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Marie Perkins, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Contact Information
Phone: (715) 346-2755
Office: TNR 344


Growing up in Michigan, I was always interested in wildlife and the outdoors. As an undergraduate, I spent a summer as an intern at Seney National Wildlife Refuge (in Michigan's Upper Peninsula) and developed a love for birds and wetlands. These interests have been the driving force behind my career path. I am a broadly trained wildlife ecologist with interests in conservation biology, wetland ecology, ornithology, toxicology, and environmental health. I have experience working in academia and for both governmental and non-profit organizations.


  • Ph.D., Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada
  • M.S., Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • B.S., Biology, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Courses Taught

  • Management of Wildlife Habitat (WLDL 451)
  • Introduction to Fisheries, Forestry, and Wildlife Resources (NRES 250, Lab)


I incorporate both laboratory experiments and field research to investigate contaminant exposure in wildlife and humans. My research focuses on mercury because it is a global environmental contaminant that poses a significant threat to the health of humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. Overall, my research aims to determine patterns in mercury exposure across the landscape and over time in birds of conservation concern, understand how biomarker tissue concentrations relate to environmental and individual health risks and develop innovative methods for studying wildlife. 


Heddle, C., J. Elliott, T. Brown, M. Eng, M. Perkins, N Basu, and T. Williams. Continuous exposure to mercury during embryogenesis and chick development affects later survival and reproduction of zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Ecotoxicology. Accepted, June 21, 2019.

Perkins, M., O.P. Lane, D.C. Evers, A. Sauer, E.M. Adams, N.J. O'Driscoll, S.T. Edmunds, A.K. Jackson, J. Hagelin, J. Trimble, and E.M. Sunderland. Historical patterns in mercury exposure for North American songbirds. Ecotoxicology. Accepted, May 9, 2019.

Perkins, M. and N. Basu. 2018. Dried blood spots for estimating mercury exposure in birds. Environmental Pollution 236:236-246.

Basu, N., J.W.L. Eng, M. Perkins, A. Santa Rios, G. Martincevic, K. Carlson, and R. Neitzel. 2017. Development, validation, and application of a novel method to measure methylmercury in newborn dried blood spots from the Michigan BioTrust for Health. Environmental Research 159:276-282.

Perkins, M., B.D. Barst, J. Hadrava, and N. Basu. 2017. Mercury speciation and subcellular distribution in the liver of experimentally-dosed and wild birds. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 36:3289–3298. Nominated for Best Paper Award 2017.

Srigboh, R.K., N. Basu, J. Stephens, E. Asampong, M. Perkins, R.L. Neitzel, and J. Fobil. 2016. Multiple elemental exposures amongst workers at the Agbogbloshie electronic waste (e-waste) site in Ghana. Chemosphere 164:68-74.

Perkins, M., L. Ferguson, R.B. Lanctot, I.J. Stenhouse, S. Kendall, S. Brown, J.O. Hall, K. Regan, and D.C. Evers. 2016. Mercury exposure and risk in breeding and staging Alaskan shorebirds. The Condor 118:171-182.

Fournier, A., A. Sullivan, J. Bump, M. Perkins, M. Shieldcastle, and S. King. 2016. Combining citizen science and stable isotope analysis reveals migratory connectivity in a secretive species, the Virginia rail (Rallus limicola). Journal of Applied Ecology 54: 618-627.

Evers, D.C., J.A Schmutz, N. Basu, C.R. deSorbo, J.S. Fair, C.E. Gray, J. Paruk, M. Perkins, K. Regan, B.D. Uher-Koch, and K.G. Wright. 2014. Mercury exposure and risk in Yellow-billed Loons breeding in Alaska and Canada. Waterbirds 37:147-159.

Perkins, M., S.L. King, and J. Linscombe. 2010. Effectiveness of capture techniques for rails in emergent marsh and agricultural wetlands. Waterbirds 33:376-380.

Perkins, M., S.L. King, S.E. Travis, and J. Linscombe. 2009. Use of morphometric measurements to differentiate between species and sex of King and Clapper Rails. Waterbirds 32:579-584.

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