Allen Burton, Ph.D.


University of Texas at Dallas, M.S. 1980, Ph.D. 1984. Major: Environmental Science (Aquatic Toxicology)
Auburn University, M.S. 1978. Major: Microbiology
Ouachita Baptist University, B.S. 1976. Majors: Biology and Chemistry

Dr. Burton is a Professor in the School of Natural Resources & Environment and also in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences.  He has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Roskilde (Denmark), is a Concurrent Professor at Nanjing University, and an Honorary Professor at the State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment in Beijing China.

His research on ecological risk assessment, sediment quality criteria, and aquatic ecosystem stressors has taken him to all seven continents with Visiting Scientist positions in New Zealand, Italy and Portugal.  His research focuses on sediment and stormwater contaminants and understanding bioavailability processes, effects and ecological risk at multiple trophic levels, and ranking stressor importance in human dominated watersheds.  He has received over ten million dollars in extramural research funding. 

He is a Fellow of the international Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (SETAC) and was a Distinguished Faculty Fellow of the Graham Sustainability Institute.  He served as Director of the University of Michigan Water Center and also their Cooperative Institute of Limnology and Ecosystems Research.  He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, past president of SETAC, and served on numerous national and international panels and Advisory Boards with over 180 peer-reviewed publications on aquatic ecosystem risk issues. 


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Professor, School of Natural Resources & Environment, 2008-present
Professor, Department of  Earth & Environmental Sciences, 2011-present (joint appointment)
Director, NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Limnology & Ecosystems Research, 2008-2016.

Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment. Beijing, China

  Honorary Professor.  2014-present.

Nanjing University, Nanjing China.  

  Concurrent Professor.  School of Environment.   2014-present.

Wright State University, Dept Earth & Env Sci, 2006- 2008; Dept Bio Sci, 1987- 2006, Dayton, Ohio

   Chair, Dept EES, 2006 – 2008; Professor of Env Sci, 1996 – 2008;  Director, Institute for Environmental Quality, 1994– 2006; and Director, Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program, 2002-2003.

Cooperative Institute for Research in  Environ. Sci., University of  Colorado, Visiting Fellow, 1984 - 1985.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dallas, Texas.  Life Scientist, Nov. 1980 - Aug. 1984.

Honors and Awards (select):

  • Board of Advisors. University of North Texas, Inaugural Board of Advisors for the Advanced Environmental Research Institute. 2016-2019.

  • Expert Panel.  Research Institute for Fragrance Materials. 2016-2019.

  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Natural Sciences, University of Roskilde, Denmark. 2013

  • Distinguished Faculty Fellow.   Graham Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan. 2014-2016.

  • Editor-in-Chief. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. 2012-present.

  • Science Advisory Board Committee on EPA’s Ecological Assessment Action Plan. 2012.

  • Science Advisory Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oil Spill Research Strategy Panel.   2011- 2012.

  • Science Advisory Board, U.S. EPA, Ecological Processes and Effects Committee. 2005-2011. Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards (STAA) Panel. 2006-2008.

  • National Research Council Committee on Sediment Dredging at Superfund Mega-sites. 2006-2007

  • President, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2007

  • Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research, 2000-2003.

  • NATO Senior Research Fellow; Visiting Senior Scientist: Italian Institute for Hydrobiology; New Zealand Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. Current Research Grant and Contract Awards

  • SERDP. Assessment and Management of Stormwater Impacts on Sediment Recontamination. AB Co-PI D. Reible PI, Texas Tech. 2014-2016.  

  • Water Environment Research Foundations. Secondary Data and Modeling to Support the Application of Site Screening Tools Developed in Phase I to Evaluate Ecological Effects from Trace Organics in the Aquatic Environment. AB Co-PI to LimnoTech 2013-2016.WERF Project CEC6R12

  • SERDP.  Remedy and Recontamination Assessment Array.  AB Co-PI to SPAWAR.  2014-2016.  

  • University of Michigan Water Center.  2013-2016. Improving water quality and well-being in Great Lakes post-industrial cities: A multidisciplinary partnership to assess Detroit’s green infrastructure.  AB Co-PI.

  • CH2M Hill.  Assessment of Potential Toxicity in Lake Catherine, Hot Springs, Arkansas. 2015-2016.  

  • NiPERA.  Metal partitioning to oxic natural sediments and removal from water.

