The toxicity of a pollutant for an organism is determined by its bioavailability in the environment and the route of uptake, e.g. from food, soil, or pore water. We study the effect of toxicants on survival, growth and reproduction of soil organisms, in relation to bioavailability in soil and routes of exposure. Our studies focus on single chemicals but also on mixtures, and also involve toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics approaches. Responses at the individual level are translated to effects on populations, communities and ecosystem function using multi-generational exposure studies. We aim to use results of ecotoxicological studies and biomarker tests for the risk assessment of chemicals in the environment. In addition, studies are aimed at determining the possible risk of contaminated soils.

EcotoxicologyEcotoxicology 1Ecotoxicology 2Ecotoxicology 3

Student projects

  • Toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides to soil invertebrates
  • Effect of climate change on the toxicity of metal-contaminated soils
  • Fate and effects of nanoparticles in soil
  • Bioavailability and toxicity of metals to soil invertebrates, linking soil chemistry and biology


More information: Dr. Ir. Kees van Gestel
Check also the list of Internships at the Institute of Ecological Sciences

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