Emily Griffin, PhD candidate, UF College of Veterinary Medicine

Emily Griffin is a Ph.D. candidate in physiological sciences with a concentration in toxicology under the mentorship of Dr. John Bowden. She holds a Bachelor’s in Natural Resources Biology from Central Michigan University and Master’s in Marine Sciences from Savannah State University.

Emily’s research at UF utilizes high-resolution mass spectrometry to investigate per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) and other contaminants in the aquatic environment. At UF, Emily developed a methodology for PFAS extraction from Florida manatee blood using dried blood spot cards, offering a minimally invasive procedure for whole blood collection and analysis. Elevated PFAS concentrations were identified in manatee blood, prompting her current research exploring potential routes of exposure. Emily has collected water, sediment, and aquatic vegetation throughout coastal Florida to determine the presence and distribution of PFAS within different matrices of the manatee’s habitat to determine how, and to what extent, this herbivorous species is exposed and what the related adverse health effects may be. In addition to her research, Emily mentors undergraduate students through the University Research Scholars Program (URSP), where she guides students through project development and aides in the instruction of lipidomic analysis, PFAS extraction, and data processing.