Forever chemicals & their impact on wetland snakes with Dr Damian Lettoof

Dr Damian Lettoof is a Postdoctoral fellow at CSIRO and loves snakes. Returning for this second Ocean Protect Podcast appearance, we chat about Damian's new research that has found tiger snakes in Perth’s urban wetlands are accumulating high levels of chemical substances from ingesting PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), impacting the venomous reptiles’ overall health. The research, jointly led by Curtin University, Australia’s National Science Agency CSIRO and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, tested tiger snake livers to better understand the impact of PFAS, which is commonly found in firefighting foam, water repellent clothing, and food packaging.

Useful links:

  • Damian on LinkedIn:
  • Bioaccumulation and metabolic impact of environmental PFAS residue on wild-caught urban wetland tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus) (here)
  • Inside Water article Forever chemicals impacting tiger snakes across Perth (here)
  • Curtin University News article Harmful substances impacting tiger snakes across Perth, study finds (here)
  • Previous Ocean Protect Episode Snakes as a bioindicator of wetland pollution with Damian Lettoof (Season 3, Episode 1)


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