Nishad Jayasundara


  • PhD in Biological Sciences, Stanford University, CA, 2012
  • BA in Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic, ME. 2005


Our work is broadly focused on exploring molecular, cellular, and organismal level effects of exposure to chemical and physical stressors, especially during development and across multiple generations. We are particularly interested in understanding the role of mitochondria in stress responses and the potential to use mitochondrial function and mitochondrial DNA as markers of long-term exposure to environmental stressors including toxic chemical mixtures. In this context, a primary focus of our group is to examine mitochondrial etiology of kidney failure with exposure to environmentally relevant chemical mixtures (e.g., pesticides and heavy metals). We are specifically focusing on regions in South Asia that are impacted by an epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology with the goal of utilizing natural zebrafish populations for these studies.


  • Jayasundara, N. Ecological significance of mitochondrial toxicants. (2017). In Press. Invited Review – special issue of Toxicology on mitochondrial toxicity.
  • Jayasundara, N., Fernando, B.P.W., Osterberg, J.S., Cammen K.M. Schultz, T.F., and Di Giulio, R.T. (2017) Cost of tolerance: fitness consequences of contemporary evolution to an anthropogenic stressor in teleost fish. Env. Sci. Tech. 10.1021/acs.est.7b01913
  • Lindberg, C.D., Jayasundara, N., Kozal, J.S., Leuthner, T.C., Di Giulio, R.T. (2017) Evolved resistance to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon toxicity and associated bioenergetic consequences in a population of Fundulus heteroclitus. Ecotox. 3:435-448.
  • Raftery, T.D., Jayasundara, N., and Di Giulio, R.T. (2017) A bioenergetics assay for studying the effects of environmental stressors on mitochondrial function in vivo in zebrafish larvae. Comp. Biochem Physiol. Part C,192:23-32.