Division for Marine and Environmental Research
As the largest division of marine and environmental research in Croatia, our mission is to continue our leadership in the fundamental and applied study of environmental systems, processes and states. The goal is to contribute to optimum environmental management for the benefit of our country and the world.
Workshop and Symposium „Organic Ligands - A Key Control of Trace Metal Biogeochemistry in the Oceans“
At the Marine station Martinska, and in Town library „Juraj Šižgorić“ in Šibeniku from 7th to 11th April 2015. Workshop and Symposium „Organic Ligands - A Key Control of Trace Metal Biogeochemistry in the Oceans“ will take place.
Ruđer Bošković Institute from May 12 to May 16 2014
The Division of Marine and Environmental Research, with 104 scientists and technicians organized in 12 laboratories and one marine station (Martinska, near the city of Šibenik), is the largest interdisciplinary RBI division.
The laboratories carry out research in oceanography, aquatic chemistry, radioecology, geochemistry, biogeochemistry, bioelectrochemistry, environmental electrochemistry, ecotoxicology, aquaculture and fish pathology, ecological modeling and environmental informatics. The scale of research problems spans from nanoscience to satellite oceanography.
Since 1989, the DMER has acted as the National Reference Laboratory for the State Office Directorate for Water of the Ministry of Regional Development, Forestry and Water Management, and participated in the implementation of the network of Croatian accredited laboratories that analyze waste waters and natural waters.
Since 1989, the DMER has acted as the National Reference Laboratory”
In 2008, the Laboratory for Radioecology was accredited according to the norm HRN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2007, the Croatian Accreditation Agency and the Decision of the State Office for Metrology, and became the National Laboratory for Radioactivity Measurements.
LBEM is a specialized interdisciplinary team of assistants, researchers and scientists focused on research and development of biomarkers for early detection of the effects of metals in order to estimate contamination of the water environment.more »
The Laboratory is focusing on research in the field of ecological modelling and environmental informatics, and research in the field of biodiversity. The activities are aimed at assessment of natural ecosystems, risk assessment, and sustainable management of natural resources.more »
The mission and vision of Laboratory for marine and atmospheric biogeochemistry includes fundamental and applied interdisciplinary research in the marine and atmospheric sciences and the education of young scientists.more »
Laboratory research is focused on the understanding of cellular defense mechanisms in aquatic organisms.more »
Our research is intended to improve understanding and generally involves laboratory or field investigations and data analysis designed to answer specific questions and test hypotheses.more »
The members of laboratory are involved in fundamental and applied electrochemical research and in determinations of traces of matter in the environment by complementary physical and chemical methods.more »
Identification and functional characterization of (eco)toxicologically relevant polyspecific membrane transport proteins in zebrafish (Danio rerio)
A coordinated system of transport proteins, channels, receptors and enzymes act as cellular gatekeepers to foreign molecules, critically determining the so-called ADME-Tox (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion – toxicity) properties of a molecule. The polyspecific uptake and efflux transmembrane proteins are essential components of this complex cellular defense and detoxification/xenobiotic processing machinery in mammals, highly important and widely recognized in the context of pharmacology and human toxicology. However, they are scarcely investigated in non-mammalian species, and are not adequately addressed in the field of environmental toxicology. Consequently, the major goal of the proposed project is identification and detailed functional characterization of novel, (eco)toxicologically relevant uptake and efflux transport proteins that are not addressed so far in the context of environmental toxicology nor in non-mammalian species in general. Our research will be focused on selected polyspecific uptake transport proteins from the SLC21 and SLC22 (Solute Carriers) families, efflux transporters from the MATE (Multidrug and Toxic Extrusion) family, and finally, on the RLIP76 as the most recently discovered stress-responsive, multi-functional membrane protein. We will use zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a highly relevant vertebrate research model. Our methodological approach will be based on several subsequent research phases: phylogenetic and gene expression analyses; transfection studies in appropriate heterologous expression system(s); transport-activity assays; analyses of the transport mechanism and structural properties; high-throughput-screening for the identification of interactors of selected transporters among environmental contaminants; and finally, in vivo evaluation of the (eco)toxicological relevance of selected transporters using the zebrafish functional genomics tools.more »
Appearance and interaction of biologically important organic molecules and micronutrient metals in marine ecosystem under environmental stress (AMBI...
