Institut für Evolution und Ökologie


Ecotoxicity of particle-associated compounds

Exposure, uptake, and effects of chemicals in aquatic environments have been studied primarily in their dissolved state despite the fact that many natural and anthropogenic toxicants are associated with particles. Interactions with solid surfaces, however, may drastically alter not only the reactivity, transport, and bioavailability of substances but also their mode of actions and, thus, the overall effects of chemical stressors on organisms. In particular, mo­di­fi­ca­tions of effects through associations of chemical agents with nanoparticles are largely un­known. The primary goal of the mini-graduate school EXPAND therefore is to gain understanding of the molecular in­teractions between chemical agents and nanoparticles, and how these processes may change their bioavailability and toxicity. An interdisciplinary team of chemists, geoscientists, and biologists studies modes of interactions using a set of nanoparticles and chemical agents. Effects of toxicant-particle interactions will be in­ves­ti­ga­ted at the molecular, cel­lular, and organismic scale in cyanobacteria, fungi, and insects.

EXPAND comprises the expertise of the following research groups at Tübingen University:

Environmental Mineralogy and Chemistry (Stefan Haderlein, speaker) Chemical interactions with nanoparticles
Animal Physiological Ecology (Heinz Köhler, vice speaker) Effect studies in chironomid midges
Inorganic Chemistry (Reiner Anwander) Construction and coating of nanoparticles
Organismic Interactions in Microbiology (Karl Forchhammer) Effects in cyanobacteria
Botany/Mycology (Sandra Dietz) / Plant Physiological Ecology (Rüdiger Hampp) Effects in soil fungi
Analytical Chemistry (Carolin Huhn) Chemical analytics
Environmental Analytical Chemistry (Christian Zwiener) Chemical analytics