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Areas of Research

We study marine pollution using an integrated chemical-biological approach;  developing  tools combining  biological testing and chemical analysis for monitoring and assessment of pollutants and their biological effects.

  • Bioaccumulation and toxicity of pollutants in marine organisms: towards scientifically sound marine environmental quality criteria.

Construction of an ecotoxicological data-base compiling the sensitivity of early life stages of marine organisms representative of the main marine taxa in order to derive scientifically sound Water Quality Criteria, and Sediment Quality Criteria for the main regulated and emerging chemical pollutants with relevance for Risk Assessment in coastal environments   (toxicity thresholds, estimated as EC10 (concentrations reducing by a 10% a fitness-relevant biological trait such as embryo development, larval survival or growth, for a series of chemicals). 

  • Influence of dissolved organic matter on bioavailibility of trace metals.
  • Desing "in situ" and laboratory bioessays, for assessing and monitoring pollution in coastal ecosystems. The biological models used include early stages of:

     Echinoderms: Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816)

     Mollusks: Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819

Ruditapes decussatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Venerupis corrugata (Gmelin, 1791)

     Ascidaceans: Ciona intestinalis (Linnaeus, 1767)

     Fish: Scophthalmus maximus (Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Molecular biomarkers in mussels: glutathione transferase (GST), acetylcholine-esterase (AChE), glutathione peroxidase (GPx).
  •  Cryopreservation of sea urchin larvae.

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