.


Raine JC, Turcotte D, Tumber V, Peru KM, Wang Z, Yang C, Headley JV, Parrott JL. 2017. The effect of oil sands tailings pond sediments on embryo-larval walleye (Sander vitreus). Environmental Pollution. 229:798-809.


Parrott JL, Balakrishnan VK. 2017. Life-cycle exposure of fathead minnows to environmentally relevant concentrations of the β-blocker drug propranolol. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 36(6):1644-1651.


Parrott JL, Metcalfe CD. 2017. Assessing the effects of the antidepressant venlafaxine to fathead minnows exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations over a full life cycle. Environmental Pollution. 229:403-411.


Parrott JL, Bjerregaard P, Brugger KE, Gray LE, Jr., Iguchi T, Kadlec SM, Weltje L, Wheeler JR. 2017. Uncertainties in biological responses that influence hazard and risk approaches to the regulation of endocrine active substances. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 13(2):293-301.


Parrott JL, Bartlett AJ, Balakrishnan VK. 2016. Chronic toxicity of azo and anthracenedione dyes to embryo-larval fathead minnow. Environmental Pollution. 210:40-47.


Marentette JR, Frank RA, Hewitt LM, Gillis PL, Bartlett AJ, Brunswick P, Shang D, Parrott JL. 2015. Sensitivity of walleye (Sander vitreus) and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) early-life stages to naphthenic acid fraction components extracted from fresh oil sands process-affected waters. Environmental Pollution. 207:59-67.


Parrott JL, Mark Hewitt L, Kovacs TG, Maclatchy DL, Martel PH, ven den Heuvel MR, van der Kraak GJ, McMaster ME. 2010. Responses in a fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) lifecycle test and in wild white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) exposed to a canadian bleached kraft mill effluent. Water Quality Research Journal of Canada. 45(2):187-200.


Parrott JL, Blunt BR. 2005. Life-cycle exposure of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to an ethinylestradiol concentration below 1 ng/l reduces egg fertilization success and demasculinizes males. Environmental Toxicology. 20(2):131-141.


Research facility

867 Lakeshore Rd.
Burlington, ON L7S 1A1


Adjunct Faculty, Queen's University and University of Guelph

Member ERAPharm, EU Project assessing data needs for environmental risk assessment of pharmaceuticals (2004-07)