Faculty Advisor

Buckholt, Michael Allan

Faculty Advisor

Whitefleet-Smith, JoAnn L.


Sediment and crayfish samples were collected from several sites of a stream. Assays were performed to test each sample for the presence and level of Benzo[a]pyrene, a potential carcinogen. A drain that carries water from a nearby highway to the stream has acted as a point source for B[a]P, and sediment close to this point source is expected to contain the highest levels. As a bioindicator, crayfish B[a]P levels should correlate to those of sediment samples. When B[a]P levels in sediment collected from the outer edge of the stream were compared to levels of the compound in crayfish tail muscle (expressed in terms of ng B[a]P/mg tissue/mm tail length), a correlation was observed. The distribution of B[a]P indicated that the runoff drain acts as a point source for contamination.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2009


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology