Marine Ecotoxicology

Our research in marine ecotoxicology focusses on developing toxicity tests for local invertebrate species found in Victorian estuarine and marine environments.

Marine Ecotoxicology

Our research in marine ecotoxicology focusses on developing toxicity tests for local invertebrate species found in Victorian estuarine and marine environments.

We use field and laboratory experiments to measure individual, population and community level responses to increasing concentrations of toxicants. These toxicants are of local concern, and include heavy metals and the pesticides boscalid and diuron.

Our findings show that invertebrates change their feeding and burrowing behaviour at higher levels of pollution. This suggests that they are likely to be good biological indicators that can be used more broadly in environmental monitoring and management.

We are currently investigating new ways to measure population-level responses to toxicants and filling the information gap between individual-based toxicity tests and ecologically relevant impacts on populations.

For more information, please contact Dr Allyson O'Brien allyson@unimelb.edu.au.

Simplesetia aequistis
Polychaete worm Simplesetia aequistis changes burrowing activity at high concentrations
of copper.