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Ecotoxicology (Ec)

Keywords:

  • Ecotoxicology
  • Genotoxicity
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental Risk Assessment

Overview:

The Ec RG core activities focuses on Risk assessment and biomonitoring studies and their interlinks. Understanding the behaviour of humans and other species in the presence of contaminants is crucial to properly manage anthropogenic activities, as they are the main cause for the release (intentional and accidental) of contaminants in the environment. Ec RG aims at providing insight and generating new knowledge about causes and consequences of contaminants, as a result of present and past anthropogenic activities, contributing to the assessment of risk posed by contaminants environment and their impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services linked with human wellbeing.
The main research objectives include: i) assessment of the effects of environmental pressures on biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services to promote a sustainable environmental development and the alignment of environmental policies; ii) assessment of the ecological risk associated to the presence of biocides used in ship antifouling paints, along the Portuguese coast, and development of new methodologies for spatial and temporal monitoring of this pollution; iii) study of metal accumulation and biochemical responses in aquatic organisms to assess the specific pattern of response to the co-occurrence of eutrophication and moderate metals contamination in coastal ecosystems, and to determine which response can better reflect the environmental health status; iv) understand toxicity mechanisms of the main classes of contaminants and biotoxins, in a wide range of organisms, from bacteria, dinoflagellates, crustacean and fish up to mammalian/human systems, adopting in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo approaches and keeping in view an integrative interpretation of toxicity pathways. 

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