Neil Burgess

Wildlife Toxicologist - Wildlife Toxicology Research & Monitoring in Atlantic 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

Lu, Z., Martin, P.A., Burgess, N.M., Champoux, L., Elliott, J.E., Baressi, E., De Silva, A.O., Letcher, R.J. 2017. Volatile methylsiloxanes and organophosphate esters in the eggs of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and congeneric gull species from locations across Canada. Environmental Science & Technology 51: 9836-9845.

Pollet, I.L., Leonard, M.L., O’Driscoll, N.J., Burgess, N.M., Shutler, D. 2017. Relationships between blood mercury levels, reproduction, and return rate in a small seabird. Ecotoxicology 26: 97-103.

Scheuhammer, A.M., Burgess, N.M., Champoux, L., Lord, S.I., Elliott, J.E., and Wayland, M. 2016. Major correlates of mercury in small fish and common loons (Gavia immer) across four large study areas in Canada. Environmental Pollution 210: 361-370.

Little, M.E., Burgess, N.M., Broders, H.G., and Campbell, L.M. 2015. Mercury in little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) maternity colonies and its correlation with freshwater acidity in Nova Scotia, Canada. Environmental Science & Technology 49: 2059-2065.

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? Environmental Pollution 172: 216-222.

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