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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

Teles M., Soares A., Tort L., Guimarães L., Oliveira M. 2017. Linking cortisol response with gene expression in fish exposed to gold nanoparticles. Science of the Total Environment, 584-585: 1004-1011.

Cunha V., Rodrigues P., Santos M.M., Moradas-Ferreira P., Ferreira M. 2016. Danio rerio embryos on Prozac – Effects on the detoxification mechanism and embryo development. Aquatic Toxicology, 178: 182-189.

Capela R., Raimundo J., Santos M.M., Caetano M., Micaelo C., Vale C., Guimares L., Reis-Henriques M.A. 2016. The use of Biomarkers as integrative tools for transitional water bodies monitoring in the Water Framework Directive context - a holistic approach in Minho river transitional waters. Science of the Total Environment, 539: 85-96.

Rocha A.C.S., Reis-Henriques M.A., Galhano V., Ferreira M., Guimarães L. 2016. Toxicity of seven priority hazardous and noxious substances (HNSs) to marine organisms: Current status, knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Science of the Total Environment, 542 (Part A): 728-749.

Rodrigues A.P., Santos L.H.M.L.M., Ramalhosa M.J., Delerue-Matos C., Guimarães L. 2015. Sertraline accumulation and effects in the estuarine decapod Carcinus maenas: importance of the history of exposure to chemical stress. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 283: 350-358.

Projects