We investigate the fate and effects of synthetic chemicals in the environment with an emphasis on ecotoxicological effect models and aquatic systems. By systematically studying toxic effects of pollutants we derive general principles and use those to develop tools for the environmental risk assessment of chemicals. Our research consists of modelling, field work and lab experiments. Current research questions are:

  • Why do organisms differ in their sensitivity to chemicals?
  • What are the general principles that govern toxicity of different chemicals?
  • How do critical transitions propagate from cells to organisms and ecosystems?
  • How to do quantitative in-vitro to in-vivo toxicity extrapolation?

We are particularly interested in the development of ecotoxicological effect models, for example toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models. In order to develop, parameterise and test these models we carry out experiments, mostly with aquatic invertebrates. In recent and on-going projects we have investigated pesticides, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and engineered nano-materials. Our research has also led to the development of new tools for the risk assessment of chemicals. For example methods for the assessment of time-variable exposure that we developed are currently being applied in the risk assessment of pesticides and more recent work that links in-vitro to in-vivo toxicity data via models has great potential.

Current team members

  • Roman Ashauer, Senior lecturer at the University of York, UK, Environment Department
  • Benoit Goussen, Postdoctoral researcher
  • Joanna Witton, PhD student
  • Verena Riedl, PhD student
  • Alessia Giorgis, PhD student
  • Thomas Martin, PhD student
  • Yun Lin, PhD student

Impressions from SETAC-EU 2016 conference in Nantes

Former technicians, PhD students and Postdocs

Former visiting & associated PhD students