Dr. Alvina Mehinto


Dr. Alvina Mehinto is the head of the Toxicology Department at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), where she oversees a variety of projects related to molecular toxicology, traditional toxicity testing, and ecological risk assessment. Her research focuses on the linkage between exposure to specific stressors (e.g. emerging contaminants, plastics) and effects on health of aquatic organisms, and on the development of molecular screening assays – namely bioanalytical tools and RNA-based biomarkers - for monitoring the impact of chemical stressors in fresh- and coastal waters, recycled waters, and sediment.

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. She joined SCCWRP in February 2013.


Ph.D., biological sciences, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 2010

B.S., marine biology, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, 2005

Professional Experience

Head Scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. 2020-present

Principal Scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. 2019-2020

Senior Scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. 2016-2019

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

National Water Research Institute’s Bioanalytical Implementation Advisory Group, ex officio member (2019-present)

Co-Secretary, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Southern California Chapter. 2018-present

Editorial Board, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 2017-present

Reviewer for Chemosphere, Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Pollution. 2014-present

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.C. Bioanalytical tools for water quality monitoring: Assessing emerging contaminants in recycled and ambient waters. American Water Works Association California-Nevada Section Annual Fall Conference. October 23, 2019. San Diego, CA.

Mehinto A.C., Maruya K.A. Pilot testing cell-based receptor assays to screen for emerging contaminants and assess risks in aquatic ecosystems. SETAC North America Focused Topic Meeting on High-throughput Screening and Environmental Risk Assessment. April 16-18, 2018. Durham, NC.

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., 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., 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.


Journal Articles

Major, K.M., B.M. DeCourten, J. Li, M. Britton, M.L. Settles, A.C. Mehinto, R.E. Connon, S.M. Brander. 2020. Early Life Exposure to Environmentally Relevant Levels of Endocrine Disruptors Drive Multigenerational and Transgenerational Epigenetic Changes in a Fish Model. Frontiers in Marine Science DOI:10.3389/fmars.2020.00471.

Martyniuk, C.J., A.C. Mehinto, N.D. Denslow. 2020. Organochlorine pesticides: Agrochemicals with potent endocrinedisrupting properties in fish. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology DOI:10.1016/j.mce.2020.110764.

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.

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.

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. 2014. Transcriptomic Effects-Based Monitoring for Endocrine Active Chemicals: Assessing Relative Contribution of Treated Wastewater to Downstream Pollution. Environmental Science and Technology 48:2385-2394.

Mehinto, A.C., C.J. Martyniuk, D.J. Spade, and N.D. Denslow. 2012. Applications for next-generation sequencing in fish ecotoxicogenomics. Frontiers in Genetics 3:62.

Lorenzi, V., A.C. Mehinto, N.D. Denslow, and D. Schlenk. 2012. Effects of exposure to the β-blocker propanolol on the reproductive behavior and gene expression of the fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas. Aquatic Toxicology 116-117:8-15.

Sellin-Jeffries, .M.K., A.C. Mehinto, B. Carter, N.D. Denslow, and A.S. Kolok. 2012. Taking microarrays to the field: Differential hepatic gene expression of caged fathead minnows from Nebraska watersheds. Environmental Science and Technology 46:1877-1885.

Huang, T., H.V. Deoghare, B.K. Smith, T.M. Beaver, H.V. Baker, A.C. Mehinto, and D.A. Martin. 2011. Gene expression changes in the human diaphragm following cardiothoracic surgery. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 142:1214-1222.

Mehinto, A.C., E.M. Hill, and C.R. Tyler. 2010. Uptake and biological effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical diclofenac in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Environmental Science and Technology 44:2176-2182.

Technical Reports

Maruya, K.A., A.C. Mehinto, W. Lao, R. Sutton, T. Jabusch, J. Sun, D. Lin, J. Davis, R. Fadness. 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.