Neil Burgess

Wildlife Toxicologist - Wildlife Toxicology Research & Monitoring in Atlantic Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Current research and/or projects

Assessing the impacts of toxic chemicals on wildlife health and populations in Atlantic Canada

  • Studying the bioaccumulation of mercury in aquatic ecosystems and mercury impacts on common loons and seabirds
  • Monitoring long-term trends of persistent toxic chemicals in Atlantic seabirds and ocean ecosystems
  • Studying the impacts of PCBs on seabird chicks at a contaminated site in the Canadian Arctic
  • Monitoring long-term trends of persistent toxic chemicals in European starlings and terrestrial ecosystems in Atlantic Canada
  • Developing an ecological risk assessment of mercury impacts on fish and wildlife across Canada

Professional activities / interests

Leader of scientific team assessing the biological impacts of mercury in Canada under Environment Canada's Clean Air Regulatory Agenda

Member of the international Northeast Loon Study Workgroup

Co-supervised or mentored graduate students or post-doctoral fellows at: Acadia University, Antioch University, Atlantic Veterinary College, Environment Canada, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Queen's University, and University of New Brunswick

Education and awards

M.Sc. Zoology, University of Toronto

B.Sc. Agriculture, McGill University

Key publications

Depew, D.C., Burgess, N.M., and Campbell, L.M. 2013. Spatial patterns of methyl mercury risks to common loons and piscivorous fish in Canada. Environ. Sci. Technol. DOI: 10.1021/es403534q

Chen, D., Martin, P., Burgess, N.M., Champoux, L., Elliott, J.E., Forsyth, D.J., Idrissi, A., Letcher, R.J. 2013. European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) suggest that landfills are an important source of bioaccumulative flame retardants to Canadian terrestrial ecosystems.Environ. Sci. Technol. 47: 12238-12247.

Brown, T.M., Kuzyk, Z.A., Stow, J.P., Burgess, N.M., Solomon, S.M., Sheldon, T.A., and Reimer, K.J. 2013. An effects-based marine ecological risk assessment at a PCB-contaminated site in Saglek, Labrador. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 32: 453-467.

Burgess, N.M., Bond, A.L., Hebert, C.E., Neugebauer, W.E., and Champoux, L. 2013. Mercury trends in herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs from Atlantic Canada, 1972-2008: temporal change or dietary shift?Environ. Pollut. 172: 216-222.

Burgess, N.M. and Meyer, M.W. 2008. Methylmercury exposure associated with reduced productivity in common loons. Ecotoxicology, 17: 83-91.