Department Environmental Toxicology

Conceptual models

In collaboration with a high level international expert group we are currently developing a framework to advance adverse outcome pathways (AOPs –link to oecd? See below), conceptual models which link a sequence of causally linked events at different levels of biological complexity, from the initiating event(s) at the level of an individual physicochemical reaction to the adverse outcome at the population level. The developed AOPs can then be used by environmental protection agencies and regulators when developing and implement environmental policies.

At the research level, we want to use the AOP framework to better understand and predict chronic ecotoxicity generally and chronic fish toxicity specifically. We have identified a behavioral parameter (food intake) as a critical anchor point in fish AOPs and, having established behavioral assays in Utox, we can now focus on the impact on behavior by chemicals and mixtures.

Link to OECD:


Financial support

Related publications

Madureira, D. J.; Weiss, F. T.; Van Midwoud, P.; Helbling, D. E.; Sturla, S. J.; Schirmer, K. (2014) Systems toxicology approach to understand the kinetics of benzo(a)pyrene uptake, biotransformation, and dna adduct formation in a liver cell model, Chemical Research in Toxicology, 27(3), 443-453, doi:10.1021/tx400446q, Institutional Repository
Nyman, A.-M.; Schirmer, K.; Ashauer, R. (2014) Importance of toxicokinetics for interspecies variation in sensitivity to chemicals, Environmental Science and Technology, 48(10), 5946-5954, doi:10.1021/es5005126, Institutional Repository
Pillai, S.; Behra, R.; Nestler, H.; Suter, M. J. F.; Sigg, L.; Schirmer, K. (2014) Linking toxicity and adaptive responses across the transcriptome, proteome, and phenotype of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii exposed to silver, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America PNAS, 111(9), 3490-3495, doi:10.1073/pnas.1319388111, Institutional Repository
Stadnicka-Michalak, J.; Tanneberger, K.; Schirmer, K.; Ashauer, R. (2014) Measured and modeled toxicokinetics in cultured fish cells and application to in vitro - in vivo toxicity extrapolation, PLoS One, 9(3), e92303 (10 pp.), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092303, Institutional Repository