Effects of pesticides on aquatic and soil non-target organisms on different levels of biological organization

Project duration: 2019-2021

Funding: Personal Fellowship of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) for Carina Lackmann

Principle investigators
  • Prof. Dr. Henner Hollert
  • Dr. Thomas-Benjamin Seiler

  • Carina Lackmann, M.Sc.

Project website:   https://www.dbu.de/stipendien_20018/572_db.html

Project description

In recent years the usage of pesticides has been a highly debated topic. Biodiversity declines have been observed worldwide and researchers have linked these negative effects to the widespread usage of pesticides. As pesticides are directly applied in the environment in target areas but often end up in different environmental compartments, they pose a threat not only to soil but also to aquatic ecosystems. Their effects do not only include biodiversity declines but could also indirectly impact ecosystem services. As the complex effects of pesticides on non-target organisms are often not clear, it is important to investigate their potential impact on the environment more thoroughly.
Therefore, the aim of the present project is the improvement of the assessment of pesticide effects on both soil and aquatic organisms, to be able to understand their modes of action in more detail and to extend the available data for pesticides that are already in use in Germany. As a more detailed assessment however often calls for a higher amount of test organisms, this project aims to minimize the usage of laboratory animals. A comprehensive test-battery will be used and a workflow established to assess multiple sub-lethal endpoints. Namely, fluorescence-based methods for oxidative stress measurement and MXR activity detection as well as behavioral changes and biomarker measurements with a minimal number of test organisms will be used to assess the effects of commonly used pesticides (thiacloprid, esfenvalerate, prosulfocarb and dimethenamid-p).


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: