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Dennis Lemly

Research Fisheries Biologist (USDA) and Research Associate Professor of Biology (WFU)
USDA-Forest Service and Wake Forest University

Areas of Expertise:


Dennis Lemly holds a dual appointment as Research Fisheries Biologist in the U.S. Forest Service and Research Associate Professor of Biology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. His work centers on pollution issues related to fossil fuel use. He specializes in the ecotoxicology of selenium, a trace element pollutant associated with coal mining and coal combustion waste (coal ash), and agricultural irrigation. He has over 35 years of research experience with this environmental contaminant, and has conducted intensive investigations of numerous cases of selenium pollution, including Belews Lake, North Carolina, where 19 species of fish were eliminated by coal ash wastewater, and Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, California, where thousands of aquatic birds were poisoned by irrigation drainage. Dr. Lemly has published 47 research articles on fossil fuel-related selenium toxicity to fish and wildlife, as well as the 2002 reference book Selenium Assessment in Aquatic Ecosystems. He has consulted on selenium pollution issues ranging from power plant waste in Australia to mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia. He has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology from Wake Forest University.

Recent Publications:

Lemly, A.D. 2008. Aquatic hazard of selenium pollution from coal mining. Chapter 6 (Pages 167-183) in G.B. Fosdyke (editor). Coal Mining: Research, Technology, and Safety. Nova Science Publishers, New York, NY. Palmer, M.A., E.S. Bernhardt, W.S. Schlesinger, K.N. Eshleman, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, M.S. Hendryx, A.D. Lemly, G.E. Likens, O.L. Loucks, M.E. Power, P.S. White, and P.R. Wilcock. 2010. Mountaintop mining consequences. Science 327: 148-149. Lemly, A.D. and J.P. Skorupa. 2012. Wildlife and the coal waste policy debate: Proposed rules for coal waste disposal ignore lessons from 45 years of wildlife poisoning. Environmental Science and Technology 46: 8595-8600.rnrnLemly, A.D. 2014. Teratogenic effects and monetary cost of selenium poisoning of fish in Lake Sutton, North Carolina. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 104: 160-167. Lemly, A.D. 2014. An urgent need for an EPA standard for disposal of coal ash. Environmental Pollution 191: 253-255. Lemly, A.D. 2015. Damage cost of the Dan River coal ash spill. Environmental Pollution 197: 55-61.

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