Ecotoxicology and microbial contamination

The Ecotoxicology and Microbiological Contamination group addresses three areas of research:

1.- Assessment of the risks to ecosystems determined by pollutants and their interactions with the environment, considering the vulnerability of people, populations and communities to chemical and non-chemical stressors.

2.- Microbial ecology of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems through molecular biology tools and development of nature-based technologies for water treatment:

  • Monitoring of cyanobacterial proliferations in aquatic ecosystems and detection and biodegradation of cyanotoxins.
  • Biodiversity and molecular mechanisms of microbial adaptation to environmental changes.

3.- Studies of the impact of contaminants (pesticides, antibiotics and biocides) on microorganisms and resistance to antibiotics in aquatic environments:

  • Potential effect of contaminants on bacterial populations.
  • Detection of antibiotic resistant bacteria and resistance genes.
  • Fitness cost linked to the acquisition of antibiotic resistance.
  • Resistance gene transfer and the role of contaminants.

What do we do?

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This Agenda has 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all UN Member States, which are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.

The research carried out by the group contributes to achieving the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Research team


Marco Vighi

Expert researcher in ecotoxicology


Dr. Andreu Rico Artero

Researcher. University of Valencia


Dr. Jesús Morón López

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Arizona State University (ASU) in the USA


Sara Martínez Pérez

Predoctoral researcher


Lorena Martínez García

Research Assistant


Daniel Franco López

Research Assistant


Carla Morales Pujante

Predoctoral researcher


  • 2023 - 2028

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms as a threat to pollination in a changing climate


    2021 - 2025

    Plastic in Agricultural Production: Impacts, Lifecycles and LONg-term Sustainability


    2021 - 2022

    Control and elimination of biological and chemical risks in the water cycle



    2021 - 2022

    Exploration of wastewater as a complementary, rapid, and objective indicator of the consumption of substances of abuse

  • µNanoCare

    2020 - 2023

    Quantification of micronanoplastics in reclaimed water and agricultural ecosystems. Environmental risk assessment


    2019 - 2023

    Pesticide RIsk AssessMent for Amphibians and Reptiles

  • ECORISK2050

    2018 - 2023

    Ecological Risks of Chemicals in the Future


    2019 - 2022

    Smart tools and technologies to assess the environmental fate and risks of ContamInants under ClImate Change


    2019 - 2021

    Development of a predictive model for the management of algae and cyanobacterial proliferation events associated with climate change based on remote sensing techniques and data acquisition systems


    2020 - 2021

    Scientific network for the risk assessment of water scarcity and pollution in Iberian ecosystems in a global change scenario: management recommendations


    2017 - 2020

    Impacts of MicroPlastics in Agrosystems and Stream Environments


    2016 - 2020

    Tools for Assessment and Planning of Aquaculture Sustainability


    2019 - 2020

    Assessing the risks of anthropogenic contaminants in the Amazon River


    2016 - 2019

    Smart alert against harmful cyanobacterial blooms for the water industry


    2016 - 2019

    Innovation and recycling of membranes for water treatment


  • 2019 - 2022

    Implementation of the Ecotoxicology and Environmental Monitoring Unit at IKIAM (Ecuador)