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Conceptual, mathematical and simulation models are important and exciting, because they capture general principles of a scientific area and because they can make predictions.This website is about the development of ecotoxicological models, the research focus of my team.

 

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Roman Ashauer

 

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Minimised Bioconcentration Tests: A Useful Tool for Assessing Chemical Uptake into Terrestrial and Aquatic Invertebrates?

Current guidelines for determining bioconcentration factors (BCF) and uptake and depuration rate constants require labor intensive studies with large numbers of organisms. A minimized approach has recently been proposed for fish BCF studies but its applicability to other taxonomic groups is unknown. In this study, we therefore evaluate the use of the minimized approach for estimating BCF and uptake and depuration rate constants for chemicals in aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. Data from a range of previous BCF studies were resampled to calculate BCFs and rate constants using the minimized method. The resulting values were then compared to values obtained using full study designs. Results demonstrated a good correlation for uptake rate constants, a poor correlation for depuration rate constants and a very good correlation between the BCFs obtained using the traditional and minimized approach for a variety of organic compounds. The minimized approach therefore has merit in deriving bioconcentration factors and uptake rate constants but may not be appropriate for deriving depuration rate constants for use in, for example, toxico-kinetic toxico-dynamic modeling. The approach uses up to 70% fewer organisms, requires less labor and has lower analytical costs. The minimized design therefore could be a valuable approach for running large multifactorial studies to assess bioconcentration of the plethora of chemicals that occur in the environment into the many taxonomic groups that occur in the environment. The approach should therefore help in accelerating the development of our understanding of factors and processes affecting uptake of chemicals into organisms in the environment.

Published in Environmental Science & Technology (free access).

Minimised Bioconcentration Tests: A Useful Tool for Assessing Chemical Uptake into Terrestrial and Aquatic Invertebrates?
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Importance of Toxicokinetics for Interspecies Variation in Sensitivity to Chemicals

Imaging the distribution of a pesticide in a freshwater snail and a shrimp. Credit: Eawag/Harlan Laboratories
Imaging the distribution of a pesticide in a freshwater snail and a shrimp. Credit: Eawag/Harlan Laboratories

Interspecies variation in sensitivity to synthetic chemicals can be orders of magnitude large. Species traits causing the variation can be related to toxicokinetics (uptake, distribution, biotransformation, elimination) or toxicodynamics (interaction with biological target sites). We present an approach to systematically measure and model the contribution of uptake, biotransformation, internal distribution, and elimination kinetics toward species sensitivity differences. The aim is to express sensitivity as target tissue specific, internal lethal concentrations. A case study with the pesticides diazinon, imidacloprid, and propiconazole and the aquatic invertebrates Gammarus pulex, Gammarus fossarum, and Lymnaea stagnalis illustrates the approach. L. stagnalis accumulates more pesticides than Gammaridae when measured in whole organisms but less in target tissues such as the nervous system. Toxicokinetics, i.e. biotransformation and distribution, explain the higher tolerance of L. stagnalis to the insecticide diazinon when compared to Gammaridae. L. stagnalis was again more tolerant to the other neurotoxicant imidacloprid; however, the difference in sensitivity could not be explained by toxicokinetics alone, indicating the importance of toxicodynamic differences. Sensitivity to propiconazole was comparable among all species and, when expressed as internal lethal concentrations, falls in the range of baseline toxicity. (published in Environmental Science & Technology)

Importance of Toxicokinetics for Interspecies Variation in Sensitivity to Chemicals
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