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Damian Shea

Professor of Environmental Toxicology

NC State University

Department of Biological Sciences


His research interests include the detection, sources, behavior, and adverse effects of chemicals in the environment, with the goal of improving our ability to assess human and ecological risks associated with exposure to chemicals. He has been at the forefront of the development of passive sampling devices for measuring chronic and bioavailable exposure in aquatic and soil systems. He has directed the research of 19 PhD and 7 MS students in these areas. He regularly teaches graduate level courses and workshops on the fate, analysis, and risk assessment of chemicals in the environment and has written textbook chapters on these subjects.
Dr. Shea has served on science and education advisory committees for numerous US and International Organizations related to Health and Environment including US Environmental Protection Agency, National Institutes of Health, Minerals Management Service, US Geological Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Agency for International Development, the World Health Organization and the United Nations and has served on grant review panels for these and other funding agencies. He provides peer review of approximately 10 publications per year for scientific journals and has served as a peer reviewer for technical documents for EPA, CDC, NIH, MMS, USGS, USFWS, and others. Dr. Shea has extensive teaching and training experience, having taught courses in first-year and advanced chemistry, environmental chemistry, environmental science, analytical chemistry, marine and aquatic chemistry, environmental toxicology, and risk assessment. Dr. Shea has made over 200 scientific presentations at various institutions and scientific meetings. He has served as a consultant to government and private industry, including expert witness testimony in local and federal court on chemical exposure, risk assessment, and environmental liability allocation.
Dr. Shea also has extensive experience in scientific organizational management and an outstanding record establishing, organizing and managing large and diverse scientific and academic units, including laboratory and large environmental program management in the private sector while he was at Battelle and leading academic departments and major research initiatives at NCSU. From 2001-2006 Dr. Shea served as Head of the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology and since 2006 as Head of the Department of Biology. Among many large interdisciplinary research and science education projects he has led, he currently is the Principal Investigator of the new Department of Interior Southeast Climate Science Center and the Project Director of the new Howard Hughes Medical Institute project for undergraduate science education.

Area(s) of Expertise

Dr. Shea has over 25 years of experience studying and educating others on the fate and effects of wastes and contaminants in the environment. He has developed and implemented procedures to collect and analyze environmental samples for trace levels of chemicals, supervised the sample collection, laboratory analysis, and data interpretation of over 100,000 water, sediment and biota samples, and developed models of the fate and bioaccumulation of contaminants in the environment. He has operated a GLP-certified laboratory at NCSU for the IR-4 program for minor use pesticides. He also has led and managed dozens of investigations at contaminated sites and has served as PI or Co-PI on over 25 federal agency academic research grants.