Sept. 16, 2019

FIVM Series presents: Ecological effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment

Bridging the gap between lab and field

People are consuming more pharmaceuticals than ever and this consumption is set to rise. As a consequence, increasing amounts of pharmaceuticals are released into waterways worldwide with virtually no knowledge of how they might affect aquatic ecosystems.

On Friday, September 20, Dr. Tomas Brodin will discuss how some conspicuous effects of these emerging contaminants are already evident, including the feminization of fish by contraceptive residue.  Dr. Brodin will elaborate on studies suggesting that pharmaceuticals in aquatic environments are much more widespread than currently believed. And the contamination of aquatic environments may change species interactions, in particular predator-prey interactions, with severe ecosystem effects as potential consequence.  

Dr.Brodin is a research faculty member at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, where he holds the position as permanent Chair of Aquatic Ecology. He has a broad background in ecology, starting with a PhD in Evolutionary Ecology at Umeå University (Sweden), followed by a post-doc in Behavioral Ecology at UC Davis (USA), and an assistant professorship in Spatial Ecology at Umeå University.

Since then, Dr. Brodin has been invited to speak at the Nobel Prize Ceremonies, and was awarded both the Young Investigator Award and the Research Leaders of the Future as acknowledgement of his scientific achievements. Today, as a full professor at the department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, a major part of his research lies within the field of ecotoxicology, studying the ecological effects of pharmaceuticals in aquatic systems.