Current Research Grant and Contract Awards

  • Strategic Environmental Restoration and Demonstration Program (SERDP). Predicting the fate and effects of resuspended metal contaminated sediments. $1,010,000. 2010-2013.
  • Strategic Environmental Restoration and Demonstration Program (SERDP). Coupling between pore water fluxes, structural heterogeneity, and biogeochemical processes controls contaminant mobility, bioavailability, and toxicity in sediments. A. Packman Northwestern U PI.  AB CoPI portion.  $400,000. 2010-2013.
  • ESTCP.  Demonstration and commercialization of the Sediment Ecosystem Assessment Protocol (SEAP). CoPI.  2011-2013.  $1,249,300 total.  AB - $216,800.
  • Non-Ferrous Metal Industry Research Organizations.  2012-2014.  Experiments measuring bioavailabilty in oxic and spiked sediments (EMBOSS).  $497,000
  • University of Michigan and Erb Family Foundation.  Water Center. 2012-2015. $9,000,000.
  • SERDP. Assessment and Management of Stormwater Impacts on Sediment Recontamination. AB Co-PI D. Reible PI, Texas Tech. 2014-2016.  Total ~$1,300,000.  AB ~ $270,000

Publications (Select)

  1. Burton, G.A., Jr., and R. Pitt.  2001.  Stormwater Effects Handbook: A Tool Box for Watershed Managers, Scientists and Engineers. CRC/Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL, 924 pp.

  2. Burton, G.A., Jr., G. E. Batley, P.M. Chapman, V.E. Forbes, E.P. Smith, T. Reynoldson, C.E. Schlekat,  P.J. den Besten, A.J. Bailer, A.S. Green and R.L. Dwyer. 2002.   A Weight-of-Evidence Framework for  Assessing Sediment (Or Other) Contamination: Improving Certainty in the Decision-Making Process. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 8:1675-1696.

  3. Burton GA Jr., Greenberg MS, Rowland CD, Irvine CA, Lavoie DR, Brooker JA, Eggert LM, Raymer DFN, McWilliam RA. 2005. In situ exposures using caged organisms: a multi-compartment approach to detect aquatic toxicity and bioaccumulation. Environ. Pollut.134:133-144.

  4. Kapo K, Burton GA. De Zwart D, Posthuma L., Dyer S. 2008.   Quantitative multiple lines of evidence for fish species loss in Ohio:  a comparison of two eco-epidemiological methods. Environ Sci Technol. 42:9412-9418

  5. Burton GA and Johnston EJ.  2010. Assessing contaminated sediments in the context of multiple stressors.  Environ Toxicol Chem 29:2625-2643

  6. Costello DM, Burton GA, Hammerschmidt CR, Rogevich EC and Schlekat CE. 2011.  Nickel phase partitioning and toxicity in field-deployed sediments.  Environ Sci Technol 45:5798-5805

  7. Burton, GA, Rosen G, Chadwick B, Greenberg M, Taulbee K, Lotufo GR, Reible D. 2012. A sediment ecotoxicity assessment platform for in situ measures of chemistry, bioaccumulation and toxicity. Part 1: System description and proof of concept.  Environ Pollution 162:449-456.

  8. Burton GA, De Zwart D, Diamond J, Dyer S, Kapo KE, Liess M, Posthuma L. 2012. Making ecosystem reality checks the status quo. Environ Toxicol Chem 31: 459-468.

  9. Costello DM, Burton GA, Hammerschmidt CR, Taulbee, WK.  2012. Evaluating the performance of diffusive gradients in thin films (DGTs) for predicting Ni sediment toxicity. Environ Sci Technol. 46:10239-10246.

  10. Costello, DM, CR Hammerschmidt, and GA Burton. 2015. Copper sediment toxicity and partitioning during oxidation in a flow-through flume. Environmental Science & Technology 49(11): 6926-6933. 175.  

  11. Burton GA. 2015.  Losing sight of science in the regulatory push to ban microbeads from consumer products and industrial use.  Integrated Environ Assess Mgmt.11(3):346-347.  DOI:  10.1002/ieam.1645

  12. Klaus, Jaclyn E,  Chad R. Hammerschmidt, David M. Costello, G. Allen Burton, Jr. 2016. Net methylmercury production in two contrasting stream sediments and associated accumulation and toxicity to periphyton.  Environ Toxicol Chem DOI: 10.1002/etc.3324

  13. Custer KW, Burton GA Jr, Kochersberger J, Anderson P, Fetters K, Hummel S. 2016. Macroinvertebrate responses to nickel in multi-system exposures. Environ Toxicol Chem 35:101-114

  14. Fetters KJ, Costello DM, Hammerschmidt CR and Burton GA Jr. 2016.  Toxicological effects of short-term resuspension of metal contaminated freshwater and marine sediments.  Environ Toxicol Chem  DOI: 0.001/etc.3225

  15. Schlekat Christian, Garman E, Vangheluwe M, Burton GA Jr. 2016. Development of a bioavailability-based risk assessment approach for nickel in freshwater sediments. Integr Environ Assess & Mgmt. DOI: 10.1002/ieam.17720

  16. Koelmans B, Bakir A, Burton GA,  Janseen, C. 2016.  Microplastic as a Vector for Chemicals in the Aquatic Environment. Critical Review and Model-Supported Re-interpretation of Empirical Studies. Environ Sci Technol   DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b06069