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).