Date of Award

Spring 4-22-2022

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Department Chair or Program Director

Hayob, Jodie

First Advisor

Frankel, Tyler

Second Advisor

Kisila, Ben

Third Advisor

Giancarlo, Leanna

Major or Concentration

Environmental Science (Natural Science Concentration)


Coal ash (CA) is an industrial waste, produced by coal-burning power stations, containing multiple trace metals that can leach into aquatic ecosystems. While numerous studies have examined the impacts of coal ash spills on aquatic vertebrates, little is known on the effects of CA leachates (CALs) on aquatic invertebrates. This study consisted of two components: trace metal analysis assessing the impacts of increasing coal ash concentration on trace metal leaching and a lab-based analysis examining the effects of synthetic coal ash leachates on the viability, development stage, hatching rate, bioaccumulation, and reproduction of Planorbella duryi. Higher trace metal concentrations were detected in the higher leachate treatments (10 g/L and 50 g/L). Accelerated development and rapid hatching rate were observed in egg clutches exposed to the 1 g/L treatment. Developmental delays and decreased hatching success were observed in the 25 g/L and 50 g/L treatments. Higher trace metals were detected in adults exposed to the 10 g/L and 50 g/L treatments. Adults exposed to the 50 g/L treatments laid fewer egg clutches with lower egg deposition compared to the lower treatments. This research aims to determine the potential sublethal impacts of treated coal ash waste on a non-model aquatic invertebrate.