Application of Biomarkers for the study of marine trophic networks

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General information

Aplicación de Biomarcadores para el estudio de redes tróficas marinas

The application of biomarkers is the new trend for the understanding of the functioning of trophic networks. Biomarkers are elements or compounds that are transferred along a trophic network, likewise they are stable substances that can be altered by different stressors (eg contaminants). Fatty acids, stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) and trace metals are compounds that can be tracked for the study of marine trophic chains, so that interactions and their functioning can be known. In addition, fatty acids and trace metals provide information on the health of the ecosystem, nutritional benefits (eg omega-3), as well as the toxicological risks due to consumption of these marine species (eg As, Cd).
In this course a theoretical framework of the application of biomarkers in Lima will be carried out, followed by an intensive field work with an up-to-date method for the collection and processing of samples for the subsequent analysis of fatty acids, isotopes and metals, finally the analysis of data using R software and multivariate analysis in Lima. The field phase will be carried out in the Punta San Juan Natural Protected Area (ANP), part of the Guaneras Island, Islet and Point System and surroundings National Reserve, where a sampling of benthic species that may have been impacted by some activity will be conducted. anthropogenic
This integrated approach will finally provide the first findings about the current state of the ecosystem and its functioning, this in terms of trophic interactions, transfer and tracking of contaminants (possible biomagnification effect).


  • Tropho-dynamics of marine organisms
  • Presence of biomarkers in trophic networks
  • Use of biomarkers in ecotoxicology
  • Traceability of marine products
  • Food safety

Schedule / Venue:

  • February 21 to 23 - Classroom Theory: 9:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m at Campus Miraflores, UPCH
  • February 25 to March 04 - Field work in Marcona. Stay at Punta San Juan Program Scientific Station in Punta San Juan -RNSIIPG in Marcona, Ica
  • 05 to 09 March - Data Analysis and Case Studies: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m at Campus Miraflores, UPCH

At the end of the course, the student will be prepared to:

  • Understand the use of biomarkers for different purposes (tropho-dynamics, ecotoxicology, traceability) in the study of marine trophic networks.
  • Design, propose and develop field assessments for the study of the functioning of marine ecosystems, with application of current methodologies (includes sampling with diving and snorkeling).
  • Analyze and interpret the biochemical data (fatty acids, stable isotopes and heavy metals) with the use of R software and PRIMER (multivariate analysis).
Contact Person: Graduate School of the Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0511 - Biology", "0512 - Biotechnology", "0512 - Toxicology", "0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0688 - Bioinformatics


Venue: Cayetano Heredia University campus Miraflores
Miraflores (Lima), Peru


Open from
1 Jan 2018 to 2 Feb 2018


Cost*: 620,- PEN


  • Accommodation and food in the field 
  • Transportation Lima-Marcona-Lima 
  • Certificate of the Graduate School of the UPCH

(*) All other costs of the course are subsidized (boat sampling, diving, field equipment, materials, reagents and laboratory analysis, etc.).

  • Fill in registration form
  • Have taken undergraduate courses in: ecology, biochemistry and bio statistics (or equivalent).
  • Have knowledge of the Statistical Program R.
  • Level of intermediate or advanced English.

Application Procedure:

To apply, it is necessary to send:

  • CV showing the requested requirements.
  • Motivation letter explaining why this course is important for the professional and / or academic development of the applicant.

Applications are open to Bachelor thesis, Master, PhD and Lifelong learning students.  


Academic level: Master, PhD, Lifelong Learning
Occupations (not validated):
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