News

Published on September 26, 2018

We are happy to announce that Stijn Willemse, who performed his master dissertation at our Lab, has won the ArcelorMittal Indaver Thesis Award “Environmental Science and Technology”. This award was given for the 24th time to outstanding Master students who wrote a thesis on an environmental topic. Stijn, Master of Bio-science engineering in Environmental technology, wrote his thesis on “Genetic barcoding of marine zooplankton communities in the North Sea using the MinIon Sequencer" with VLIZ as copromotor. We wish him all the best in his future career. Congratulations Stijn!

 

Published on September 25, 2018
We are happy to announce that Emmanuel Van Acker, Academic Assistant at our Lab, has won the second runner up prize for best student poster presentation at the 53rd European Marine Biology Symposium. This award was given for his poster "Human exposure to to algal toxins via sea spray aerosols". Congratulations Emmanuel!

Published on September 17, 2018
We performed an environmental risk assessment for microplastics (<5 mm) in the marine environment by estimating the order of magnitude of the past, present and future concentrations based on global plastic production data. In 2100, from 9.6 to 48.8 particles m−3 are predicted to float around in the ocean, which is a 50-fold increase compared to the present-day concentrations. From a meta-analysis with effect data available in literature, we derived a safe concentration of 6650 buoyant particles m−3 below which adverse effects are not likely to occur.

Published on August 31, 2018
The hardness values of a substantial proportion of Australian freshwaters fall below the application boundary of the existing European nickel biotic ligand models (Ni BLMs) of 2 mg Ca/L. Modifications were made to the Ni BLM by increasing the binding constants for Ca and Mg at the biotic ligand to account for softer waters encountered in Australia and the more important competitive effect of Ca and Mg on Ni toxicity.

Published on August 2, 2018
Under natural conditions, organisms can experience a variety of abiotic (e.g., temperature, pH) and biotic (e.g., species interactions) factors, which can interact with toxicant effects. By ignoring species interactions conventional ecotoxicological studies (i.e., single‐species tests) oversimplify the actual field situation. We investigated whether temperature and interspecific competition affected the effects of zinc (Zn) on a Daphnia longispina population.

Published on July 12, 2018

The laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Environmental Toxicology Unit - GhEnToxLab (Ghent University) is looking for a full time Scientific Researcher.

PhD research project: Development of in vitro assays to improve marine risk assessment

Published on July 6, 2018

Friday, the 29th of June, we celebrated Gisele Bockstael. For 35 years now she has been supporting our research, our experiments, our Daphnia, copepod and algae cultures and so much more ... Congratulations, Gisèle!

Published on July 6, 2018
Human activities increasingly impact the functioning of marine food webs, but anthropogenic stressors are seldom included in ecological study designs. Diet quality, as distinct from just diet quantity, has moreover rarely been highlighted in food web studies in a stress context. We measured the effects of metal and pesticide stress (copper and atrazine) on the contribution of a benthic intertidal diatom community to two processes that are key to the functioning of intertidal systems: biomass (diet quantity) and lipid (diet quality) production. 

Published on June 21, 2018

Toxicity of nickel to aquatic organisms is known to be affected by factors such as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration and water hardness. Bioavailability models have been developed more than a decade ago that have been validated for European surface waters. Australian surface waters, however, are quite different in composition. This collaborative research with Australian, UK, and USA researchers resulted in slightly modified bioavailability models for a range of indigenous organisms that are shown to predict nickel toxicity in local waters relatively accurately. These models can be used in Australian water quality guideline derivations.

Published on June 21, 2018

Environmental risk assessment of chemicals is mostly based on ecotoxicity studies under standard and not always realistic conditions of temperature and nutrient levels. In this collaborative study with universities of Wageningen, Leuven, and Namur, we performed an aquatic model ecosystem experiment, which showed that temperature and phosphorus loading to freshwater systems can modify the effects of chemical pollution on the structure (e.g. species composition) and functioning of aquatic ecosystems. We argue that factors like temperature and nutrient levels should be taken into account when evaluating the risks of chemicals in the environment.

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