Richard T. Di Giulio

Research Professor of Environmental Toxicology in the Division of Environmental Science and Policy

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

  • Research Professor of Environmental Toxicology in the Division of Environmental Science and Policy

Contact Information

  • Office Location: A346b Lev Sci Res Ctr, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 613-8024
  • Email Address:


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

Courses Taught

  • ENVIRON 360D: Environmental Health: Pollutant Chemistry and Toxicology
  • ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 394: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 610: Ecotoxicology
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Trevisan, Rafael, Prabha Ranasinghe, Nishad Jayasundara, and Richard T. Di Giulio. “Nanoplastics in Aquatic Environments: Impacts on Aquatic Species and Interactions with Environmental Factors and Pollutants.” Toxics 10, no. 6 (June 2022): 326.
  • Woodyard, Megan, Beth A. Polidoro, Cole W. Matson, Ryan A. McManamay, Steven Saul, Kent E. Carpenter, Tracy K. Collier, et al. “A comprehensive petrochemical vulnerability index for marine fishes in the Gulf of Mexico.” The Science of the Total Environment 820 (May 2022): 152892.
  • Hawkey, Andrew B., Perry Piatos, Zade Holloway, Jonna Boyda, Reese Koburov, Elizabeth Fleming, Richard T. Di Giulio, and Edward D. Levin. “Embryonic exposure to benzo[a]pyrene causes age-dependent behavioral alterations and long-term metabolic dysfunction in zebrafish.” Neurotoxicol Teratol 93 (2022): 107121.
  • Boyda, Jonna, Andrew B. Hawkey, Zade R. Holloway, Rafael Trevisan, Richard T. Di Giulio, and Edward D. Levin. “The organophosphate insecticide diazinon and aging: Neurobehavioral and mitochondrial effects in zebrafish exposed as embryos or during aging.” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 87 (September 2021): 107011.
  • Redfern, Lauren K., Nishad Jayasundara, David R. Singleton, Richard T. Di Giulio, James Carlson, Susan J. Sumner, and Claudia K. Gunsch. “The role of gut microbial community and metabolomic shifts in adaptive resistance of Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.” The Science of the Total Environment 776 (July 2021): 145955.