The ecotoxicology and environmental monitoring group is a collaboration between the School of Biological Sciences, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. Focusing on pure and applied aspects of biological and environmental sciences associated with how humans impact their environment. Staff members within this group use a wide variety of model organisms and techniques within the field and laboratory to study toxicology, aquatic, terrestrial and air pollution monitoring and the impact of climate change. Current funding includes NERC, BBSRC, NC3Rs, Environment Agency, EU and many industry sponsors.
Ecotoxicology and pollution
Critical to the understanding of how humans impact their environment is thorough understanding of sub-lethal impacts of pollutants on organisms, their populations and ecological communities. The school of biological sciences benefits from a strong team with a broad experience in environmental toxicology and pollution across a range of species including microbes, plants, algae, aquatic invertebrates and vertebrates. In addition the Institute of Marine Sciences benefits from modern aquarium facilities for marine and freshwater organisms and molecular labs for biomarker analysis. From state of the art high-throughput sequencing to investigate gene expression through to population modelling and evolutionary adaptation, UoP staff focus on the effects of a wide range of contaminants including plastics, endocrine disrupters, nanoparticles, metals, pesticides, radiation, hydrocarbons, urban particulate pollution and metals. Coupled with this comes a strong team within the Faculty of Science focussing on environmental chemistry whose expertise has led to the international use of passive sampling devices of monitor a wide range of environmental pollutants.
One of the greatest challenges facing the planet and human kind is climate change. Understanding the changes in environmental processes taking place across the planet now and out to the future and the consequences of these changes is critical to our understanding of the future and sustainability of the biosphere. Within the School of Biological Sciences we benefit from researchers investigating the impacts of climate change on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems using a variety of complimentary approaches including ecological monitoring, molecular biology, ecophysiology techniques, modelling and remote sensing. Researchers are investigating the effect of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide on tree physiology and phenology. Plant, animal interactions and pollination in regions highlighted as vulnerable to climate change e.g. Mediterranean ecosystems and experiment with current microclimate variability to examine how terrestrial processes may respond to future climates. In marine ecosystems we have ongoing research into the effects of environmental variables on the reproductive and sex determination of invertebrates.
There is a strong team within the Faculty of Science focussing on environmental chemistry. This expertise has led to the international use of passive sampling devices to monitor a wide range of environmental pollutants (trace metals, nutrients, polar and non-polar organics, organo-metallic's and radionuclide's) both in freshwaters and marine systems including sediments.
Marine biogeochemistry and ecosystem research
The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences has a strong research team with a diverse experience across the marine disciplines linking together chemistry, physics and biology both in coastal and open ocean environments. Using state of the art equipment UoP staff focus on a number of key processes including nutrient and trace metal phytoplankton interactions, sediment-water interactions and mesoscale structure and the dynamics of fronts and eddies.