FRESHWATER EDC PROGRAM

Research Leader: Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda

Contact Details:  School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, PO Box 71, Bundoora, Vic 3083

My research in ecotoxicology and ecophysiology has an emphasis on the effects of stressors on aquatic fauna. We develop and run a suite of bioassays using Australian test organisms and use the OECD and ASTM guidelines for standard toxicity testing. We also develop novel methods for rapid assessment and bioassays for effluents and emerging chemicals to evaluate their toxicity and environmental risk.

Industry involvement:

Molecular responses of the Rainbow fishexposed to estrogenic chemicals (CSIRO)
Endocrine disrupting chemicals in waterways using fish as bioindicators (Melbourne Water, EDC special interest group of the Australasian Society of Ecotoxicology)
The impact of sewage overflows on the environment and human health (City West Water)
Hormones and Vitellogenin in fish reproduction (Fisheries Victoria)
The effect of pesticides on early life stages of fish (G-MW)
A risk assessment for nodularin toxin in seafood from the Gippsland Lakes (DHS, DPI) Development of in vitro assays using cell lines to evaluate toxicity and activity of micropollutants in aquatic systems.(Flinders University, Helmholtz Centrum Germany)
The toxicity of leachates containing trace metals from industrial sites.(EPA)
Toxicity evaluation of rainwater and recycled water (NMIT, DPI, Aquaculture industry).
Trace metals in the Strickland River, PNG (CSIRO, Porgera mine, Hydrobiology)

Freshwater EDC Research Objective:

To establish, develop and validate (through cross-theme and inter-agency collaboration) new methods for evaluating evidence of Endocrine disrupting chemicals in Victorian waterways using freshwater fishSpecific objectives are to:

  • Identify a suitable freshwater fish species for biomonitoring EDCs.
  • Identify endpoints based on laboratory exposure of the species to known EDCs.
  • Undertake Laboratory Testing, exposing fish to water, water + sediment from selected “contaminated” sites to identify EDC’s and the effects on fish populations.
  • Sample the selected species in Freshwater Sites, (Clean, Urban, Rural, Industrial) and evaluate if there is evidence of exposure to EDCs in Victorian freshwaters.

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