Assessment of invertebrate behavor using the ToxmateLab

18. July 2023

Sublethal effects are gaining importance in ecotoxicological testing due to their higher sensitivity to lethal endpoints and their preventive nature. The locomotor behavior of invertebrates is of particular interest in ecotoxicology because it is directly linked to the maintenance of various ecosystem processes. Disrupted locomotor behavior is often associated with neurotoxicity and can affect drift, mate choice, predator avoidance, and thus population dynamics. We demonstrate the practical application of the ToxmateLab, a new device for monitoring locomotor behavior of up to 48 organisms simultaneously. Here, we quantified behavioral responses of Gammarus pulex following exposure to two pesticides (dichlorvos and methiocarb) and two pharmaceuticals (diazepam and ibuprofen) at sublethal environmentally relevant concentrations. Please refere to the link below for a time-limited free access.

A mechanistic approach to identify and predict the adverse effects of chemicals in the zebrafish embryo model

03. July 2023

While chemicals play an important role in the modern civilisation and human well-being, they can also impact on the environment and human health. To assess, understand and predict they impacts, we need mechanistic foundation to infer potential adverse effects of such chemical and mixtures. Today, Dr. Stefan Scholz, from the Department of Bioanalytical Ecotoxicology at the UFZ, gave insight into how utilize Danio rerio in AOP scenarios.

Linking chemical pollution and biodiversity loss

30. June 2023

Chemicals in the environment are not sufficiently addressed in science as one of the causes of biodiversity loss. This is shown by 40 scientists from the RobustNature research network of Goethe University and cooperating institutes in a study that has now been published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution (early access link). The researchers see an interdisciplinary approach as a new opportunity to better understand the loss of biodiversity in order to be able to take countermeasures more efficiently. An official press release of the Goethe University website is linked below.

Building strong cooperations with the University of Birmingham

27. June 2023

Henner Hollert joined the networking event of the Centre for Environmental Research and Justice (CERJ) at University of Birmingham last week. Thanks to Luisa Orsini, Jiarui (Albert) Zhou Xiaojing Li Robert Lee John Colbourne Anurag Chaturvedi, PhD Niamh Eastwood and the Head of Schooll for the inspiring meeting. Connecting CERJ with our RobustNature network at Goethe University in Frankfurt to investigate jointly the interaction between chemical pollution and biodiversity loss in a trans disciplinary perspective!

Insects in ecotoxicology

20. June 2023

Today, Prof. Dr. Andreas Vilcinskas, director of the Institute for Insect Biotechnology (Yellow Biotechnology) at the Justus-Liebig-University and head of the Branch Bioresources of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biologoy and Apllied Ecotoxicology in Giessen, gave a talk about the possiblities of insect models in ecotoxicological risk assessment. The talked adressed specifically the use of species with a fully sequences genome and of multi-endpoint approaches to understand insect biodiversity loss.

Currently in the SensoryTox-Project

15. June 2023

Enhancing our understanding of neurodevelopmental toxic mode of actions induced by petroleum exposure. In detail, primary and secondary motor neuron development is investigated by using a double transgenic zebrafish line (nrp1a:eGFP/xla.tubb:DsRed), which highlights caudal primary motor neurons (nrp1a; green) in a pan-neuronal reporter background (xla.tubb; red).

Mosquitoes: Technological innovation can protect against the spread of tropical diseases

14. June 2023

Mosquitoes from tropical and Asian regions are increasingly appearing in Central Europe. They can transmit the Zika or West Nile viruses, which trigger dangerous fever diseases. A team of scientists from the Hessian LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics and partner institutions is showing how the further spread of these mosquito species can be prevented in a targeted and environmentally friendly way. Feel free to read the whole press release using the link below.

Inaugural lecture of Prof. Dr. Luisa Orsini

13. June 2023

Today, Prof. Dr. Luisa Orsini gave her inaugural lecture for a Hückmann professorship at the Goethe University Frankfurt. The talk, titled "The time machine chronicles: resurrected crustaceans and ghost DNA", adressed the use of mondern tools in ecotoxicology to identify causes of biodiversity loss. We are very much looking forward to Prof. Orsini, who now also joined forces in our RobustNature network.

Environmental impact of the attack on the Kachowka dam

12. June 2023

The attack on the Kachowka dam may have severe consequences for the environment, as floods spread contaminants over large areas and across different habitats. In this respect, Dr. Johann was interviewed about the environmental impact of possible oil contaminations. You may read the article by clicking the link below.

Advances in behavioural assessment

08. June 2023

Florian Gigl performed a case study, in which he investigated the vertical swimming behaviour of Daphnia magna using the ToxmateLab. Please find more detailed information in the lastest blog article of ViewPoint Behaviour Technology.

Congratulations Laura!

29. May 2023

Laura Loewe, one of our master students, attended the JRC summer school on non-animal approaches in science taking place in Italy. She presented her research, joined interesting debates, and won the award for the second best poster out of 180 participants. Congratulations!

New pespectives on textile waste water

15. May 2023

Leading authors Mira Gossen and Dhivakar Govindarajan recently published their pespective on waste water treatment strategies with respect to the environmental impacts of textile industry effluents, summarizing the main pillar of the Indo-German project "Effect-based Monitoring demonstrates Efficiency of Electrically-driven Water treatment Processes to Remove Salts and Micropollutants from Process Water (EfectroH2O)". Make sure to check it out, using Elsevier's 50-day access.

