Goethe-University Frankfurt (GUF), Evolutionary Ecology and Environmental Toxicology (E3T)

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

With 17 professorships, GUF's Institute of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity is one of the largest biological German university institutes in the field of environmental assessment and also coordinates the Competence Center Water Hesse and the Cluster of Excellence initiative RobustNature.

GUF's E3T department studies the dynamics and effects of stressors in the environment. Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems worldwide are affected by human activities, and the growing number of chemicals currently present and released into the environment is of particular concern. The deleterious effects of pollution on organisms can have serious consequences for populations and communities in ecosystems by impairing ecological function and structure.

The ecological and evolutionary consequences of selection pressures from chemical and other environmental stressors may include effects on individual genes or genetic diversity within a population. E3T's focus is on research areas that bridge the gap between evolutionary ecology and environmental toxicology. Thus, the department focuses on the toxicological study of short- and long-term processes and interactions of organisms, species, populations, and communities to natural and artificial stressors. E3T is also involved in the development and application of modern bioanalytical methods in the field of molecular and cellular aquatic and sediment toxicology. Research areas include stress responses related to genotoxicology, neurotoxicology, endocrine disruptors, and Ah receptor agonists. Another focus is the development of alternative methods to animal testing using early life stages of Danio rerio, cell cultures, and animal-free S9 preparations.

Beyond that, many years of expertise are available in the effect-based investigation of toxic substances in drinking water and groundwater using acute and mechanism-specific bioassay methods at different scale levels as well as the transfer into practice.