Laboratory of Ecotoxicology

The research trend is assessment of ecotoxicological impact of newly emerging chemical pollution and its risk to the environment in the context of changes in (a)biotic factors

The Laboratory of Ecotoxicology was established on 1 July 2021 by merging three units of the Nature Research Centre – Sector of Ecological Physiology and Toxicology (head Dr. Nijolė Kazlauskienė), Laboratory of Genotoxicology (head Dr. Milda Stankevičiūtė), and Laboratory of Aquatic Ecotoxicology (head Dr. Levonas Manusadžianas).

The main focus of laboratory researchers is put on investigation of the patterns of the spread and accumulation of newly emerging pollutants (nano- and micro-scale formations, rare earth elements, mixtures of metals, micro- and nanoplastics, pharmaceuticals, wastewater, etc.) and their hazardous (toxic) effects on organisms. Methodologically, investigations cover animal and plant organisms belonging to different trophic levels of an ecosystem and analysis of their response at different biological organization levels by applying physiological, biochemical and genetic markers. Results obtained allow assessment of specific pollution risks to ecosystem sustainability (and consequently, human health), determination of environmental safety levels, justification of the regulation of new pollutants' emissions to the environment, as well as monitoring and control of new pollutants.

Further, laboratory researchers have accumulated long-term experience in complex investigations of the toxicity of different chemical substances, wastewater, natural waters and bottom sediments by applying  standardised and non-standardised biological methods. On 18 March 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency issued the Laboratory of Aquatic Ecotoxicology a permit (No. 1017042) to conduct measurements and investigations of pollutants emitted from pollution sources to the environment and of pollutants in environmental elements.

Experimental investigations are pursued in laboratories and experimental aquarium by using modern equipment for ecotoxicity investigations with aquatic organisms (algae and aquatic plants, bacteria, molluscs, crustaceans, fish in all states of their development). Laboratory researchers in conjunction with global research and business partners take active part in EU funded programmes, successfully implement different projects funded by the Research Council of Lithuania, collaborate with Lithuanian and foreign research institutions, provide expert and experimental development services to different business entities and state institutions.