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Comparative and multidisciplinary study of anthropogenic impact on marine vertebrates

More:  Institutes 
Period: October 2008
Status: In Progress

Institutes (2)  Top 
  • Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel; Research and Technology Centre (FTZ), more
  • Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), more

Our objective is to study and compare, in marine fish, turtles, birds and mammals, their biochemical and physiological responses facing pollutants (metals and organic persistent pollutants). These homoeothermic and poecilothermic groups display different physiology and metabolic requirements and it is of prime importance to know if these taxa react similarly to pollutant exposure.

The success of this study relies on the realization of three complementary parts:

(1) To evaluate the influence of the diet and key periods of life (fasting, gestation, nursing, migration, moulting, spawning) on organic and metallic pollutant levels in marine vertebrates (fish, turtles, birds and mammals). Focus will be placed on the potential transfer to offspring (gestation, nursing, spawning) due the risk of malformation and foetal death.

(2) To elaborate in vivo and in vitro models for the four taxa to better understand the toxicity mechanisms and the effects of chronic exposure reflecting environmental levels.

(3) To develop so called “physiological-based models” to predict and facilitate toxicological risk assessment in marine vertebrates.

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