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Joshua Lipton, Ph.D.

Division Vice President, Environment & Natural Resources

Joshua Lipton, Ph.D. Joshua Lipton, Ph.D.
Joshua Lipton, the leader of Abt Associates’ Environment and Natural Resources division, is an environmental toxicologist with expertise in aquatic and terrestrial toxicology, applied ecology and fisheries biology, natural resource damage assessment, and the evaluation of environmental impacts and risk.

Prior to joining Abt Associates, Lipton was President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Stratus Consulting, an environmental research and consulting firm that was well known for high-level technical excellence and innovation in environmental sciences and natural resources, environmental economics, environmental information management, litigation support, and policy analysis. Stratus Consulting merged with Abt Associates in February 2015.

Dr. Lipton’s toxicological research activities have included investigations into the bioavailability of metals to fish and plants, sub-lethal and behavioral responses of organisms to hazardous substances, effects of acclimation and adaptation on sensitivity to metals, community/ecological responses to chronic contamination, lethal and sub-lethal effects of petroleum hydrocarbons on marine organisms and communities, and reproductive, sub-lethal, and behavioral effects of chlorinated organics.

Dr. Lipton has directed field studies on fish and wildlife populations, field studies on aquatic and terrestrial habitat and community composition, and extensive environmental sampling and monitoring programs. Lipton – an internationally known expert and leader in the field of natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) –  has served as lead scientist on many of the prominent natural resource injury and damage investigations performed in the U.S., and has been involved in guidance level and has lectured widely on NRDA and environmental effects evaluation in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Dr. Lipton has published peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals such as the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Ecotoxicology, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, Environmental Management, and Aquatic Toxicology. He has been an invited speaker and lecturer at conferences and universities and for government agencies, has served on the editorial boards of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and Science of the Total Environment, and has served as a peer reviewer for other scientific journals. He also served as a Research (Full) Professor at the Colorado School of Mines.

He holds a B.A. in ecology from Middlebury College and a Ph.D. in natural resources/environmental toxicology and an MS in natural resources from Cornell University.
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  • Environmental toxicology
  • Applied ecology
  • Fisheries biology
  • Contaminant fate and effects evaluation
  • Natural resource damage assessment
  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Environmental effects evaluation
  • Study design and interpretation


  • Gala, W., J. Lipton, P. Cernera, T. Ginn, R. Haddad, M. Henning, K. Jahn, W. Landis, E. Mancini, J. Nicoll, V. Peters, and J. Peterson. 2009. Ecological risk assessment and natural resource damage assessment: Synthesis of assessment procedures. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 5(4):515-522.
  • Cacela, D., J. Lipton, D. Beltman, J. Hansen, and R. Wolotira. 2005. Associating ecosystem service losses with indicators of toxicity in habitat equivalency analysis. Environmental Management 35(3):343-351.
  • Hansen, J.A., J. Lipton, P.G. Welsh, D. Cacela, and B. MacConnell. 2004. Reduced growth of rainbow trout fed a live invertebrate diet pre-exposed to metal contaminated sediments. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 23:1902-1911.
  • Cacela, D., D.J. Beltman, and J. Lipton. 2002. Polychlorinated biphenyl source attribution in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, using multivariate similarity among congener profiles in sediment samples. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 21:1591-1599.
  • Hansen, J.A., P.G. Welsh, J. Lipton, and D. Cacela. 2002. Effects of copper exposure on growth and survival of juvenile bull trout. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 131:690-697.
  • Hansen, J.A., J. Lipton, P.G. Welsh, J. Morris, D. Cacela, and M.J. Suedkamp. 2002. Relationship between exposure duration, tissue residues, growth, and mortality in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) juveniles sub-chronically exposed to copper. Aquatic Toxicology 58:175‑188.
  • Barron, M.G., M. Anderson, D. Cacela, J. Lipton, S.J. Teh, D.E. Hinton, J.T. Zelikoff, A.L. Dikkeboom, D.E. Tillitt, M. Holey, and N. Denslow. 2000. PCBs, liver lesions, and biomarker responses in adult walleye (Sitzostedium vitreum vitreum) collected from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Journal of Great Lakes Research 26:250-271.
  • Welsh, P.G., J. Lipton, G.A. Chapman, and T. Podrabsky. 2000. Relative importance of calcium and magnesium in hardness-based modification of copper toxicity. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 19:1624-1631.
  • Hansen, J.A., J.C.A. Marr, J. Lipton, D. Cacela and H.L. Bergman. 1999. Differences in neurobehavioral responses of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to copper and cobalt: Behavioral avoidance. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 18:1972-1978.
  • Marr, J.C.A., J. Lipton, D. Cacela, J.A. Hansen, J.S. Meyer, and H.L. Bergman. 1999. Bioavailability and acute toxicity of copper to rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the presence of organic acids simulating natural dissolved organic carbon. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56:1471-1483.
  • Marr, J.C.A., J.A. Hansen, J.S. Meyer, D Cacela, T. Podrabsky, J. Lipton, and H.L. Bergman. 1998. Toxicity of cobalt and copper to rainbow trout: Application of a mechanistic model for predicting survival. Aquatic Toxicology 43:225‑238.
  • LeJeune, K., H. Galbraith, J. Lipton, and L.A. Kapustka. 1996. Effects of metals and arsenic on riparian communities in southwest Montana. Ecotoxicology 5:297-312.
  • Marr, J.C.A., J. Lipton, D. Cacela, J.A. Hansen, H.L. Bergman, J.S. Meyer, and C. Hogstrand. 1996. Relationship between copper exposure duration, tissue copper concentration, and rainbow trout growth. Aquatic Toxicology 36:17-30.
  • Kapustka, L., J. Lipton, H. Galbraith, D. Cacela, and K LeJeune. 1995. Metal and arsenic impacts to soils, vegetation communities and wildlife habitat in southwest Montana uplands contaminated by smelter emissions: II. Laboratory phytotoxicity studies. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 14(11):1905-1912.
  • Lipton, J., D. Shaw, J. Holmes, and A. Patterson. 1995. Short communication: Selecting input distributions for use in Monte Carlo simulations. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 21:192-198.
  • Marr, J., H.L. Bergman, J. Lipton, and C. Hogstrand. 1995. Differences in relative sensitivity of naive and metals-acclimated brown and rainbow trout exposed to metals representative of the Clark Fork River, Montana. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 52:2016‑2030.
  • Lipton, J., H. Galbraith, J. Burger, and D. Wartenburg. 1993. A paradigm for ecological risk assessment. Environmental Management 17(1):1-5.
  • Lipton, J. and J.W. Gillett. 1992. Uncertainty in risk assessment: Exceedence frequencies, acceptable risk, and risk-based decision making. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 15:51-61.
  • Lipton, J. and J.W. Gillett. 1991. Uncertainty in ocean-dumping health risks: Influences of bioconcentration, commercial fish landings and seafood consumption. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 10:967-976.
  • Koenings, J.P., J. Lipton, and P. McKay. 1986. Quantitative determination of oxytetracycline uptake and retention by juvenile sockeye salmon. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 115(4):621-629.