Colloquium on Environmental Sciences 2.5.2018

Dear Students and Colleagues, 

this Wednesday, 02.05.2018 our speaker, Prof. Dr. David Janz, University of Sasketchewan, Saskatoon, Sasketchewan, Canada, will present a talk on Aquatic ecotoxicology of selenium: When a good nutrient goes bad". 

The lecture will take place at 6 pm in LD Building C IV 266.


The essential trace element selenium (Se) is released into aquatic ecosystems by a variety of anthropogenic activities, where it poses an extreme toxicological hazard to oviparous vertebrates such as fishes and amphibians. We have conducted multidisciplinary research over the past decade investigating (1) the role of Se speciation on biogeochemical cycling and food web transfer in coldwater ecosystems, (2) sublethal toxic effects in native fishes exposed to elevated Se loading from mining operations, and (3) lab-based studies on the mechanistic basis of such toxicities. The major finding is that selenomethionine is the dominant form of Se in biota inhabiting contaminated aquatic systems, and that this organoselenium species causes a range of developmental, endocrine, and metabolic disorders in fishes. Our recent work in amphibians suggests that this taxon is less sensitive to Se than fishes. Our current work is further investigating food web transfer of Se in the field under controlled conditions (littoral mesocosms), and developing adverse outcome pathways for Se toxicities in native fishes. Overall, this integrative research from molecular to ecosystem levels illustrates the ecotoxicological risks associated with elevated Se loading into aquatic systems.

Best Regards, 

Dr. Nanki Sidhu

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