Currently, Wirth serves as the team lead for the Chemical Contaminants Research (CCR) Program. This program focuses on analytical method development and environmental contaminant assessment while striving to collaborate with various federal, state and academic partners in the quantification of chemical contaminants (both emerging and historical) found in the environment.
After receiving his Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of South Carolina in 1999, Wirth continued his studies on the effects of contaminants on coastal organisms with the Ecotoxicology Branch at the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science in Charleston, SC. His research focused on understanding the potential changes in crustacean growth and reproduction due to pollutant exposures. In 2004, he began to oversee the environmental chemistry research team and continues to lead collaborative efforts linking environmental chemistry and toxicology for NCCOS. Currently, these efforts revolve around emerging chemicals of concern (i.e. PFAS) and science focused on understanding the coastal impacts related to oil and petroleum products.