Species specific effects of pollutants in aquatic enviroments

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
Human activities (agriculture, manufacturing industries, recreational activities, etc.) are known sources of different molecules, and in particular pollutants, that end-up in the aquatic environment. Some molecules (byproducts of those activities) might affect differentially to different aquatic species, and then aquatic species biodiversity. Those effects may be driven by nuclear receptors activation or inhibition, and/or by other pathways. Due to the high genomic diversity in aquatic species, one molecule could activate those signaling pathways in a species specific manner. Therefore, to evaluate the ecosystemic effect of new pollutants, identifying not only the biological processes affected but also the species targeted by those pollutants is needed. The purpose of this research line is identifying which aquatic species might be affected by specific pollutants using public genomic databases search, in vivo proof of concept of toxic affect in those species (increasing mortality, reducing growth, impairment of reproductive performance, etc) and the signalling pathway targeted, and identifying the underlying mechanisms. Most research is conducted in fish species, but also invertebrate species might be considered (mollusk and equinoderm species). This research line would provide basic knowledge on aquatic species development, identification of toxicological pathways, and the evaluation of pollutant effects.
Number of students: 
academic year: 
Contact person email: 
contact person first name: 
Ignacio Fernandez
Reference Number: RP-34512