- Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University, 2020
- B.S., Biology, Saginaw Valley State University, 2016
- National and Regional chapters of Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)
- Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC New England)
Dr. Steele is a Senior Scientist in Exponent's Ecological and Biological Sciences practice. She has experience in behavioral ecology, environmental toxicology, causal analysis, and product stewardship.
Through her work, Dr. Steele has experience with the risks associated with numerous environmental pollutants, including biological, chemical, and physical stressors, and has performed evaluations of stressor effects on the physiology, behavior, and health of organisms. She has analyzed multiple behavioral responses of field collected fish and aquatic invertebrates in relation to PFAS and organic herbicide contamination at environmentally relevant concentrations.
Dr. Steele has experience assessing critical environmental toxicity information and reviewing ambient water quality criteria for industrial clients, as well as assessing toxicity test data for NPDES dischargers. She has worked with product manufactures to evaluate relevant environmental toxicology information and risk assessments for product stewardship initiatives and has evaluated literature related to a variety of organic compounds and their effects on the health of agricultural plants and wildlife. She also has experience reviewing environmental permitting requirements (e.g., CWA Sections 404, 401, and 402).
Through her research, Dr. Steele evaluated the hydrodynamics of aquatic systems and effects of anthropogenic contaminants on the physiology and behavior of aquatic organisms. She has applied data collected from these and other sources to Individual Based Modelling techniques in order to expand the understanding of anthropogenic impacts on the scale of individuals through communities. Through this work, Dr. Steele has applied a variety of statistical techniques to data from multiple levels of biological organization using R Statistical Software. Her research has worked to further understand the organismal effects of spatially and temporally dynamic contaminant exposures that occur in fluid systems. By examining exposure in laboratory, mesocosm, field, and modelling environments, Dr. Steele has related physiology and ecologically important behaviors (i.e., personality, foraging, agonistic interactions, predator-prey interactions) to the impact of anthropogenic stressors on overall health of aquatic organisms.