Plant and Environmental Sciences
Research School in Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology
Deborah H Oughton
The Research School in Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology was set up in 2007 with the main aim of consolidating expertise on chemistry and ecotoxicology at UMB.
Environmental Science and Ecotoxicology are attractive subjects for natural science candidates, and have been drawing an increasing number of PhD students in recent years. The subject is strongly multidisciplinary, covering chemistry, biology and management, a whole suite of environmental stressors, and a spectrum of effects that range from genetics-to-organisms-to-ecosystems.
State-of-the-art research methods within molecular biology such as toxicogenomics and proteomics, integrated biological-chemical methods such as effect-directed analysis and holistic studies on ecosystem effects have increased the fundamental understanding of biological effects, and produced new opportunities for environmental monitoring. Unfortunately, the research and education offered to PhD students are often fragmented, since different institutes have, understandably, built up different areas of expertise.
One clear example is the separation of chemistry and biology, wherein studies of effects are often carried out separately from chemical characterisation of exposure. Other examples include limited access to advanced analytical techniques, and potential interactions between different stressors and the challenges this raises for the assessment, management and regulation of pollutant risk. The aim of the research school is to integrate and consolidate the ongoing research-based education within chemistry and biology at IPM to cover a range of environmental stressors within both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and to link exposure characteristics to early biological responses.
Updated: 01.09.10Printerfriendly version
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