Dr. Alvina Mehinto

Molecular Toxicologist

Alvina Mehinto is a molecular toxicologist specializing in the environmental impact of natural and man-made contaminants on aquatic organisms especially fish. She received her B.S. in marine biology from the University of Portsmouth in 2005 and Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Exeter in 2010. Dr. Mehinto joined SCCWRP in February 2013. Her present work focuses on the development of molecular indicators of exposure and effects for ecologically relevant species.


Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 2010

B.S., Marine Biology, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, 2005

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Mehinto specializes in toxicogenomics analyses of aquatic organisms exposed to environmental contaminants. Her current research is on the development of molecular toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) methods to improve water and sediment quality assessment. She also works with the Chemistry Department to develop in vitro bioassays for monitoring of chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in aquatic ecosystems.

Skills and training include toxicogenomics analyses, aquatic toxicity testing, bioanalytical screening and LC-MS based metabolomics. Prior to joining SCCWRP, her postdoctoral research focused on the development of microarrays to assess the transcriptomic responses of non-model fish species exposed to natural and man-made chemicals.

Professional Experience

Senior scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. 2016-present

Scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. 2013-2016

Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Berkeley. Berkeley, CA. 2012

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Florida. Gainesville FL. 2010-2012

Camp Instructor, CAP Monde. Louveciennes France. 2010

Visiting PhD Student, University of Sussex. Falmer, United Kingdom. 2008

Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Exeter. United Kingdom. 2005-2009

Professional Appointments

Board Member, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Southern California Chapter (2017-Present)

Editorial Board, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2017-Present)

Reviewer for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Chemosphere, Aquatic Toxicology, Environmental Science and Technology (2014- )

Honors and Awards

KC Donnelly Externship Award, NIEHS Superfund Research Program (2011)

CVM Spring Faculty Research Grant, University of Florida (2011)

SfAM President’s Fund Award (2008)

Student Travel Grant, Society for General Microbiology (2008)

Student Travel Grant, Society for General Microbiology (2007)

Wiley-Steentoft Prize for Marine Biology, University of Portsmouth (2005)

Professional Societies and Certifications

Society of Toxicology

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Selected Presentations and Conference Proceedings

Mehinto A. 2017. Linking bioanalytical methods to biological effects. State Water Board Workshop on Constituents of Emerging Concern and Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring. May 1, 2017. Sacramento, CA, USA.

Mehinto A. 2017. New bioanalytical screening tools to monitor constituents of emerging concern. California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region, April 12, 2017. San Diego, CA.

Mehinto A.C. VanDervort D., Kroll K., Bay S., Denslow N., Maruya K. 2016. Cell-based receptor assays to screen for endocrine disrupting chemicals and infer toxicity in California waters. Oral presentation at 37th North American Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Conference, Orlando, FL.

Mehinto A.C, Jayasinghe B.S., Kroll K., Bay S., Maruya K., Denslow N. 2014. Linkages between in vitro assays, molecular biomarkers and traditional toxicity endpoints using the inland silverside Menidia beryllina. Oral presentation at 35th North American Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Mehinto A.C. 2014. Development of in vitro and in vivo bioassays for environmental monitoring and assessment. Invited speaker at Scripps OHH Conference, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Mehinto, A.C., B. Gaytan, R.C. Colli-Dula, V. DeLa Rosa, C. Vulpe, and N.D. Denslow. 2012. Comparative toxicogenomic analyses to elucidate the mechanisms of toxicity of SRP chemicals. Invited speaker at the 25th Annual Superfund Research Program Conference. Raleigh, NC.

Mehinto, A.C., D. Martinovic-Weigelt, and N.D. Denslow. 2012. Estrogenic contribution of wastewater effluent and its impact of fish transcriptomic profile. Presented at the 7th International Symposium on Fish Endocrinology. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Mehinto, A.C., K.J. Kroll, D.S. Barber, and N.D. Denslow. 2011. Assessment of cadmium toxicity in the liver and gonads of adult largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) using microarrays. Presented at the SETAC 32nd North American Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Conference. Boston, MA.

Mehinto, A.C., R.C. Colli-Dula, K.J. Kroll, C. Vulpe, D.S. Barber, and N.D. Denslow. 2011. Investigating the mechanisms of toxicity induced by cadmium, benzene and trichloroethylene in largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) using microarrays. Presented at the 24th Annual Superfund Research Program Conference. Lexington, KY.

Mehinto, A.C., K.J. Kroll, A. Cuenca-Navarro, R.C. Colli-Dula, D.S. Barber, and N.D. Denslow. 2011. Genomic responses of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) to cadmium at low dose. Presented at PRIMO 16: Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms. Long Beach, CA.

Mehinto, A.C., H.E. Elks, E.M. Hill, S.K. Burton, and H.M. Lappin-Scott. 2008. Fate of human pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment: biodegradation and toxicity on aquatic microbes. Presented at the Society for General Microbiology Spring Meeting. Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Mehinto, A.C., E.M. Hill, S.K. Burton, and H.M. Lappin-Scott. 2008. Ecotoxicity and biodegradability of the pharmaceutical diclofenac in the aquatic environment. Presented at the 12th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology. Cairns, Australia.

Mehinto, A.C., S.K. Burton, E.M. Hill, C.R. Tyler, and H.M. Lappin-Scott. 2007. Pharmaceuticals in the environment: toxicity on aquatic microbes. Presented at the Society for General Microbiology 160th Meeting. Manchester, United Kingdom.


Journal Articles

Mehinto, A.C., K.J. Kroll, B.S. Jayasinghe, C.M. Lavelle, D. VanDervort, O.K. Adeyemo, S.M. Bay, K.A. Maruya, N.D. Denslow. 2018. Linking In Vitro Estrogenicity to Adverse Effects in the Inland Silverside (Menidia beryllina). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 37:884-892.

