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Tracie Baker

Principal Investigator and Director

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My Story

Dr. Baker has substantial academic training and research in developmental biology, environmental toxicology, genetics, and animal health. Her academic training has been multidisciplinary in nature with an interest in toxicology beginning as an undergraduate at Cleveland State University, where she investigated water pollution effects on zebra mussel survival and behavioral ecology. She earned her Master of Science at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks while researching genes involved in toxin production by harmful algal blooms and bacterial species. After earning her DVM (University of Wisconsin – Madison) and a certificate in fish health medicine from the State of Wisconsin, she was an assistant researcher investigating clinical improvements in fish medicine before accepting an NIEHS-funded postdoctoral position that evolved into a PhD program at UW – Madison under the mentorship of Dr. Dick Peterson.  


Her research was the first to show transgenerational inheritance of disease using a zebrafish model. In 2013, she competed successfully for an NIH K01 award through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Dr. Baker found that low level, dioxin-induced decreased fertility across multiple generations following early developmental exposure is mediated through the male germline, and has been invited to present these findings at several national and international conferences, including at several workshops hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She started her own laboratory at Wayne State University in 2016 and transitioned to a tenured Associate Professor position in the Department of Environmental and Global Health at the University of Florida in August 2021. In this time, the WATER lab has published primary articles that highlight our knowledge and skills uncovering the critical genes and epigenetic regulation underlying adverse health endpoints and provide critical insights into transgenerational, environmentally induced disease. Recent publications include the investigation of single-cell transcriptomic changes involved in EDC-induced infertility, the occurrence and effects of endocrine disruption due to environmental contaminants we measured in Detroit waterbodies, occurrence of microplastics in drinking water and the consequential impact on human health, evaluation of microbiome changes in humans and animals due to environmental contaminants, effects of lead on aging,  and the use of novel assay systems to evaluate health effects of volatile organic chemicals.  


In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her wife, children, and their two dogs, participating in open water swim events and triathlons, traveling, and being outside. 


Aquatic Pathobiology Laboratory

University of Florida
2173 Mowry Road,

Gainesville, FL, 32611

(352) 273-9560

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