Michael Burkard


Position: Postdoctoral Researcher & Task leader  

caLIBRAte - Next generation tools for risk governance of nanomaterials

CaLIBRAte is part of European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and addresses risk management / governance of human and environmental risks of nanomaterials by 

1. screen for risks and trends in nanotechnology

2. assess human and environmental risks

3. facilitate risk surveillance, -management and -guidance

I contributes to work package 3 “Environmental risk assessment models” and work package 5 “Data collation for calibration and gap analysis” with the major goals 

--> to identify data gaps

--> develope a classification scheme of molecular impact of MN in aquatic organism

--> detect potential biomarkers indicating MN effects

Further, specific experiments are performed to fill the identified data gaps and extend the data bases with nano-related ecotoxicity data. 

Position: Project manager

Humpback Whale Cell lines- Development & Application in risk assessment

Marine mammals accumulate the greatest levels of (Persistent Organic Pollutants) POPs due to their long life, high proportion of body fat, and top position of the marine food chain. This adipose tissue acts as temporary buffer for POPs. However, measuring the toxicological impact of POPs on wild populations of humpbacks is a challenge in chemical risk assessment. Non-lethal approaches are logistically challenging and very cost intensive. To date, there are no suitable methods established to study toxicological sensitivity. In order to bridge this information gap, better tools for deriving species-specific data are required. 

I develop novel cell lines in order to assess in vitro toxicity for humpback whales. 


Bengtson Nash, S., Dawson, A., Burkard, M., Waugh, C., Huston, W., 2014. Detoxification enzyme activities (CYP1A1 and GST) in the skin of humpback whales as a function of organochlorine burdens and migration status. Aquat. Toxicol. 155, 207–212.

Burkard, M., Whitworth, D., Schirmer, K., & Bengtson-Nash, S. (2015). Establishment of the first humpback whale fibroblast cell lines and their application in chemical risk assessment. Aquat. Toxicol. 167, 240–247.

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Curriculum Vitae

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Téléphone: +41 58 765 5622
Fax: +41 58 765 5802
Adresse: Eawag
Überlandstrasse 133
8600 Dübendorf
Bureau: BU E10

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