Dr. Tyrone Hayes is a real life frog prince. A herpetologist and endochrinologist, Dr. Hayes has been fascinated with amphibians since he was a young child. Active in both lab and field research, much of Dr. Hayes' current work is in Eastern Africa and the Midwest focuses on how genes and hormones regulate developmental changes in amphibians.
Dr. Hayes' recent work is controversial, having identified that Atrazine, the world's number one selling herbicide and most common contaminant of ground and surface water, is an endocrine disruptor that both chemically castrates and feminizes amphibians, and is likely an important contributor to amphibian declines. Dr. Hayes' work has important ramifications since Atrazine is present and active in other vertebrate species, including humans, and likely increases the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition to his scientific endeavors, Dr. Hayes works to educate policy makers and communities about the dangers of pesticide exposure. In particular, he is concerned about the adverse impacts of Atrazine on endangered species and on racial/ethnic minorities since ethnic minorities and people of low income are more likely to hold "unskilled" laborer positions in agriculture. Prostate and breast cancer are two of the top causes of death in Americans age 25-40, but in particular Black and Hispanic Americans are several times more likely to die from these diseases. Thus, Dr. Hayes sees not only an environmental and public health issue, but a racial/social justice issue as well.
Future-ish added Dr. Hayes to our PISA List in 2008.