Pollution and Environmental Toxicology

Various chemical, biological and physical agents have harmful effects on living organisms.
One of the most urgent task to improve live on earth and guarantee the future of ecosystems is to identify, evaluate and finally control toxic agents that harm living organisms and our environment.

Multiple stressors (chemical, physical or pathogenic stress) and/or pollutants (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, atmospheric residues) act on individuals but also on ecosystems. Research aims at the analysis of gas composition, detection and understanding of the responses of physiological, immune, nervous or reproductive systems of organisms or the reaction and change of ecosystem functioning.

A further objective is the development of technological solutions, such as specialised instruments for molecular spectroscopy, innovative materials including photochemical and -voltaic devices or bioinspired materials

At ILEE, we use aquatic organisms (fish, crustaceans and amphibians) as bioindicators under natural or captive and experimental microcosmic conditions to study immune and organismic phenotype responses (assessed at the gene expression level). We further combine conceptual studies, based on mathematical models, with specific case studies based on experiments with plankton in microcosms.

Photo credit: C. Mayer

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