Gossen, M., Govindarajan, D., John, A.A., Hussain, S., Padligur, M., Linnartz, C., Mohseni, M., Stüwe, L., Urban, V., Crawford, S., Schiwy, S., Wessling, M., Nambi, I.M., Hollert, H., 2023. EfectroH2O: Development and evaluation of a novel treatment technology for high-brine industrial wastewater. Science of The Total Environment 883, 163479.

New E3T team members have joined the SETAC Europe SAC

12. May 2023

Great News! Four Ph.D. students of our E3T group decided to get involved in the Student Advisory Council (SAC) of SETAC Europe. Markus Schmitz took over as the current chair and Bianca Dechent successfully stood up for election as a full member of the SAC. Florian Gigl and Jakob Pfefferle became SAC associates now. They will, together with 7 other elected and more associate members, join forces and organize student activities such as the upcoming young environmental scientists (YES) meeting in Landau or other early career events under the aegis of SETAC Europe. Congratulations, and best of luck to you!

Sucessfull participation at SETAC Europe 2023

11. May 2023

E3T sucessfully participated at SETAC Europe 2023 in Dublin. Amoung a fortunate amount of poster presentation, our contribution included two amazing talks from Sarah Johann and Francisco Silvester.

"An effect-based toolbox for petroleum toxicity testing": Sarah presented a bioassay battery specifically validated for the toxicity assessment of petroleum products such as crude oils. Using a multivariate approach she evaluated >40 biological test systems jointly applied within the EU funded project GRACE. The suggested bioassay battery can be applied for monitoring programs and for the hazard assessment of e.g. new fuel types.
"Chemical pollution: An overlooked elephant in the room of ecology" was presented at the session Ecosystems Responses Under a Multiple Stressors Scenario in a Rapidly Changing Climate (Part III: environnemental risk, modelling, ecosystem-level) by Francisco Sylvester. Coauthors: Fabian Weichert, Henner Hollert, and 40 more RN colleagues from the Goethe University Frankfurt and other research centres across Germany, Switzerland, and Argentina. In the talk we showed the results of a literature search encompassing 30 years of research on chemical pollution. We compared patterns of publication on chemical pollution and three other main drivers of global biodiversity loss –climate change, invasive species, and habitat loss–. We analyzed to what extent research on chemical pollution is studied in concert with other stressors of nature and biodiversity loss, and concluded that a better integration of chemical pollution research with ecology is needed to further our understanding of biodiversity loss.

We are looking forward to be back in 2024, at SETAC Seville.

GU and UoS symposium on aquatic ecotoxicology

26. April 2023

The Goethe University Department Evolutionary Ecology & Environmental Toxicology (E3T) welcomes Prof. Markus Hecker, Phillip Ankley, and Emely Kennedy from the University of Saskatchewan's Toxicology Centre. Markus Hecker holds a professorship at the Toxicology Centre, the leading research facility for environmental sciences in North America, and the Canada Research Chair in Predictive Aquatic Ecotoxicology. Philipp Ankley and Emily Kennedy are both Ph.D. students under Markus' supervision. To foster the recently signed agreement of understanding between both our universities, it is our pleasure to have hosted short symposium to exchange research highlights of both our groups, discuss science and develop ideas for future exchange and collaboration opportunities.

Welcome, Prof. Dr Saeed S. Albaseer!

03. April 2023

We are proud to welcome Prof. Dr. Saeed S. Albaseer to our department. Prof. Albaseer is a chemist with sound experience in environmental chemistry. His main research interests include the understanding and quantification of emerging environmental pollutants, in particular, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. Together with Prof. Albaseer, we want to address current and future research question with respect to chemical pollustion.

We are happy that you joined our group and are very much looking forward to work with you, Saeed.

Participation at SETAC Latin America 2023

30. January 2023

Prof. Henner Hollert and Dr. Francisco Sylvester have been invited to co-chair a session in the upcoming SETAC Latin America 15th Biennial Meeting, to be held in Montevideo, Uruguay, 17–20 September 2023. The session will reunite experts on planetary health working on chemical pollution as driver for loss of ecosystem services and biodiversity.

EU project planning meeting at E³T department

27. January 2023

To promote cooperation, the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke, Kari Lehtonen) invited to a face-to-face meeting at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. As co-hosts the department of Evolutionary Ecology & Environmental Toxicology (E3T) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME organised the meeting at the Biologicum. 19 participants from 11 European institutions joined this 2-day productive meeting.

New publication on chemically defined medium

18. January 2023

Congrats to Inska for her publication on replacing animal-derived components in in vitro test guidelines OECD 455 and 487 by the use of chemically defined media for cell cultivation and biotechnological S9 mixtures to include metabolic transformation.

News Archives


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Henner Hollert

Goethe University Frankfurt
Biologicum, Campus Riedberg
Max-von-Laue-Str. 13
60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Room: 3.319
Phone: +49 (0)69 798 42171
Fax: +49 (0)69 798 42161
Email: hollert(at)bio(dot)uni-frankfurt(dot)de

Former Affiliation: