Project Title

Climate change and ecotoxicology: re-assessing biomarker baselines in light of a changing environment

Abstract

The latest IPCC report shows that the average sea surface temperature has been increasing at an average rate of 0.11 °C per decade, at the majority of the world’s coastlines since 1971, and that the average pH has decreased by 0.1 during the same period. This trend is predicted to continue.

In ecotoxicology, a biomarker can be defined as a measurable biochemical, physiological or histological indicator of exposure to a xenobiotic. It is necessary to gain an understanding of how biomarker responses vary due to changing conditions such as climatic factors.

The aim of this study is to simulate current and predicted near-future conditions for rising temperatures, ocean acidification and fluctuating salinity, and investigate how these potentially affect a range of established biomarkers separately and in a multiple stressor setup. To ensure that biomarker responses can be appropriately contextualised and continue to be used in environmental monitoring in the future.

Supervisors

Mark Hartl and Teresa Fernandes

Contact

gj10@hw.ac.uk