EcoChemistry & Toxicology

The EcoChemistry and Toxicology Program involves the design of environmental sampling and analysis studies, undertaking the chemical analysis of food and environmental samples and routinely performs physiochemical, nutrient, trace metal and metalloid analysis.

Research projects focus on how aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems cycle trace elements and the ability of organisms to cope with natural stressors (climate change) and contaminants. This information is used for the development of national guidelines for the protection of aquatic ecosystems. As part of these programs, many innovative methods have been developed to quantify the total amounts and chemical species in these systems.


Highlighted Projects

Antimony in the environment: is it a problem?

Antimony has dramatically increased in the environment since the Industrial Revolution, and there is growing concern about its presence because of chemical similarities with arsenic. Researchers at the IAE are collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to better understand the potential risks of antimony in Australia and China. “The environmental chemistry of antimony is


Development of biomarkers of metal toxicity assessment in marine and fresh water molluscs using an exposure-dose-response framework

This research has developed a suite of at enzymatic, cellular and genotoxic stress biomarkers to assess the toxicity of metals using marine and freshwater molluscs as biomonitors. The biomarkers developed are being assessed for a variety of different species using laboratory microcosms and field exposures along with the use of resident organisms from metal contaminated


Exposure-dose-response approach for the assessment of metal contamination in freshwater environments

These studies described the use of exposure (chemistry of abiotic matrices), dose (bioaccumulation and sub-cellular partitioning of metals) and response (impairment of biological systems) approach for the assessment of metal contamination in the freshwater environment using new sentinel freshwater bivalve Hyridella australis to single metal spiked sediments under laboratory controlled conditions.


Partitioning of arsenic in organisms and the role of arsenic in cellular metabolism

Animals are exsposed to arsenic in their food and water. The concentrations of arsenic aminals are exposed to will influence their potential for adverse health effects. This research will explain why some arsenic species enter the cell more readily than others. The researchers will determine if arsenic can form lipid complexes in cells and if