Effects of chemicals on tropical microcosm ecosystems

Project: PhD

Project Details


Numerous hazardous chemicals, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and industrial compounds can be widely found in aquatic ecosystems. Environmental concerns have therefore been raised about the potential adverse effects of chemicals on the structure and function of exposed ecosystems. It is often questioned whether there are profound differences in sensitivities to chemical toxicants between temperate and (sub-) tropical aquatic ecosystems, and whether temperate data can be used for risk assessment of a (sub-) tropical environment. My study will focus on the difference in response of temperate and (sub-) tropical aquatic ecosystems to chemical stressors and will unravel the toxicological and ecological processes determining these differences. Here, micro- and mesocosm experiments will be performed to describe and predict the acute and chronic effects of chemicals at the individual, population and ecosystem level in the sub-tropics. A set of endpoints will be observed to assess the effects in terms of toxicity and their interaction with ecological processes (e.g., selection and dispersal) by using prospective approaches. The results will be utilized to assess the difference in response between temperate and (sub-) tropical aquatic communities to chemical stressors. In conclusion, my research will not only explore the mechanistic relationships between chemicals and ecological components, but also unravel the mechanisms behind the differences in sensitivities to chemical stressors between temperate and (sub-) tropical aquatic ecosystems and to incorporate the differences in sensitivities into ecological risk assessment.
Effective start/end date1/01/21 → …


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