Our research activities range from rather basic to applied aspects in different areas of ecotoxicology and ecology. We investigate cause-effect relationships of chemicals at various levels of biological organisation, including molecular structures, physiological functions, individuals, populations and (model) ecosystems. In more applied research projects, we improve existing or develop new testing methods to assess potential impacts of chemicals on the environment.

Another field of our research relates to the improvement of existing environmental risk assessment schemes and the provision of scientific background knowledge to improve regulatory decisions. One example in this area is the assessment of mixtures of chemicals.

In addition, ECT has expertise in the taxonomy of earthworms (Lumbricidae), potworms (Enchytraeidae), and roundworms (Nematoda). In several projects we have studied ecotoxicological effects on these groups of terrestrial invertebrates in combination with their ecology, distribution, and diversity in the field (monitoring studies). These projects have been conducted throughout Europe as well as North and South America (particularly Brazil).

Recently, ECT has become involved in the barcoding of invertebrates (e.g. earthworms, enchytraeids, and dung organisms), partly as a tool to confirm the species identity in ecotoxicological laboratory tests, and partly as a possibility to improve the taxonomic handling of these animals in field tests and monitoring studies. This work is performed in close co-operation with other institutions.

We frequently operate as partner or coordinator of national and international consortia. Our partners in research are universities, national and international research institutions, governmental organisations and companies from the pharmaceutical and chemical industry.

Moreover, we actively participate in the Society of Environmental Toxicology (SETAC) and in the working group ‘Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology‘ of the German Chemical Society (GDCh).

More information?