Baylor University
Environmental Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Baylor > Environmental Science > Faculty and Staff > Cole W. Matson, Ph.D.
Cole W. Matson, Ph.D.

Dr. Matson Smallhead

Contact Information: Department of Environmental Science
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97266
Waco, TX 76798-7266

Office: BSB C.413

Phone: (254) 710-2517

Fax: (254) 710-3409


Dr. Matson CV

  • Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, 2011
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Duke University, 2009,
    (Advisor: Dr. Richard T. Di Giulio)
  • Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2004
    (Advisor: Dr. John W. Bickham)
  • M.S., Texas Tech University, 1999
    (Advisor: Dr. Robert J. Baker)
  • B.S., Texas A&M University, 1996


Dr. Matson joined the Department of Environmental Science in the fall of 2011. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC).

Academic and Research Interests

Dr. Matson is an environmental toxicologist specializing in the genetic effects of contaminants on wildlife. His research focus is currently the genetic and developmental impacts of environmental contaminants on fish, with a particular interest in how environmental gradients affect the toxicity of nanomaterials and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Prof. Matson has published and presented environmental toxicology research for the last twelve years, with projects covering a wide variety of organisms and stressors. His early work focused on the population genetic impacts of chronic contamination exposures and on biomarkers of DNA damage. More recent work has focused on mechanistic toxicology and embryonic developmental toxicity. His interest in nanomaterial toxicity is centered on environmentally relevant transformations of particles and how these transformations affect the toxicity of the particles, including separating particle toxicity from metal toxicity.

Research Keywords:

Aquatic Toxicology, Biomarkers, Conservation Genetics, Ecotoxicology, Environmental Toxicology, Evolutionary Toxicology, Gene Expression, Molecular Ecology, Multiple Stressors, Nanotoxicology, Population Genetics, Toxicogenomics, Wildlife Toxicology.

Dr. Matson is currently looking for both MS and PhD students for projects examining the developmental toxicity of nanomaterials in fish. A strong foundation in biology, toxicology, evolution, or genetics is expected, and chemistry experience is certainly advantageous.

Selected Publications:

Jung, D., C.W. Matson, L.B. Collins, G. Laban, H.M. Stapleton, J.W. Bickham, J.A. Swenberg, and R.T. Di Giulio. 2011. Genotoxicity in Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) from a PAH-contaminated Superfund site on the Elizabeth River, Virginia. Ecotoxicology. DOI: 10.1007/s10646-011-0727-9.

Rinner, B.P., C.W. Matson, A. Islamzadeh, T.J. McDonald, K.C. Donnelly, and J.W. Bickham. 2011. Evolutionary toxicology: contaminant-induced genetic mutations in mosquitofish from Sumgayit, Azerbaijan. Ecotoxicology, 20: 365-376.

Clark, B.W., C.W. Matson, D. Jung, and R.T. Di Giulio. 2010. AHR2 mediates cardiac teratogenesis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and PCB-126 in Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). Aquatic Toxicology, 99: 232-240.

Wills, L.P., C.W. Matson, C.D. Landon, and R.T. Di Giulio, 2010. Characterization of the recalcitrant CYP1 phenotype found in Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) inhabiting a Superfund site on the Elizabeth River, VA. Aquatic Toxicology, 99: 33-41.

Matson, C.W., A.M. Gillespie, C. McCarthy, T.J. McDonald, J.W. Bickham, R. Sullivan, and K.C. Donnelly. 2009. Wildlife toxicology: Biomarkers of genotoxic exposures at a hazardous waste site. Ecotoxicology, 18: 886-898.

Barbee, G.C., J. Barich, B. Duncan, J.W. Bickham, C.W. Matson, C.J. Hintze, R.L. Autenrieth, G.-D. Zhou, T.J. McDonald, L. Cizmas, D. Norton, and K.C. Donnelly. 2008. In situ biomonitoring of PAH-contaminated sediments using juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 71: 454-464.

Matson, C.W., B.W. Clark, M.J. Jenny, C.R. Fleming, M.E. Hahn, and R.T. Di Giulio. 2008. Development of the morpholino gene knockdown technique in Fundulus heteroclitus: a tool for studying molecular mechanisms in an established environmental model. Aquatic Toxicology, 87: 289-295.

Matson, C.W., A.R. Timme-Laragy, and R.T. Di Giulio. 2008. Fluoranthene, but not benzo[a]pyrene, interacts with hypoxia resulting in pericardial effusion and lordosis in developing zebrafish. Chemosphere, 74: 149-154.

Timme-Laragy, A.R., C.J. Cockman, C.W. Matson, and R.T. Di Giulio. 2007. Synergistic induction of AHR regulated genes in developmental toxicity from co-exposure to two model PAHs in zebrafish. Aquatic Toxicology, 85: 241-250.

Hoffman, J.I., C.W. Matson, W. Amos, T.R. Loughlin, and J.W. Bickham. 2006. Deep genetic subdivision within a continuously distributed and highly vagile marine mammal, the Steller's sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). Molecular Ecology, 15: 2821-2832.

Matson, C.W., M.M. Lambert, T.J. McDonald, R.L. Autenrieth, K.C. Donnelly, A. Islamzadeh, and J.W. Bickham. 2006. Evolutionary toxicology: Population-level effects of chronic contaminant exposure on the marsh frogs (Rana ridibunda) of Azerbaijan. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114: 547-552.

Baker, A.R., T.R. Loughlin, V. Burkanov, C.W. Matson, R.G. Trujillo, D.G. Calkins, J.W. Wickliffe, and J.W. Bickham. 2005. Variation of mitochondrial control region sequences of Steller sea lions: The three-stock hypothesis.Journal of Mammalogy, 86: 1075-1084.

Matson, C.W., G. Palatnikov, A. Islamzadeh, T.J. McDonald, R.L. Autenrieth, K.C. Donnelly, and J.W. Bickham. 2005. Chromosomal damage in two species of aquatic turtles (Emys orbicularis and Mauremys caspica) inhabiting contaminated sites in Azerbaijan. Ecotoxicology, 14: 513-525.

Matson, C.W., G.M. Palatnikov, T.J. McDonald, R.L. Autenrieth, K.C. Donnelly, T.A. Anderson, J.E. Canas, A. Islamzadeh, and J.W. Bickham. 2005. Patterns of genotoxicity and contaminant exposure: Evidence of genomic instability in the marsh frogs (Rana ridibunda) of Sumgayit, Azerbaijan. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 24: 2055-2064.