University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Jason M. Unrine



Directions to University of Kentucky, Lexington, KYUniversity of Kentucky, PSS
Campus LocationAgriculture Science Center
North Building (Office:N212-N)
Lexington, KY 40546-0091
Phone(859) 257-1657
Fax(859) 257-3655



Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Bioanalytical and Environmental Analytical Chemistry



PhD, Toxicology, The University of Georgia

BS, Biology, Antioch College




This person page last updated on 2013-11-24


    PLS560 - Environmental Physiology and Toxicology; Credits - 4
    Emphasis will be placed on the physiological and toxicological effects of chemicals on natural biota, including considerations at cellular, organismal, population, and community levels. This will include assimilation and metabolism of pollutants, with emphasis upon biochemical and physiological mechanisms involved in stress-induced responses and stress reduction. Additional areas of concern will include the transport, fate, and effects of chemical stressors on structure and function of biotic populations, communities and ecosystems. The course will also include introductions to ecotoxicology, risk assessment and environmental regulatory strategies..
    Instructors: Jason M. Unrine

Research/Teaching Publications

    Books and Book Chapters

    Young, T., W. Adams, J. Besser, K. Finley, W. Hopkins, D. Jolley, E. McNaughton, T. Presser, P. Shaw, and J. Unrine. 2010. What you need to know about selenium. pp. 7-46, Chapter 3. IN: P.M. Chapman, W.J. Adams, M.L. Brooks, C.G. Delos, N.L. Samuel, W.A. Maher, H.M. Ohlendorf, T.S. Presser, D.P. Shaw, ed. Ecological Assessment of Selenium in the Aquatic Environment. SETAC Press, Pensacola, FL.
    J Unrine, P Bertsch and S Hunyadi. 2008. Bioavailability, trophic transfer and toxicity of manufactured metal and metal oxide nanoparticles in terrestrial environments. In: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: Environmental and Health Impacts. Grassian, V.H. Ed., John Wiley and Sons, pp345-360.

    Refereed Journal Articles

    Collin, B; Oostveen, E; Tsyusko, OV; Unrine, JM 2014. Influence of natural organic matter and surface charge on the toxicity and bioaccumulation of functionalized ceria nanoparticles in Caenorhabditis elegans. Environmental Science and Technology 48:1280-1289.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Olga Tsyusko Emily Oosteveen Blanche Collin
    Ghezzi, JL; Karathanasis, AD; Matocha, CJ; Unrine J; Thompson, YL. 2014. Characterization of Environmental Nano- and Macro-colloid Particles Extracted from Selected Soils and Biosolids. Applied Environmental Soil Science. In Press.
    Hardas, SS; Sultana, R; Warrier, G; Dan, M; Wu, P; Grulke, GA; Tseng, MT; Unrine, JM; Graham, UM; Yokel, RA; Butterfield, DA 2014. Rat hippocampal responses up to 90 days after a single dose of nanoceria extends a hierarchical oxidative stress model for nanoparticle toxicity to a 4th tier. Nanotoxicology. In Press.
    Rathnayake, S; Unrine, JM*; Judy, JD; Miller, AF; Rao, W; Bertsch PM. 2014. A multitechnique investigation of the pH dependence of phosphate induced transformations of ZnO nanoparticles. Environmental Science and Technology. In Press.
    Shoults-Wilson, WA; Seymour, L; Unrine, JM; Wisniewski, JM; Black, MC 2014. Improving data resolution and statistical rigor in the analysis of bivalve shells as environmental archives. Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts 16: 247-255.
    Antonious, G.F., Silitonga, M.R., Tsegaye, T.D., Unrine, J.M., Coolong, T., Snyder, J.C. 2013. Elevated concentrations of trace elements in soil do not necessarily reflect metals available to plants. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B 48, 219-225.
    Colman, B.P.; Arnaout, C.L.; Anciaux, S.; Gunsch, C.K.; Hochella, M.F., Jr.; Kim, B.; Lowry, G.V.; McGill, B.M.; Reinsch, B.C.; Richardson, C.J.; Unrine, J.M.; Wright, J.P.; Yin, L.; Bernhardt,ES. 2013. Low Concentrations of Silver Nanoparticles in Biosolids Cause Adverse Ecosystem Responses under Realistic Field Scenario. PLoS One, 2013, 8, (2), e57189.
    Ma, R; Levard, C; Judy, JD; Unrine, JM; Durenkamp, M; Martin, B; Jefferson, B; Lowry, GV. 2013. Fate of zinc oxide and silver nanoparticles in a pilot waste water treatment plant and in processed biosolids. Environmental Science and Technology 48: 104-112.
    Poynton, H; Lazorchak, J; Impellitteri, C; Blalock, B; Smith, M; Struewing, K; Unrine, J; Roose, D. 2013. Toxicity and transcriptomic analysis in Hyalella azteca suggests increased exposure and susceptibility of epibenthic organisms to zinc oxide nanoparticles. Environmental Science and Technology 47: 9453-9460.
    VanDuyn N, Settivari R, Levora J, Zhou S, Unrine JM, Nass R. 2013. The metal transporter smf-3/dmt-1 mediates aluminum-induced dopamine neuron degeneration. Journal of Neurochemistry, 124: 147-157.
    Whitley, AR; Levard, C; Oostveen, E; Bertsch, PM; Matocha, CJ; vd Kammer, F; Unrine, JM*. 2013. Behavior of Ag nanoparticles in soil: Effects of particle surface coating, aging and sewage sludge amendment. Environmental Pollution. 182: 141-149.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Chris Matocha
    Antonious, G. F., S. O. Dennis, J. M. Unrine*, and J. C. 2012. Heavy metals uptake in plant parts of sweet potato grown in soil fertilized with municipal sewage sludge. International Journal of Geology 5: 14-20.
    Bone AJ, Colman BP, Gondikas AP, Newton K, Harrold K, Unrine JM, Klaine SJ, Matson CW, Di Giulio RT 2012. Biotic and Abiotic Interactions in Aquatic Microcosms Determine Fate and Toxicity of Ag Nanoparticles: Part 2- Toxicity and Ag speciation. Environmental Science and Technology 46: 6925-6933.
    Bryan Jr, A.L., W. Hopkins, J. Parikh, B. Jackson, and J. M. Unrine*. 2012. Coal fly ash basins as an attractive nuisance to birds: parental provisioning exposes nestlings to harmful trace elements. Environmental Pollution 161: 170-177.
    Burgess, EA, Unrine, JM, Mills, GL, Romanek, CS, and Wiegel, J. 2012. Comparative geochemical and microbiological characterization of two thermal pools in the Uzon caldera, Kamchatka, Russia. Microbial Ecology 63: 471-489.
    Dan M, Tseng MT, Wu P, Unrine JM, Grulke EA, Yokel RA. 2012. Brain microvascular endothelial cell association and distribution of a 5 nm ceria-engineered nanomaterial. International Journal of Nanomedicine 7:4023-4036.
    Dan, Mo, Wu, Peng, Grulke, EA, Graham, Uschi, M, Unrine, Jason M., Yokel, Robert A. 2012. Ceria engineered nanomaterial distribution in and clearance from blood: Size matters. Nanomedicine 7: 95-110.
    Hardas SS, Sultana R, Warrier G, Dan M, Florence RL, Wu P, Grulke EA, Tseng MT, Unrine JM, Graham UM, Yokel RA, Butterfield DA 2012. Rat brain pro-oxidant effects of peripherally administered 5 nm ceria 30 days after exposure. NeuroToxicology 33: 1147-1155.
    Jonathan D. Judy, Jason M. Unrine, William Rao, Paul M. Bertsch 2012. Bioaccumulation of gold nanomaterials by Manduca sexta through dietary uptake of surface contaminated plant tissue Environmental Science and Technology, 2012, 46 (22), pp 12672–12678.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Jonathan Judy
    Judy, J., J. M. Unrine, W. Rao, S. Wirick and P. Bertsch. 2012. Bioavailability of gold to plants: Importance of particle size and surface coating. Environmental Science and Technology 46: 8467-8474. (Jonathan Judy is a PhD student is Soil Science)
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Jonathan Judy
    Sabo-Attwood, T., J. M. Unrine*, J. Stone, C. Murphy, S. Ghoshroy, D. Bloom, P. Bertsch, and L. Newman. 2012. Uptake, distribution and toxicity of gold nanoparticles in tobacco (Nicotiana xanthi) seedlings. Nanotoxicology 6: 353-360.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch
    Tseng, M., L. Xioquin, D. Xiaoxain, S. Hardas, R. Sultana, P. Wu, J. M. Unrine*, U. Graham, A. Butterfield, E. A. Grulke, and R. Yokel. 2012. Alteration of hepatic structure and oxidative stress induced by intravenous nanoceria. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 260: 173-182.
    Tsyusko, O. V., S. S. Harda, W. A. Shoults-Wilson, C. P. Starnes, C.P., G. Joice, D. A. Butterfield, and J. M. Unrine. 2012. Short-term molecular-level effects of silver nanoparticle exposure on the earthworm, Eisenia Fetida. Environmental Pollution 171: 249-255.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Olga Tsyusko
    Tsyusko, Olga; Unrine, Jason; Spurgeon, David; Blalock, Eric; Starnes, Daniel; Tseng, Michael; Joice, Greg; Bertsch, Paul. 2012. Toxicogenomic Responses of the Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans to Gold Nanoparticles. Environmental Science and Technology 46:5115-4124.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Olga Tsyusko Daniel Starnes
    Unrine, J. M., B. P. Coleman, A. J. Bone, A. P. Gondikas, and C. W. Matson. 2012. Biotic and abiotic interactions in aquatic microcosms determine fate and toxicity of ag nanoparticles: Part 1 - Aggregation and dissolution. Environmental Science and Technology 46: 6915-6924.
    Unrine, J. M., W. A. Shoults-Wilson, O. Zhurbick, P. M. Bertsch, and O. V. Tsusko. 2012. Trophic transfer of Au nanoparticles from soil along a simulated terrestrial food chain. Environmental Science and Technology 46: 9753-9760.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Olga Tsyusko
    Von der Kammer, F., P. Ferguson, P. A. Holden, A. Masion, K. R. Rogers, S. J. Klaine, A. A. Koelmans, N. Horne, and J. M. Unrine*. 2012. Analysis of engineered nanomaterials in complex matrices (environmental and biota): General considerations and conceptual case studies. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31: 32-49.
    Yang, Z., Unrine, J., Nonaka, K., & Van Lanen, S. G. 2012. Fe(II)-dependent, uridine-5’-monophosphate:a-ketoglutarate dioxygenases in the synthesis of 5’-modified nucleosides. Methods in Enzymology 512: 153-167.
    Yokel RA, Au TC, MacPhail R, Hardas SS, Butterfield DA, Sultana R, Goodman M, Tseng MT, Dan M, Haghnazar H, Unrine JM, Graham UM, Wu P, Grulke EA. 2012. Distribution, elimination and biopersistence to 90 days of a systemically-introduced 30 nm ceria engineered nanomaterial in rats. Toxicological Sciences 127: 256-268.
    Yokel RA; Tseng MT; Dan M; Unrine JM; Graham UM; Wu P; Grulke EA. 2012. Biodistribution and biopersistence of ceria engineered nanomaterials: Size dependence. Nanomedicine 9: 398-407.
    Antonious G.F., S.O. Dennis, J.M. Unrine, and J.C. Snyder 2011. Ascorbic acid, β-carotene, sugars, phenols, and heavy metals in sweet potatoes grown in soil fertilized with municipal sewage sludge. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B 46:112-121.
    Bergeron, C.M., W. Hopkins, B. Todd, M. Hepner, and J.M. Unrine. 2011. Interactive effects of maternal and dietary mercury exposure have latent and lethal consequences for amphibian larvae. Environmental Science and Technology 45:3781-3787.
    C. M. Bergeron, W. A. Hopkins, C. M. Bodinof, S. A. Budischak, H. Wada, and J. M. Unrine 2011. Counterbalancing effects of maternal mercury exposure during different stages of early ontogeny. Science of the Total Environment 409:4746-4752.
    Kirschling, T.L., P.L. Golas, J.M. Unrine, K. Matyjaszewski, K.B. Gregory, G.V. Lowry, and R.D. Tilton. 2011. K.B. Gregory, G.V. Lowry, and R.D. Tilton. Microbial bioavailability of covalently bound polymer coatings on model engineered nanomaterials. Environmental Science and Technology 44:3474-3480.
    Ma, H., N.J. Kabengi, P.M. Bertsch, J.M. Unrine, T.C. Glenn, and P.L. Williams. 2011. Comparative phototoxicity of nanoparticulate ZnO and bulk ZnO to a free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: The importance of illumination mode and primary particle size. Environmental Pollution 159:1473-1480.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch
    Nancy Johnson, Brent J. Shelton, Claudia Hopenhayn,Thomas T. Tucker, Jason M. Unrine, Bin Huang, W. Jay Christian, Zhuo Zhang, Xianglin Shi, Li Li 2011. Arsenic, chromium and nickel in toenail samples from Appalachian Kentucky residents. Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology 30: 213-223.
    Shoults-Wilson WA, Reinsch BC, Tsyusko OV, Bertsch PM, Lowry GV, Unrine JM. 2011. Toxicity of silver nanoparticles to the earthworm (Eisenia fetida): The role of particle size and soil type. Journal of the Soil Science Society of America 75: 365-377.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Olga Tsyusko
    Shoults-Wilson, W.A., B.C. Reinsch, O.V. Tsyusko, P.M. Bertsch, G.V. Lowry, and J.M. Unrine. 2011. Role of particle surface coating for bioaccumulation and reproductive toxicity of silver in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) exposed to silver nanoparticles. Nanotoxicology 5(3):432- 444.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Olga Tsyusko
    Shoults-Wilson, W.A., O.I. Zurbich, D.H. McNear, O.V. Tsyusko, P.M. Bertsch, and J.M. Unrine. 2011. Evidence for avoidance of Ag nanoparticles by earthworms (Eisenia fetida). Ecotoxicology 20:385-396.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Dave McNear Paul Bertsch Olga Tsyusko
    Yang, Z., X. Chi, M. Funabashi, S. Bab, K. Nonaka, P. Pallab, J.M. Unrine, J.M. Jacobsen, G.I. Elliot, J. Rohr, and S.G. Van Lanen. 2011. Characterization of LipL as a non-heme, Fe(II)-dependent α-ketoglutarate:UMP dioxygenase that generates uridine-5’-aldehyde during A-90289 biosynthesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286:7885-7892.
    Unrine, J.M., S.E. Hunyadi, O.V. Tsyusko, W. Rao, W.A. Shoults-Wilson, and P.M. Bertsch. 2010. Evidence for Bioavailability of Au Nanoparticles from Soil and Biodistribution within Earthworms (Eisenia fetida). Environmental Science Technology 44:8308–8313. Published online: doi: 10.1021/es101885w.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Olga Tsyusko
    Bergeron, C.M., Bodinof, C.M., Unrine J.M., Hopkins, WA 2010. Bioaccumulation and maternal transfer of mercury and selenium in amphibians Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 29: 989-997
    Hardas, S.S., Butterfield, D.A., Sultana, R., Tseng, M.T., Dan, M, Florence, R.L., Unrine, J.M., Graham, U.M, Wu, P, Grulke, E.A, Yokel, R.A. 2010. Brain distribution and toxicological evaluation of a systemically delivered engineered nanoscale ceria. Toxicological Sciences 116(2): 562-576. DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfq137
    Shoults-Wilson, W, Unrine, J, Rickard, J, Black, MC. 2010. Comparison of trace element concentrations in Corbicula fluminea and Elliptio hopetonensis in the Altamaha River System Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 29: 2026-2033. DOI 10.1002/etc.235
    Unrine, J.M., Tsyusko, O.V., Hunyadi, S.E., Judy, J.D. and Bertsch, P.M 2010. Effects of particle size on chemical speciation and bioavailability of Cu to earthworms (Eisenia fetida) exposed to Cu nanoparticles Journal of Environmental Quality 39:1942-1953. DOI 10.2134/jeq2009.0387
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Jonathan Judy Jonathan Judy Olga Tsyusko
    Shoults-Wilson, W., J.T. Peterson, J.M. Unrine, J. Rickard, and M.C. Black. 2009. The Asian clam Corbicula fluminea as a biomonitor of trace element contamination: Accounting for natural variation when identifying anthropogenic sources. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28:2224-2232.
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine William Shoults-Wilson
    Yokel, RA, Florence, RL, Unrine, JM, Tseng, MT, Graham, UM, Sultana, R, Hardis, SS, Butterfield, DA , Wu, P, Grulke,EA 2009. Biodistribution and oxidative stress effects of a systemically-introduced commercial ceria engineered nanomaterial Nanotoxicology 3: 234-238
    Hopkins W, Hopkins L, Unrine J, Snodgrass J, Elliot J. 2007. Mercury concentrations in tissues of osprey from the coastal Carolinas, USA. Journal of Wildlife Management 71(6):1819-1829.
    Peterson, JD, MB Wood, WA Hopkins, JM. Unrine, and MT Mendonça. 2007. Prevalence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in American bullfrog and southern leopard frog larvae from wetlands on the Savannah River Site, South Carolina. Journal of Wildlife Diseases: 43(3): 450-460.
    Unrine J.M., B.P. Jackson, W.A. Hopkins. 2007. Selenomethioinine biotransformation and incorporation into proteins along simulated terrestrial food chain. Environmental Science and Technology 41: 3601-3606.
    Unrine, J.M., W.A. Hopkins, B.P. Jackson, C.S. Romanek. 2007. Bioaccumulation of trace elements in omnivorous amphibian larvae: Implications for amphibian health and contaminant transport. Environmental Pollution 149(2): 182-192.
    Roe JH, Hopkins WA, DuRant SE, Unrine JM. 2006. Effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors on recruitment and life history characteristics of salamanders developing in temporary wetlands. Aquatic Toxicology 79: 176-184.
    Unrine, J.M., B.P. Jackson, W.A. Hopkins, C.S. Romanek. 2006. Isolation and partial characterization of proteins involved in maternal transfer of selenium in the western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 25(7): 1864-1867.
    Unrine, J.M., C.H. Jagoe, A.C. Brinton, H.A. Brant, N.T. Garvin. 2005. Dietary mercury exposure and bioaccumulation in amphibian larvae inhabiting Carolina bay wetlands. Environmental Pollution 135(2): 245-253.
    Unrine, J.M., and C.H. Jagoe. 2004. Dietary mercury exposure and bioaccumulation in southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala) larvae. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 23(12): 2956-2963.
    Unrine, J.M., C.H. Jagoe, W.A. Hopkins, and H.A. Brant. 2004. Adverse effects of ecologically relevant dietary mercury exposure in southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala) larvae. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 23(12):2964-2970.
    Anderson, P, M. Dourson, J. Unrine, J. Sheeshka, E. Murkin, and J. Stober 2002. Framework and case studies Comments on Toxicology 8(4-6): 431-502.
    Dourson, M., P. Price, and J. Unrine 2002. Health risks from eating contaminated fish. Comments on Toxicology 8(4-6): 399-419.
    Zhao, Q., J. Unrine, and M. Dourson 1999. Replacing the default values of 10 with data-derived values: A comparison of two data-derived uncertainty factors for boron Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 5(5): 973-983

