Environmental exposure on ovarian function – Dr Aileen Keating, Professor, Iowa State University, USA

This talk will cover:
• Toxicity depends on ovarian target.
• Obesity and metabolic alteration can affect ovotoxicity.
• Toxicant effects can be permanent or temporary.

Dr Aileen Keating is a professor in the Department of Animal Science and the Equity Advisor for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. She received her doctorate in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2003. She is author or co-author of 80 peer-reviewed articles and nine book chapters. She serves on the board of directors for the Society for the Study of Reproduction and has served from 2016-2021 as the vice-president elect to past-president of the Society of Toxicology Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Specialty Section. Her research investigates: 1) mechanisms by which ovotoxicants compromise ovarian function; 2) ovarian protective responses to ovotoxic xenobiotic exposures; and 3) ovarian biotransformation processes that contribute to ovotoxicity. Her ultimate aim is to minimize female reproductive dysfunction that is a consequence of ovotoxic chemical exposures.

The nutritional antecedents of poor pregnancy outcome in young adolescents: temporary setback or lifetime consequences? Dr Jacqueline Wallace, Principal Investigator, Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, UK

This talk will cover:
• How both the over and undersupply of nutrients to young still-growing adolescent mothers differentially impacts the key indices of pregnancy outcome.
• The central role that poor placental growth and vascular development plays in limiting fetal growth and metabolism in overnourished adolescent pregnancies.
• The likelihood of being able to safely manipulate growth velocity in utero in growth-restricted pregnancies.
• Whether prenatal growth restriction represents a temporary setback or is likely to have lifelong consequences.

Dr Jacqueline Wallace is a principal investigator at the Rowett Institute. Her research focuses on how early-life nutrition impacts fetal growth and development, and the consequences for offspring health throughout the life-course. This has involved ovine paradigms that mimic the poor outcomes associated with pregnancy in young still-growing adolescents – the subject of the presentation at this meeting, mining pregnancy databases, and most recently conducting human intervention studies on the prenatal nutritional programming of infant taste preferences. This research effort has generated in excess of 100 peer reviewed publications and ultimately aims to produce evidence-based guidance to optimise maternal and offspring health.

A new recipe for southern white rhino breeding success? Christopher Tubbs, Associate Director Reproductive Sciences, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, California, USA

Dr Christopher Tubbs serves San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as Associate Director of Reproductive Sciences. Chris is interested in how environmental chemicals affect reproduction of endangered species. His research focuses on developing in vitro methods to measure interactions between environmental chemicals and the hormone receptors that regulate endocrine function.

He is currently using this approach in the lab to examine the role of dietary phytoestrogens in the poor reproductive success of captive-born southern white rhinos. Another project is investigating contaminants such as DDT and PCBs and how they affect reproduction of coastal-dwelling California condors.

Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Florida and his doctorate from the University of Texas, Austin, Marine Science Institute, where he studied the mechanisms by which hormones influence fish sperm motility.