Dr. Ir. C.A.M. (Kees) van Gestel

  • Telefoon:+31 20 59 87079
  • Kamernr:h-150
  • E-mail:kees.van.gestel@vu.nl
  • Onderdeel:faculteit der aard- en levenswetenschappen (subafdeling dierecologie)
  • Functie:Scientific Staff

Curriculum Vitae & Publications

Research interests

My research interest is in the ecotoxicological effects of chemicals on soil invertebrates and methods to assess such effects. In complex substrates like soil, the availability of chemicals to soil organisms is highly dependent on their interaction with soil particles and the resulting concentrations in the soil pore water. Organisms may affect their exposure to chemicals by the way they interact with the soil, with some organisms like earthworms literally eating themselves through the soil while others just walk on the soil or feed on leaf litter. In soil, pollution rarely is restricted to single chemicals, with chemicals interacting with each other at different levels. Finally, live in soil is dynamic, asking for a dynamic approach when assessing bioaccumulation and effects of chemicals in soil organisms. My research therefore especially focuses on aspects like bioavailability, routes of exposure, toxicokinetics and mixture toxicity. I am also interested in application of our results in the risk assessment of new and existing chemicals. In addition, i am interesting in the possible application of the approaches used for assessing soil contamination to other substrates containing complex mixtures, like waste or process streams from the bio-based production of chemicals or biofuels.

Selected Publications

Waalewijn-Kool, P.L., Diez Ortiz, M., Van Straalen, N.M., Van Gestel, C.A.M. (2013). Sorption, dissolution and pH determine the long-term equilibration and toxicity of coated and uncoated ZnO nanoparticles in soil. Environmental Pollution 178, 59-64.

Ardestani, M.M., Van Gestel, C.A.M. (2013). Using a toxicokinetics approach to explain the effect of soil pH on cadmium bioavailability to Folsomia candida. Environmental Pollution 180, 122-130.

He, E., Van Gestel, C.A.M. (2013). Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of nickel in Enchytraeus crypticus. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 32, 1835-1841.

Van Gestel, C.A.M. (2012). Soil ecotoxicology: State of the art and future directions. Zookeys 176, 275-296.

Van Gestel, C.A.M., M.J. Jonker, J.E. Kammenga, R. Laskowski and C. Svendsen (Eds.). (2011). Mixture toxicity. Linking approaches from ecological and human toxicology. SETAC Press, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola.

Van Gestel, C.A.M., J.E. Koolhaas, T. Hamers, M. Van Hoppe, M. Van Roovert, C. Korsman and S.A. Reinecke (2009). Effect of metal pollution on earthworm communities in a contaminated flooplain area: linking biomarker, community and functional responses. Environmental Pollution 157, 895-903.

Van Gestel, C.A.M. (2008). Physico-chemical and biological parameters determine metal bioavailability in soils. Science of the Total Environment 406, 385-395.

Research lines

Uptake and effects of metals in soil invertebrates in relation to substrate properties, routes of exposure, internal concentrations and physiology
Soil invertebrates are exposed to metals via different routes (soil, pore water, food), with speciation in the pore water affecting metal uptake and toxicity. The following questions are studied: What are routes of metal uptake in different soil invertebrates? Which metal fraction is available for uptake? Can metal uptake (kinetics) be linked to speciation in soil and distribution in organisms? Which factors determine metal uptake and toxicity in soil invertebrates?

Participants: Masoud M. Ardestani, Erkai He, Kees van Gestel, Rudo Verweij, Nico van Straalen, Lulu Zhang

Bioassays and biomarkers for the assessment of the potential ecological risk of contaminated soils
To assess the risk of soil contamination, a combination of chemical analyses and bioassays is applied, sometimes extended with field observations and biomarker measurements on exposed organisms (lab, field). Questions addressed among others include: How toxic is the soil? Which set of bioassays is most suitable for assessing toxicity? How available are chemicals in soil? Can toxicity be predicted from chemical composition? Which biomarkers may be used to assess toxicity?

Participants: Kees van Gestel, Rudo Verweij, Nazareth González Alcaraz, guest researchers

Toxicity of metal-based nanoparticles to soil invertebrates
The rise of nanotechnology leads to an increased emission of nanomaterials to the environment. Soil invertebrates may be exposed to nanoparticles accumulating in the soil. This research line focuses on metal-based nanoparticles. Since these nanoparticles may dissolute leading to free metal ions, it links to research on metal bioavailability. It also focuses on nanoparticle-specific toxicity to soil invertebrates, distinguishing effects of nanoparticles from those of the free metal. Finally, this topic also includes uptake of nanoparticles and possible interactions of nanoparticles with other chemicals (mixture toxicity).

Participants: Pauline Waalewijn-Kool, Paula Tourinho (University of Aveiro), Jeroen Noordhoek, Ana Romero-Freire (University of Granada), Emel Topuz (Istanbul Technical University), Kees van Gestel, Rudo Verweij, Nico van Straalen

Integrated effect-based risk management for sustainable bio-based production processes (dRISK)
While chemical industries produce essential products for modern daily life, concerns on the toxicity of its products and the sustainability of production methods have led to the emergence of so-called Green Chemistry, focusing on the prevention of toxic by-products and efficient use of resources. Presently we witness a transition to a bio-based economy which can fulfill the aims of Green Chemistry. Major challenges are the huge amounts and the heterogeneity of biomass that is needed as a raw starting material in bio-based chemistry, while also concerns arise regarding the formation of potentially toxic compounds in the bio-based production process. When not characterized and handled properly this will introduce uncertainties and even hazards in the production and downstream processes. This project aims at providing tools for assessing the potential hazards of substrates (waste stream, intermediate materials) resulting from bio-based production processes.

Participants: Tjalf de Boer, Riet Vooijs, Nico van Straalen, Dick Roelofs, Kees van Gestel



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Laatste wijzigingen Nevenwerkzaamheden: Amsterdam, 20 oktober 2014
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