Ecotoxicology and environmental monitoring
The global population is increasing rapidly and humans are putting greater pressure on natural resources, such as food and water. Our ecotoxicology and environmental monitoring research examines how humans impact upon aquatic (marine and freshwater) and terrestrial ecosystems. We also explore the ecological consequences of human activity and seek to develop new methods to assess human impact on the environment.
With climate change and pollution becoming more pressing concerns, our research is helping inform better policy decisions and exploring how we can protect our environment in a sustainable way.
Our research outputs are regularly published by leading industry publications, including Global Climate Change, Aquatic Toxicology, Environmental Pollution and Science of the Total Environment.
Our research focuses on the following topics
- Ecology and conservation
- Ecotoxicology and pollution
- Plant sciences
- Animal sciences (zoology)
- Climate change
Facilities and research methods
We have exceptional facilities that play an important role in our work, including the seawater flow-through aquarium facilities at the Institute of Marine Sciences, our research platform in Langstone Harbour, the Petersfield Waste Water Treatment facility, and our research vessels, greenhouses, microscopy suites, and molecular and bioinformatic facilities.
We monitor the effects of climate change by monitoring ocean acidification levels, and we study the impacts caused by pollutants such as metals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, oil, noise and radiation.
We use field-based and laboratory-based analyses, and our methods encompass everything from the latest in molecular and cellular biology, through to community ecology.
Collaboration and funding
We regularly collaborate on research with industry and academic partners, including English Nature, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Environment Agency, Blue Marine Foundation, Solent Forum, Oil Spill Response Ltd, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), and the Society of Biology.
We have received funding from major funders such as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), DEFRA, The Royal Society, the Crown Estate, the European Union (EU) and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Professor Alex Ford
Integrating the science needed to underpin radioactivity assessments for humans and wildlife, Professor Jim Smith, Professor Alex Ford, Karen Thorpe, Awadhesh Jha
Environmental pollution, 233, 2018, pages 1125–1130, Bruck, S. and Ford, A.T.
Scientific reports, 7(1), 13437, 2017, Marley, S.A., Kent, C.P.S., Erbe, C. and Parnum, I.M
Gcb Bioenergy, 9(3), 2017, pages 627–644, Richards, M., Pogson, M., Dondini, M., Jones, E.O., Hastings, A., Henner, D.N., Tallis, M.J., Casella, E., Matthews, R.W., Henshall, P.A. and Milner, S.
Current Biology, 25(19), 2015, pages R824-R826, Deryabina, T.G., Kuchmel, S.V., Nagorskaya, L.L., Hinton, T.G., Beasley, J.C., Lerebours, A. and Smith, J.T.
Exp Biol, 201, 2017, pages 245–258, Dobretsov, S., Coutinho, R., Rittschof, D., Salta, M., Ragazzola, F. and Hellio, C
Science of the Total Environment, 672, 2019, pages 253–263, Pinasseau, L., Wiest, L., Fildier, A., Volatier, L., Fones, G.R., Mills, G.A., Mermillod-Blondin, F. and Vulliet, E.
Discover our areas of expertise
Through our biodiversity and evolution research, we're expanding our knowledge of the diverse organisms that exist across the Tree of Life – from microbes to whales.
We explore new ways to treat genetic disorders, identifying novel targets for drugs and searching for advances in treatment that could impact the lives of millions.
Through our research in marine science, we're working to improve the marine environment for future generations, and to make marine activities more sustainable.
We're searching for new antibiotics and other important enzymes and molecules – and developing the new technology needed to harness microbes for human benefit.
Interested in a PhD in Biological Sciences?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Biological Sciences postgraduate research degrees page.