Around ten senior researchers work within the field of aquatic ecotoxicology, divided between a couple of larger research groups.
What is ecotoxicology?
Ecotoxicology is the science about those structures, processes and interactions that explain how toxic compounds affect ecosystems. Ecotoxicology involves both fate and effects of contaminants and can be practiced at all levels of biological organisation (e.g. enzyme, cell, individual, population, community).
Ecotoxicology includes both fundamental and applied science. It has an interdisciplinary character rooted in biology, chemistry, toxicology, statistics but also strong connections to social sciences.
Modern society depend on the use of chemicals and never before has the usage of chemicals been larger than today. Hundred thousand of chemicals are used for myriads of commercial purposes around the globe. Eventually, many of these end up in aquatic systems that serves as sinks for complex mixtures of chemicals.
Ecotoxicology provides strategies and tools for assessing the toxicity of chemicals and chemical products, and for detecting effects in the ecosystems caused by pollutants.
What are we studying?
Ecotoxicological studies range from the biochemical mechanisms of toxicity of individual toxicants to the combined effects on populations and communities caused by the chemical cocktails present in the ecosystems. Much of our research is focused on different types of aquatic organisms and ecosystems, marine as well as limnic.
Recent areas of development in ecotoxicology are towards cellular in vitro testing and ecotoxicogenomics, and towards ecological realism recognizing the full chemical and biological complexity of pollution situations. This development is in concordance with the regulatory changes in EU with the ongoing implementation of REACH regulation, the Water Framework Directive and other management incentives in Europe and globally such as SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management).