Are you a talented aspiring researcher who is interested in improving risk assessment methods that truly benefit biodiversity and people? Do you want to better understand species sensitivity towards chemicals? Then read on and apply!
We invite applications for the PhD position entitled: ‘Improving our understanding of the mechanisms driving aquatic invertebrates’ sensitivity towards chemicals and utilizing this information to better predict it’.
In this PhD project, you will co-develop an assessment framework for understanding the underlying mechanisms causing an adverse effect of chemicals and to identify the driving biochemical and biological traits making some species more sensitive than others to better understand and predict toxicity. This will be done by employing experimental and modelling approaches.
In the EnSa (early environmental safety) project you will collaborate with researchers from the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, Toxicology and Environmental Technology groups of Wageningen University, and will be encouraged to collaborate with other researchers within WUR, for example through the Wageningen Biodiversity Initiative
. This project is part of a cooperation with an agronomic company and involves two other PhD candidates.
Specific objectives include, but are not limited to:
You will work here
- Collect and curate mode of action, toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic and ADME (adsorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion)-relevant traits useful for predicting species sensitivity towards chemicals;
- Identify and fill major data gaps in sensitivity (i.e., to certain chemical modes of action) and traits data (i.e., species size/weight, metabolic rates);
- Perform toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic ecotoxicity experiments to further develop toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models;
- Explore the usefulness of quantitative adverse outcome pathways, and expand the cross-species extrapolation framework to a wider range of chemicals;
- Contribute to the main aim to extrapolate the sensitivity of surrogate species to other species via cross-species extrapolation, making use of the biochemical traits and traits describing important toxicokinetic-related processes.
The PhD project will take place within Environmental Risk Assessment team
at Wageningen Environmental Research, where you will be supervised by Dr. Sanne van den Berg and Dr. Ivo Roessink.
Prof. Paul van den Brink of the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management group
of Wageningen University will be your promotor.
The Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) team is an interdisciplinary team of ecologists, chemists, modelers and ecotoxicologists and consists of a mixed group of juniors and seniors. The ERA team develops models and conducts experimental research to predict the behavior of organic contaminants in the environment, and to determine their effects on ecosystems.
This will offer you the unique opportunity to profit from an extensive collaborative network and expertise from two key research groups in the field. As a PhD student you will become part of the Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (WIMEK), which is one of the six Graduate Schools at Wageningen University that will support you with additional skills and opportunities to develop your academic and professional network.