Martinovic-Weigelt, D., A.C. Mehinto, G.T. Ankley, J.P. Berninger, T.W. Collette, J.M. Davis, N.D. Denslow, E.J. Durhan, E. Eid, D.R. Ekman, K.M. Jensen, M.D. Kahl, C.A. LaLone, Q. Teng, D.L. VIlleneueve. 2017. Derivation and Evaluation of Putative Adverse Outcome Pathways for the Effects of Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors on Reproductive Processes in Female Fish. Toxicological Sciences 156:344-61.

Mehinto, A.C., D.R. VanDervort, W. Lao, G. He, M.S. Denison, S.M. Vliet, D.C. Volz, R.D. Mazor, K.A. Maruya. 2017. High throughput in vitro and in vivo screening of inland waters of Southern California. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts 19:1142-1149.

Vidal-Dorsch, D.E., S.M. Bay, S.L. Moore, B. Layton, A.C. Mehinto, C.D. Vulpe, M. Brown-Augustine, A. Loguinov, H. Poynton, N. Garcia-Reyero, E.J. Perkins, L. Escalon, N.D. Denslow, C.R. Colli-Dula, T. Doan, S. Shukradas, J. Bruno, L. Brown, G. Van Agglen, P. Jackman, M. Bauer. 2016. Ecotoxicogenomics: Microarray interlaboratory comparability. Chemosphere 144:193-200.

Mehinto, A.C., B.S. Jayasinghe, D.R. Vandervort, N.D. Denslow, K.A. Maruya. 2016. Screening for Endocrine Activity in Water Using Commercially-available In Vitro Transactivation Bioassays. Journal of Visualized Experiments 118:e54725.

Crago, J., E.G. Xu, A. Kupsco, F. Jia, A.C. Mehinto, W. Lao, K.A. Maruya, J. Gan, D. Schlenk. 2016. Trophic transfer and effects of DDT in male hornyhead turbot (Pleuronichthys verticalis) from Palos Verdes Superfund site, CA (USA) and comparisons to field monitoring. Environmental Pollution 213:940-948.

Mehinto, A.C., A. Jia, S.A. Snyder, B. Sumith Jayasinghe, N.D. Denslow, J. Crago, D. Schlenk, C. Menzie, S.D. Westerheide, F.D.L. Leusch, K.A. Maruya. 2015. Interlaboratory comparison of in vitro bioassays for screening of endocrine disrupting chemicals in recycled water. Water Research 83:303-309.

Martinovic-Weigelt, D., A.C. Mehinto, G.T. Ankley, N.D. Denslow, L.B. Barber, K.E. Lee, R.J. King, H.L. Schoenfuss, A.L. Schroeder, D.L. Villeneuve. 2015. Transcriptomic Effects-Based Monitoring for Endocrine Active Chemicals: Assessing Relative Contribution of Treated Wastewater to Downstream Pollution. Environmental Science and Technology 48:2385-2394.

Maruya, K.A., N.G. Dodder, A.C. Mehinto, N.D. Denslow, D. Schlenk, S.A. Snyder, S.B. Weisberg. 2015. A Tiered, Integrated Biological and Chemical Monitoring Framework for Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Aquatic Ecosystems. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 12:540-547.

Mehinto, A.C., M.S. Prucha, R.C. Colli-Dula, K.J. Kroll, C.M. Lavelle, D.S. Barber, C.D. Vulpe, N.D. Denslow. 2014. Gene networks and toxicity pathways induced by acute cadmium exposure in adult largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Aquatic Toxicology 152:186-194.

Escher, B.I., M. Allinson, R. Altenburger, P.A. Bain, P. Balaguer, W. Busch, J. Crago, N.D. Denslow, E. Dopp, K. Hilscherova, A.R. Humpage, A. Kumar, M. Grimaldi, B.S. Jayasinghe, B. Jarosova, A. Jia, S. Makarov, K.A. Maruya, A. Medvedev, A.C. Mehinto, J.E. Mendez, A. Poulsen, E. Prochazka, J. Richard, A. Schifferli, D. Schlenk, S. Scholz, F. Shiraishi, S. Snyder, G. Su, J.Y.M. Tang, B. van der Burg, S.C. van der Linden, I. Werner, S.D. Westerheide, C.K.C. Wong, M. Yang, B.H.Y. Yeung, X. Zhang, F.D.L. Leusch. 2014. Benchmarking organic micropollutants in wastewater, recycled water and drinking water with in vitro bioassays. Environmental Science and Technology 48:1940-1956.

Christiansen, H.E., A.C. Mehinto, F. Yuc, R.W. Perry, N.D. Denslow, A.G. Maule, M.G. Mesa. 2014. Correlation of gene expression and contaminant concentrations in wild largescale suckers: A field-based study. Science of the Total Environment 484:379-389.

Technical Reports

Lin, D., J. Davis, R. Fadness, K.A. Maruya, A.C. Mehinto, W. Lao, R. Sutton, T. Jabusch, J. Sun. 2018. Pilot Monitoring of Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in the Russian River Watershed (Region 1). Technical Report 1020. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Denslow, N., K. Kroll, S. Jayasinghe, O. Adeyemo, C. Lavelle, E. Li, A.C. Mehinto, S.M. Bay, K.A. Maruya. 2017. Linkage of In Vitro Assay Results With In Vivo Endpoints Final Report - Phase 1 and 2. Technical Report 983. San Francisco Estuary Institute. Richmond, CA.

Dodder, N.G., A.C. Mehinto, K.A. Maruya. 2015. Monitoring of Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in California's Aquatic Ecosystems - Pilot Study Design and QA/QC Guidance. Technical Report 854. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority. Costa Mesa, CA.