W. Gregory Cope 2017-09-05T13:57:58+00:00

Contact Information

Office Address
Applied Ecology
240 David Clark Labs
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695

Phone Number

Fax Number


W. Gregory Cope

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor
– Applied Ecology and Environmental Toxicology

  • Department Extension Leader, Applied Ecology
  • Coordinator, NC State University Agromedicine Program


1991 – Ph.D., Iowa State University (Full Curriculum Vitae)
1988 – M.S., University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1983 – B.S., Lenoir-Rhyne University

Research Interests

Aquatic Toxicology, Molluscan and Fish Biology, Physiology

My research strives for a high impact program that delivers objective, science-based information to federal and state natural resource management agencies and to other policy or decision makers for effectively informing conservation, management, and recovery of imperiled species of native freshwater mollusks and fish. My research interests within this realm are in aquatic toxicology, ecology, and physiology, as well as in the transport, fate, and effects of aquatic pollutants and other human-mediated stressors such as temperature and climate change. This research utilizes sentinel aquatic organisms, biomarkers of exposure, effect, or susceptibility, or alternative toxicological models from which linkages to environmental and human health are evaluated. Major areas of research include: 1) assessment of pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, and metals in surface waters and sediment, 2) toxicological effects of waterborne and sediment-associated contaminants on fish and native mollusks (mussels and snails) in inland waterways, 3) techniques for reducing non-point source pollution from urban (e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and agricultural (e.g., nutrients) watersheds, and 4) effects of non-toxicant stressors such as temperature and drought (climate change) on ecosystem function and organismal susceptibility.


  • Jennifer M. Archambault, M.S. (Research Associate)
  • Sean B. Buczek, M.S. (Research Associate)

Graduate Students, Ph.D.

  • Anna B. Alicea (Ph.D. Candidate in Biology, Minor in Environmental Toxicology)
  • Jennifer M. Archambault (Ph.D. Candidate in Biology)

Web Resources

Selected Publications

Explanation of Authorship Order: The senior author (first author) had primary responsibility for manuscript content and preparation; * = mentored graduate student or post-doctoral scholar is senior author.

Powell*, K. W., W. G. Cope, C. E. LePrevost, T. Augspurger, A. M. McCarthy, and D. Shea. 2017. A retrospective analysis of agricultural herbicides in surface water reveals risk plausibility for declines in submerged aquatic vegetation. Toxics. In press.

Buczek*, S. B., W. G. Cope, R. A. McLaughlin, and T. J. Kwak. 2017. Sublethal effects of turbidity, sediment, and polyacrylamide on native freshwater mussels. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. In press.

Bishop*, W. M., B. E. Willis, C. L. Lynch, and W. G. Cope. 2017. Copper-based aquatic algaecide adsorption and accumulation kinetics: Influence of exposure concentration and duration for controlling the cyanobacterium Lyngbya wollei. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 99(3):365-371.

Buczek*, S. B., W. G. Cope, R. A. McLaughlin, and T. J. Kwak. 2017. Acute toxicity of polyacrylamide flocculants to early life stages of freshwater mussels. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 36:in press.

Lee Pow*, C., K. Tilahun, K. Creech, J. M. Law, W. G. Cope, T. J. Kwak, J. A. Rice, D. D. Aday, and S. W. Kullman. 2017. Windows of susceptibility and consequences of early life exposures to 17β-estradiol on medaka (Oryzias latipes) reproductive success. Environmental Science and Technology. 51(9):5296-5305.

Pandolfo*, T. J., T. J. Kwak, W. G. Cope, R. J. Heise, R. B. Nichols, and K. Pacifica. 2017. Declining occurrence and low colonization probability in freshwater mussel assemblages: a dynamic occurrence modeling approach. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation. 20(1):13-19.

Leonard*, J. A., W. G. Cope, E. J. Hammer, M. C. Barnhart, and R. B. Bringolf. 2017. Extending the toxicity-testing paradigm for freshwater mussels: assessing chronic reproductive effects of the synthetic estrogen 17 α-ethinylestradiol on the unionid mussel Elliptio complanata. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology. 191:14-25.

Archambault*, J. M., S. T. Prochazka, W. G. Cope, P. R. Lazaro, and D. Shea. 2017. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface waters, sediments, and unionid mussels: relation to road crossings and implications for chronic mussel exposure. Hydrobiologia. 782:in press.

Lee Pow*, C. S. D., J. M. Law, T. J. Kwak, W. G. Cope, J. A. Rice, S. W. Kullman, and D. D. Aday. 2017. Endocrine active contaminants in aquatic systems and intersex in common sport fishes. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 36(4):959-968.

Archambault*, J. M., C. M. Bergeron*, W. G. Cope, P. R. Lazaro, J. A. Leonard, and D. Shea. 2017. Assessing toxicity of contaminants in riverine suspended sediments to freshwater mussels. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 36(2):395-407.

Archambault*, J. M. and W. G. Cope. 2016. Life stage sensitivity of a freshwater snail to herbicides used in invasive aquatic weed control. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation. 19(2)69-79.

Pandolfo*, T. J., T. J. Kwak, W. G. Cope, R. J. Heise, R. B. Nichols, and K. Pacifica. 2016. Species traits and catchment-scale habitat factors influence the occurrence of freshwater mussel populations and assemblages. Freshwater Biology. 61(10):1671-1684.

Pandolfo*, T. J., T. J. Kwak, and W. G. Cope. 2016. Microhabitat suitability and niche breadth of common and imperiled Atlantic Slope freshwater mussels. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation. 19(2):27-50.

Archambault*, J. M., C. M. Bergeron*, W. G. Cope, R. Richardson, M. Heilman, J. E. Corey, M. D. Netherland, and R. J. Heise. 2015. Sensitivity of freshwater molluscs to Hydrilla-targeting herbicides: providing context for invasive aquatic weed control in diverse ecosystems. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. 30(3):335-348.