New study on the effects of pharmaceuticals in birds

PBMS team members Richard Shore and Gloria Pereira have recently co-authored a paper published in describing the effects on starlings of exposure to fluoxetine (Prozac ®).  Starlings may be exposed in the wild to fluoxetine that passes into the sewage system. Invertebrates emerging from settling tanks at waste water treatment plants can take up fluoxetine and can then be eaten by starlings.  In the experiment that is described, exposure of starlings to environmentally realistic doses of fluoxetine affected courtship behaviour.

The paper, published online in the journal Chemosphere (and in print likely in November), is led by PhD student Sophia Whitlock from York University who Richard and Gloria co-supervise.   The citation for the full paper is Whitlock, S.E., Pereira, M.G., Shore, R.F., Lane, J., Arnold, K.E. 2018. Environmentally relevant exposure to an antidepressant alters courtship behaviours in a songbird. Chemosphere 211 17-24.  It is an open access paper and can be downloaded at or directly from the PBMS website Scientific papers page

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