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I head a research group focussed on chemicals in the aquatic environment, and their effects on fish. I discovered endocrine disruption in fish, caused by estrogenic chemicals entering rivers in effluents from sewage treatment works. My research group currently consists of 3 post-doctoral fellows and four Ph.D. students. Our main focus has broadened from just estrogenic chemicals, and now includes other human pharmaceuticals present in rivers, such as beta-blockers, other steroid hormones (e.g. progestogens, glucocorticoids), and anti-cancer drugs. Our research ranges from detailed molecular studies of the mechanisms of action of these chemicals through to ecological studies on fish populations.


  • 1973: First-class Honours Degree in Zoology/Marine Zoology from University College of North Wales, Bangor.
  • 1977: PhD from University College of North Wales, Bangor.
  • 1987: Elected Fellow of the Institute of Biology.
  • 1991: Awarded DSc from University of Wales
  • 2004: Made ‘Distinguished Professor’ of Brunel University


  • 1976-78: Post-doctoral Fellow at University College of North Wales, Bangor.
  • 1978-87: Lecturer in Applied Biology, Brunel University.
  • 1987-91: Reader in Department of Biology and Biochemistry, Brunel University.
  • 1991-2005: Professor in Department of Biology and Biochemistry, Brunel University, and Head of the Ecotoxicology Research Group.
  • 2001-03: Head of Department of Biological Sciences, Brunel University
  • 2004: Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, Brunel University
  • 2005-present: Professor in Institute for the Environment, Brunel University
  • 2007-2011: Head of Institute for the Environment, Brunel University.

Newest selected publications

Kugathas, S., Williams, RJ. and Sumpter, JP. (2012) 'Prediction of environmental concentrations of glucocorticoids: the River Thames, UK, as an example.'. Environ Int, 40 (1). pp. 15 - 23. ISSN: 0160-4120

Journal article

Touraud, E., Roig, B., Sumpter, JP. and Coetsier, C. (2011) 'Drug residues and endocrine disruptors in drinking water: Risk for humans?'. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYGIENE AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, 214 (6). pp. 437 - 441. ISSN: 1438-4639

Journal article

Fent, K. and Sumpter, JP. (2011) 'Progress and promises in toxicogenomics in aquatic toxicology: Is technical innovation driving scientific innovation?'. AQUATIC TOXICOLOGY, 105 (3-4 Suppl). pp. 25 - 39. ISSN: 0166-445X

Journal article

Giltrow, E., Eccles, PD., Hutchinson, TH., Sumpter, JP. and Rand-Weaver, M. (2011) 'Characterisation and expression of beta 1-, beta 2-and beta 3-adrenergic receptors in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)'. GENERAL AND COMPARATIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY, 173 (3). pp. 483 - 490. ISSN: 0016-6480 Open Access Link

Journal article

Brian, JV., Beresford, N., Margiotta-Casaluci, L. and Sumpter, JP. (2011) 'Preliminary data on the influence of rearing temperature on the growth and reproductive status of fathead minnows Pimephales promelas'. JOURNAL OF FISH BIOLOGY, 79 (1). pp. 80 - 88. ISSN: 0022-1112 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(216)