Pollution and Environmental Toxicology

Various chemical, biological and physical agents have detrimental effects on living organisms.
One of the most urgent tasks conserve biodiversity and ecosystems is to identify, evaluate and finally control and avoid 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) impact on individuals but also on ecosystems. Research at ILEE spans from single molecules (analysis of gas composition, functioning of membranes) over organisms (responses of physiological, immune, nervous or reproductive systems) to ecosystem functioning.

At ILEE, the development of specialised instruments for molecular spectroscopy as well as bioinspired materials provide technological innovations. Aquatic organisms (fish, crustaceans and amphibians) serve as bioindicators under natural or experimental conditions to study immune and organismic phenotype responses (assessed at the gene expression level). Conceptual studies resulting from mathematical models are combined with specific case studies based on experiments with plankton in microcosms.

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