CAPIM research program

Our research program is aimed at developing new methods for identifying and managing aquatic pollution problems and is now well and truly underway. Sites have been set up around Victoria for testing new technologies, and for linking detailed and novel chemical analyses with new monitoring approaches based around macroinvertebrates and biomarkers. Laboratory studies have been initiated aiming to identify new estuarine and freshwater fish and invertebrate species for routine assessments of cryptic pollutants. Novel sampling devices are being developed and trialled against pollutants. Protein as well as DNA expression-based bioassays are being developed with local species of chironomids. New approaches are being trialled for assessing the effects of chemical pollutants on fish development.

These activities are being undertaken by a large contingent of research students, newly appointed research fellows and research assistants as well as technical staff. A series of meetings have already taken place within research groups to finalise and communicate plans, identify emerging problems, and evaluate the early results. We are already starting to see the development of synergies and opportunities between our programs. For instance, program discussions have helped research students to appreciate how interactions between chemicals in the environment influence the bioavailability of toxicants. We are developing an extremely valuable resource across multiple sites where the chemical and biological information from sediments and water samples can be linked to laboratory assessments on test organisms and to biomarkers. This resource should provide an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate the merits of various approaches for pollution identification. We are looking forward to presenting the outcome of this effort to our end users in the near future!

For more information on how CAPIM is progressing with its vision to develop and communicate innovative pollution detection, mitigation and monitoring approaches to improve inland waterway and estuary health in Victoria, with the aim of becoming Australia’s pre-eminent aquatic pollution identification, research and management centre, please follow the links to one of our six research programs.