    Proceedings Publications

    Unrine, J., Collin, B., and Warner, R. 2013. Selenium concentrations and solid-state chemical speciation in black shale associated with a western Virginia coal seam. Environmental Considerations in Energy Productions, J. Craynon, ed., p. 438-442.
    Jason Unrine, Aaron Shoults-Wilson, Brian Reinsch, Olga Tsyusko, Greg Lowry, Paul Bertsch 2010. Using μ-XRF and XAS to characterize the fate and bioavailability of manufactured nanoparticles in soil. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74(11-S1); A1066
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Olga Tsyusko
    Yokel, R. A.; Florence, R. L.; Unrine, J. M.; Tseng, M. T.; Graham, U. M.; Sultana, R.; Butterfield, D. A.; Wu, P.; Grulke, E. 2009. Biodistribution and toxicity of systemically-introduced ceria engineered nanomaterial. Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society 237.
    Unrine JM, Bertsch PM, Hunyadi SE, Ma HB, Newman LA, Williams PL. 2008. Spatial distribution and speciation of Au and Zn in terrestrial organisms exposed to Au and ZnO nanoparticles. Abstr Pap Am Chem Soc 235:81-ENVR
    Authors in PSS Dept.: Jason M. Unrine Paul Bertsch Olga Tsyusko
    Jackson, B.P., W.A. Hopkins, J. Unrine, J. Baionno, and T. Punshon. 2005. Selenium speciation in amphibian larvae developing in a coal fly ash settling basin. In, Plasma source mass spectrometry, current trends and future developments. Holland, J.G. and Bandura D.R. Eds. The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK. pp.225-234. Special Publication No. 301.
    Unrine JM, Jagoe CH 2004. Dietary mercury exposure and bioaccumulation in larvae of the southern leopard frog, Rana sphenocephala Rana sphenocephala. RMZ-Materials and Geoenvironment 51(2): 1418-1421.
    Unrine, J. M., C. H. Jagoe, W. A. Hopkins and H. A. Brant 2004. Adverse effects of environmentally relevant dietary mercury exposure in larvae of the southern leopard frog, Rana sphenocephala. RMZ-Materials and Geoenvironment 51(2): 1422-1425.

    Other Research Publications

    Ralston, N., Unrine, J. Wallschläger, D. 2008. Biogeochemistry and analysis of selenium and its species. A report prepared for the North American Metals Council.
    Anderson, P., D. Cartledge, M. Daviglus, M. Dourson, B. Knuth, E. Murkin, J Patterson, J Sheeshka, J. Stober, and J. Unrine. 1999. Comparative Dietary Risks: Balancing the Risks and Benefits of Fish Consumption. Results of a cooperative agreement between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment. Cincinnati, OH.
    Dollarhide, J., M. Dourson, A. Maier, and J. Unrine 1999. Utility Emissions and the Toxic Release Inventory. A report prepared for Cinergy Inc. by Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment. Cincinnati, OH.