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Coastal and Marine Environmental Toxicology

Principal Investigator:
Laura Guimarães

Marine and Coastal Environmental Toxicology (METOX) team is committed to develop basic and applied research tackling urgent societal challenges. These are related to ecosystems health, water quality and reuse, early diagnosis of pollution for protection of ecosystem services, and ocean literacy for supporting the blue economy.

Our research lines are oriented towards monitoring of estuarine and coastal environments and inland waters, unravelling modes of action and ecotoxicological risks of priority and emerging pollutants to aquatic and terrestrial organisms, and developing integrated approaches to evaluate water quality for reuse, towards promotion of the circular economy.  The group uses state-of-the-art genomic, proteomic and behavioural techniques to study mechanisms of response to toxicants. A relevant topic is also research about barriers and solutions to increasing Ocean Literacy.

The group has contributed with knowledge and approaches related to the use of biomarkers as integrative tools for monitoring estuarine and coastal waters, unravelling phase 0/III detoxification processes in fish species, identifying biomarkers of exposure to priority and emerging contaminants (e.g. metals and metal nanoparticles, hazardous and noxious substances, antidepressants and their transformation products) and their relation to higher level hazardous effects.

Our research is intended to support local, national and international policies envisaged in European Water and Marine Framework Directives (WFD, MSFD).

Publications Highlights

Rodrigues, P., Cunha, V., Oliva-Teles, L., Ferreira, M., Guimarães, L. (2020). Norfluoxetine and venlafaxine in zebrafish larvae: Single and combined toxicity of two pharmaceutical products relevant for risk assessment. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 400, art. no. 123171.  

Amorim, J., Abreu, I., Rodrigues, P., Peixoto, D., Pinheiro, C., Saraiva, A., Carvalho, A.P., Guimarães, L., Oliva-Teles, L. (2019). Lymnaea stagnalis as a freshwater model invertebrate for ecotoxicological studies. Science of the Total Environment, 669, pp. 11-28.  

Ferreira, N.G.C., Morgado, R.G., Cunha, L., Novo, M., Soares, A.M.V.M., Morgan, A.J., Loureiro, S., Kille, P. (2019). Unravelling the molecular mechanisms of nickel in woodlice. Environmental Research, 176, art. no. 108507. 

Teles, M., Reyes-López, F.E., Balasch, J.C., Tvarijonaviciute, A., Guimarães, L., Oliveira, M., Tort, L. (2019). Toxicogenomics of gold nanoparticles in a marine fish: Linkage to classical biomarkers. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6 (APR), art. no. 147. 

Abreu, I.O., Monteiro, C., Rocha, A.C.S., Reis-Henriques, M.A., Teixeira, C., Basto, M.C.P., Ferreira, M., Almeida, C.M.R., Oliva-Teles, L., Guimarães, L. (2018). Multibiomarker interactions to diagnose and follow-up chronic exposure of a marine crustacean to Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS). Environmental Pollution, 242, pp. 1137-1145. 

Projects