Heather M. Stapleton

Heather M. Stapleton

Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management

EEH Program Chair

Dr. Stapleton's research focuses on understanding the fate and transformation of organic contaminants in aquatic systems and in indoor environments. Her main focus has been on the bioaccumulation and biotransformation of brominated flame retardants, and specifically polybrominated diphenyl ethers,(PBDEs). Her current research projects explore the routes of human exposure to flame retardant chemicals and examine the way these compounds are photodegraded and metabolized using mass spectrometry to identify breakdown products/metabolites. She uses both in vivo techniques iwth fish, and in vitro techniques with cell cultures to examine metabolism of this varied class of chemicals. Also of interest to Dr. Stapleton is the study of the fate of PBDEs in the environment which may lead to bioaccumulation in aquatic systems and examining their bioavailability under different environmental conditions.

In The News


Macaulay, LJ, Chernick, M, Chen, A, Hinton, DE, Bailey, JM, Kullman, SW, Levin, ED, and Stapleton, HM. "Exposure to a PBDE/OH-BDE mixture alters juvenile zebrafish (Danio rerio) development." Environmental toxicology and chemistry 36, no. 1 (January 2017): 36-48.
Leonetti, C, Butt, CM, Hoffman, K, Hammel, SC, Miranda, ML, and Stapleton, HM. "Brominated flame retardants in placental tissues: associations with infant sex and thyroid hormone endpoints." Environmental health : a global access science source 15, no. 1 (November 25, 2016): 113-.
Cooper, EM, Kroeger, G, Davis, K, Clark, CR, Ferguson, PL, and Stapleton, HM. "Results from Screening Polyurethane Foam Based Consumer Products for Flame Retardant Chemicals: Assessing Impacts on the Change in the Furniture Flammability Standards." Environmental science & technology 50, no. 19 (October 2016): 10653-10660.
Phillips, AL, Chen, A, Rock, KD, Horman, B, Patisaul, HB, and Stapleton, HM. "Editor's Highlight: Transplacental and Lactational Transfer of Firemaster® 550 Components in Dosed Wistar Rats." Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology 153, no. 2 (October 2016): 246-257.
Butt, CM, Hoffman, K, Chen, A, Lorenzo, A, Congleton, J, and Stapleton, HM. "Regional comparison of organophosphate flame retardant (PFR) urinary metabolites and tetrabromobenzoic acid (TBBA) in mother-toddler pairs from California and New Jersey." Environment international 94 (September 2016): 627-634.


ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
ENVIRON 898: Program Area Seminar (ENVIRON 898: Program Area Seminar)
ENVIRON 394: Research Independent Study (ENVIRON 394: Research Independent Study)
ENVIRON 780: Environmental Exposure Analysis (ENVIRON 780: Environmental Exposure Analysis)
ENVIRON 360: Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology (ENVIRON 360: Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology)

Contact Information

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
450 Research Drive, LSRC Room A220
Durham, NC 27519


Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park (2003)
M.S., University of Maryland, College Park (2000)
B.S., Long Island University Southhampton College (1997)