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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Biological methods for monitoring mercury hot spots

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   

Code Science Field
B260  Biomedical sciences  Hydrobiology, marine biology, aquatic ecology, limnology 
Keywords
mercury, battery of biological methods, hot spots, early warning system, toxicity
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (14)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  16039  PhD Maja Berden Zrimec  Metrology  Researcher  2005 - 2008  254 
2.  21437  PhD Tadej Čepeljnik  Biotechnology  Researcher  2005 - 2007  51 
3.  19945  PhD Luka Drinovec  Physics  Researcher  2005 - 2008  167 
4.  11155  PhD Damjana Drobne  Biology  Researcher  2005 - 2008  819 
5.  19724  Vesna Fajon    Technician  2005 - 2008  296 
6.  05027  PhD Milena Horvat  Chemistry  Researcher  2005 - 2008  1,806 
7.  18749  PhD Rok Kostanjšek  Biology  Researcher  2008  448 
8.  21408  PhD Aleš Lapanje  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2005 - 2007  314 
9.  08404  PhD Romana Marinšek Logar  Animal production  Researcher  2005 - 2008  501 
10.  01061  PhD Andrej Stergaršek  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2005  177 
11.  19104  PhD Blaž Stres  Animal production  Researcher  2008  349 
12.  16065  PhD Primož Zidar  Biology  Researcher  2008  166 
13.  16040  PhD Alexis Zrimec  Biology  Principal Researcher  2005 - 2008  225 
14.  03950  PhD Dušan Žigon  Chemistry  Researcher  2005 - 2008  162 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  84,952 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,093 
Abstract
Centuries of mercury mining in Idrija have caused highly elevated levels in all natural compartments with severe impacts on human health and ecosystems, environment and limitations to land use and marine culture. A lack of agreed measurement strategies on which modelling tools and sound decisions on most appropriate remediation actions can be based, was identified as one of the major gaps (ICMGP, UNEP). The Slovenian position is, that there is an urgent need to develop a complete set of biological, chemical and physical measurement strategies to support the development of predictive models that can be used in early warning system in Hg contaminated areas (MOP). The overall poject objective is to provide a set of relevant biological methods for the identification, monitoring and »early warning« of existant or potential mercury mobilisation hot spots to aquatic environments, which will also be applied as for assessing Hg bioavailability and for studying the uptake, transformations and toxicity of different Hg species to living beings. To reach the objectives, we will include integrated biological (molecular, toxicological, physiological, structural, population, community) and chemical measurements. Speciation-specific reference measurements and targeted mode-of-action analysis will be the basis of experimental design for methods comparability and quality control. Relevant scientific results in the field of mercury research can only be achieved by joint efforts of an interdisciplinary consortium of research groups. In our proposal, four groups (already collaborating in methods development, two of them also in the Centre of Excellence Environmental Technologies) will integrate biological and chemical approaches to mercury monitoring. Major challenges that also represent major innovations include the identification of species that represent sufficiently well the overall community in the field, the characterization of relevant species-specific responses to chemical (and non-chemical) stress, the control of exposure-confounding factors such as pH, water hardness, DOC as well as Hg speciation, and appropriate schemes to normalize contaminant concentrations to bioavailable fractions as well as effective concentrations to standard conditions.
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