Jonathan Stewart Awarded 1st Place Graduate Student Platform Presentation at CSETAC 2023
CSETAC would like to recognize some of the student presentation winners from our 2023 Annual Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. Jonathan Stewart is a former student at the College of Charleston and was awarded 1st place Graduate Student Platform Presentation. Below, Jonathan shares his passion for toxicology.
Jonathan Stewart grew up in Mount Pleasant, SC and always enjoyed biology classes in high school, but becoming a scientist wasn’t always his original plan. He enrolled in Clemson University as a business major but eventually changed to a degree in Biology. While at Clemson, he participated in research with Dr. Andrew Mount studying shell deposition in oysters. This research piqued his interest in research and aquatic toxicology. After graduating from Clemson in 2019, he enrolled at the College of Charleston to earn his Master’s Degree in Marine Biology.
Jonathan’s thesis research focused on the effects of PFAS-free Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFFs) that are replacing current firefighting foams. PFAS are a large class of synthetic chemicals used in both industrial and consumer settings that have concerning environmental and human health effects. The goal of his research was to quantify the toxicity of these replacement foams in oysters before they are implemented by organizations. To hear more about Jonathan's research, check out this news feature.
Since earning his Master’s degree in May, he has recently joined the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) as a contractor with CSS, inc. As a contractor with the Ecotoxicology Branch at the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, he is expanding his thesis research by studying the toxicity of these AFFFs in another bivalve species- this time using clams!
When asked why he has pursued a career in environmental toxicology, Jonathan says, “I like understanding the impacts that humans have on our environment and answering applied questions to understand organisms’ reactions to toxicants.” He credits Dr. Mount at Clemson for putting him on the path to become the scientist he is today. Ultimately, he hopes to continue his education and earn his PhD. When not in the lab, Jonathan enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and attending trivia events around Charleston.