Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Philosophy in Biomolecular Sciences



Major Advisor

Luke Montrose, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Cheryl Jorcyk, Ph.D.


Lisa Warner, Ph.D.


Alison Bernstein, Ph.D.


Wildfire smoke (WFS) exposure is becoming a frequent global problem as more intense fire seasons occur each year with warmer and drier climates. Still, little is known about the specific effects elicited when WFS exposure occurs, especially in body systems outside of the lung and heart. Here, I will discuss the classic associations that have been made between WFS exposure and cardiopulmonary health effects before sharing novel work which suggests changes in male reproductive and central nervous systems. Then, I will emphasize the importance of monitoring the air quality within laboratory animal facilities by presenting data characterizing the ability of ambient WFS to penetrate a vivarium structure, significantly influencing indoor air quality during major fire events. Next, I will profile the DNA methylation phenotype of male mouse germ cells following an occupationally relevant whole-body simulated WFS exposure. Lastly, I will present data which demonstrates neuroinflammation and neuroendocrine disruption following passive WFS exposure, as well as acute and chronic high dose simulated WFS exposure. Together, these findings begin to elucidate the mechanism which might underlie WFS-induced changes in the central nervous system and/or reproductive tissues. Finally, this work will be contextualized with regard to the greater body of literature in environmental toxicology, including how the data presented here may inform future efforts to advance our understanding of WFS effects on public and occupational health.


Adam J. Schuller, ORCID:


Available for download on Thursday, May 01, 2025

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