Environmental and Social Effects of Agrochemical Use in Taichung, Taiwan

Summer 2016

Kimberlie Le : Legal Studies, Molecular Toxicology, Society + Environment

Mentor: Prof Vincent Resh

My research is an interdisciplinary study of the effects of agrochemicals on river ecosystems.  I will be travelling the Taichung, Taiwan to conduct my study in an area which predominately farms various fruits and vegetables. I'm interested in looking at the environmental effects of the agriculture on river ecosystems by performing bioassement arrays and looking at macroinvertebrate concentration as well as water sample analysis for pesticides. To piece together my project, I will also be tracing a history of farming practices in Taiwan too see how they have changed due to the agrochemical revolution and to see why and how many public health issues such as excess chemical residue in food and other problems related to pesticide usage have arisen in the past fourty years. I hope with my study to be able to raise additional awareness to these problems in efforts to be able to find meaninful solutions and monitoring protocols for environemental and human health. 

Participating in SURF and having the chance to conduct my research gives me a lot of hope in the future of environmental science research. More often than not a lot of resources get put into the innovation of new agrochemicals with little being put into testing it's real world impacts. I'm really grateful to be able to travel to a new country and hopefully make some impact with my study as well as having a chance at continuing my research at a graduate level. I'm learning a lot from my experience so far in the field and in the lab and it has been eye opening to be able to interact with another culture while doing research that I'm extremely passionate about. Thank you!!