Freshwater and terrestrial organisms
Our research group focuses mostly on marine, but also freshwater and terrestrial organisms. We monitore and study effects of:
- Organic pollutants (including oil components)
- Heavy metals
- Engineered nanoparticles
We are especially interested in substances like persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and Hg because of their potential to accumulate in organisms or along food chains, their long range transport, as well as their high chemical persistence and toxicity.
Pollutants in a broader perspective
We investigate the chemical`s potential to disturb hormonal and vitamins homeostasis and their ability to increase oxidative stress within organisms.
Since these processes are happening in a multifactorial environment, it is of major importance for us to place them in an ecological and physiological perspective, such as trophic structure of food chains, seasonality, spatial distribution, reproduction stage and growth parameters of organisms.
Our particular focus lies on the cold environment, including the Arctic, where the accumulation of contaminants in lipid rich invertebrates and further enrichment in top predators such as seals, polar bears, toothed whales and humans is of major concern.
In addition to marine mammals, we study organisms from other trophic levels, reaching from bacterial communities and marine phytoplankton, via invertebrates (crustaceans and molluscs) to vertebrates such as fish, amphibians and birds.
Cooperation and research methods
We cooperate with many research groups from different countries (Norway, Denmark, Poland, Russia, Canada, Austria), and numerous state of the art chemical and biological methods are applied in our laboratories.