Tina obtains her PhD in Applied Biological Sciences

We are happy to announce that our colleague, Tina Van Regenmortel, on November 24, 2017, defended her dissertation to earn her doctoral degree! Immediately after her studies, Tina got a PhD opportunity at the Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology. During her PhD, her research focused on estimating and predicting risks of single metals and their mixtures on individual species and on communities.

Congratulations, Tina! We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors, wherever these may take you!

Title of the doctoral dissertation
Ecotoxicology and risk assessment of metal mixtures in the freshwater environment

Abstract of the doctoral research:

It is impossible to imagine a world without metals. The extensive use and anthropogenic pollution of metals has led to elevated metal concentrations in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. As a consequence, natural communities around the world are at risk due to metal pollution. This has encouraged authorities to take action. European risk assessment frameworks concerning single metals have taken a leap forward since the change of the millennium. However, these frameworks do not account for possible mixture effects due to exposure to metal mixtures. Because these metal mixtures could cause a larger effect compared to single metals, it is of utmost importance to understand metal mixture toxicity in freshwater environments. Therefore, in this PhD, the effects of mixtures of copper, nickel and zinc were examined. We aimed to evaluate differences in mixture risk estimates by applying four mixture risk assessment methodologies that combined chronic toxicity data for copper, nickel and zinc, with bioavailability models and species sensitivity distributions, to calculate potentially affected fractions of species in a community. In addition, a general tiered scheme for the risk assessment of metal mixtures was developed to assess risks in a regulatory context.