Richard T Di Giulio

Richard T. Di Giulio

Professor of Environmental Toxicology

Dr. Di Giulio serves as Director of Duke University's Integrated Toxicology Program and the Superfund Basic Research Center. Dr. Di Giulio's research is concerned with basic studies of mechanisms of contaminant metabolism, adaptation and toxicity, and with the development of mechanistically-based indices of exposure and toxicity that can be employed in biomonitoring. The long term goals of this research are to bridge the gap between mechanistic toxicological research and the development of useful tools for environmental assessment, and to elucidate linkages between human and ecosystem health. The bulk of Dr. Di Giulio's work employs a comparative approach with aquatic animals, particularly fishes, as models. Of particular concern are mechanisms of oxidative metabolism of aromatic hydrocarbons, mechanisms of free radical production and antioxidant defense, and mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis, developmental perturbations and adaptations to contaminated environments by fishes.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Environmental Toxicology
  • Interim Chair of the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division
  • Professor
  • Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information

  • Office Location: A346B Lev Sci Res Ctr, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 613-8024
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. Virginia Polytech Institute and State University, 1982
  • M.S. Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, 1978
  • B.A. University of Texas at Austin, 1972


environmental toxicology
environmental genomics
environmental health
estuarine ecosystems
marine biomedicine
water quality

Courses Taught

  • ENVIRON 360: Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
  • ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 394: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 501: Environmental Toxicology
  • ENVIRON 537: Environmental Health
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 999: Duke Environmental Leadership: Master's Project

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Pitt, JA; Kozal, JS; Jayasundara, N; Massarsky, A; Trevisan, R; Geitner, N; Wiesner, M; Levin, ED; Di Giulio, RT, Uptake, tissue distribution, and toxicity of polystyrene nanoparticles in developing zebrafish (Danio rerio)., Aquatic Toxicology, vol 194 (2018), pp. 185-194 [10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.11.017] [abs].
  • Brown, DR; Thompson, J; Chernick, M; Hinton, DE; Di Giulio, RT, Later life swimming performance and persistent heart damage following subteratogenic PAH mixture exposure in the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus)., Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, vol 36 no. 12 (2017), pp. 3246-3253 [10.1002/etc.3877] [abs].
  • Mu, J; Chernick, M; Dong, W; Di Giulio, RT; Hinton, DE, Early life co-exposures to a real-world PAH mixture and hypoxia result in later life and next generation consequences in medaka (Oryzias latipes)., Aquatic Toxicology, vol 190 (2017), pp. 162-173 [10.1016/j.aquatox.2017.06.026] [abs].
  • Yang, Y; Chen, B; Hower, J; Schindler, M; Winkler, C; Brandt, J; Di Giulio, R; Ge, J; Liu, M; Fu, Y; Zhang, L; Chen, Y; Priya, S; Hochella, MF, Discovery and ramifications of incidental Magnéli phase generation and release from industrial coal-burning., Nature Communications, vol 8 no. 1 (2017) [10.1038/s41467-017-00276-2] [abs].
  • Jayasundara, N; Fernando, PW; Osterberg, JS; Cammen, KM; Schultz, TF; Di Giulio, RT, Cost of Tolerance: Physiological Consequences of Evolved Resistance to Inhabit a Polluted Environment in Teleost Fish Fundulus heteroclitus., Environmental Science & Technology, vol 51 no. 15 (2017), pp. 8763-8772 [10.1021/acs.est.7b01913] [abs].

Additional Information