Ecotoxicological Investigations

Ecotoxicological investigations are key to understanding the impacts of chemicals on aquatic biota and ecosystems.  These investigations can include assessments of toxicity end points (such as EC50), bioaccumulation in biota and histological changes due to the impacts of chemicals on biota.  The range of chemicals that can be assessed are vast and depend on the type of project or activity that is contributing the chemical to the environment.  However, commonly we would look at things like metals, hydrocarbons, PCBs and anthropogenic chemicals, such as oestrogenic compounds, antibiotics and steroids.

Ecotoxicological investigations play an important role in undertaking ecological risk assessments (ERA).  Ecological risk assessment involves determining the hazards and risks posed by a stressor in the environment (usually a chemical) to the survival and health of ecosystems.  Determination of reliable data on the effect versus concentration is key in making an accurate assessment of risk.

Aquatica Environmental has experience developing and undertaking ecotoxicology, bioaccumulation and histology investigations for a range of clients including mining, offshore oil and gas, wastewater and industrial discharges, ports and marinas.  We have an established network of specialist laboratories and ecotoxicological researchers we can collaborate with to ensure projects are fit for purpose, incorporate best practice science and the program and results are robust and defensible.

Ecotoxicological Services

  • Ecotoxicology investigations
  • Bioaccumulation assessments
  • Histopathology assessments
  • Contaminant impact assessment and monitoring program design and development
  • Technical review and advice

Project Experience

  • Hydrocarbon and metal contaminated ground water impacts on intertidal benthic macroinvertebrate communities at Hastings, Westernport Bay
  • Contaminated ground water impacts to benthic infauna communities at Point Cook, Port Phillip Bay
  • Trace metals in the Port Phillip Bay blue mussel mitylus edulis
  • Mercury contamination in Latrobe River fish and aquatic macroinvertebrates
  • Mine-source heavy metals contamination investigation of Papua New Guinea freshwater fish
  • Development of histological investigation program for silver perch Bidyanus bidyanus in a WWTP/STP bulk water storage dam
  • Development of Operational and Scientific Monitoring Plans (OSMP), for offshore oil and gas projects, for assessing the ecotoxicological effects of hydrocarbons (crude, condensate, diesel, etc.) to marine biota