The main aim of the project is to investigate quality and quantity of the seawater organic matter (lipids, acidic polysaccharides and polymeric organic matter containing N catalytic atoms) that is produced in the altering environment. Ecosystem changes that will be followed imply opposite nutritional regimes, oligotrophy and eutrophy, and temperature variations. Further on, this project aims to clarify how variations in the concentrations and forms of these organic substances are reflected in the availability and cycling of micronutrients metals of interest, being Fe, Co, Cu, Zn and Cd.more »
The majority of studies in aquatic microbial ecology focus on the separate segments of aquatic ecosystem. Our project proposes comprehensive study of bacterial community within water column, sediment and fish as indicator of the aquatic environmental health status and its potential implications to human health.more »
The aim of the interdisciplinary project is to improve environmental management and increase conservation and social benefits of nature protected areas. We propose to do this by developing a novel, comprehensive method of calculating carrying capacity of protected areas, and demonstrating the method for two protected areas of divergent environmental and socio-economic attributes.more »
Biodegradation of the macrolide antibiotic azithromycin and its effect on microbial community composition and structure in wastewater treatment plants
The extensive use of antibiotics for human, veterinary and agricultural purposes results in their continuous release into the environment. There is a widespread concern that this environmental pollution contributes to the increasingly problematic development of antibiotic resistance genes and bacteria, which reduce the therapeutical effectiveness of antibiotics. Many studies have shown that the elimination of antibiotics in conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is poor simply because these units have not been designed to remove such compounds. Consequently, WWTPs are considered as one of the main ˝hotspots˝ for the release of antibiotics into the aquatic environment. As the maximum allowable concentrations of antibiotics in environmental waters are not regulated yet, scientists are concerned about negative effects of these compounds on ecosystems and public health. Therefore, in order to reduce the prevalence and dispersion of antibiotics from WWTPs, it is imperative to better understand the mechanisms relevant for their removal within WWTPs.more »
The aim of the study was to compare for the first time environmental records (stable isotope ratios, metal concentrations and radionuclide activities) obtained from the recent tufa with those from ambient water where tufa precipitated for the first time.more »
Comprehensive assessment of the environmental behaviour and fate of pharmaceutically active contaminants: macrolide antibiotics and opioid analgesic...
Aquatic ecosystems throughout the world are exposed to an increasing pressure from various anthropogenic sources that release large variety of potentially harmful synthetic organic contaminants, including pharmaceutically active compounds. Most of the environmental studies of pharmaceuticals are focused mainly on the determination of parent compounds and encompass only one environmental compartment. Such simplified approach often underestimates the ecotoxicological relevance of a contaminant class, either by neglecting the contribution of its transformation products or by overlooking some critical mechanisms that may pose a threat to the environmental safety and human health. As opposed to that, this project aims at demonstrating the importance of the comprehensive assessment of aquatic contaminants, based on the study of two important groups of pharmaceuticals, macrolide antibiotics (MAs) and opioid analgesics (OAs), by including their main transformation products (TPs) and addressing the issue of physico-chemical partitioning in the exposure assessment.more »
Development and evaluation of innovative tools to estimate the ecotoxicological imapact of low dose pesticide application in agriculture on soil fun...
Development and evaluation of innovative tools to estimate the ecotoxicological impact of low dose pesticide application in agriculture on soil func...
The ECOFUN-MICROBIODIV project aimed at developing and evaluating innovative tools to estimate the ecotoxicological impact of low dose pesticides used in agriculture on soil functional microbial biodiversity. It proposed to estimate the impact of sulfonylurea herbicide on soil microbial biodiversity and functioning. This project is based on an interdisciplinary approach conducted at different scale, from the field plot to the greenhouse, to test in corn crop the impact of chemical weeding compared to mechanical.more »
Oxidant is an ion or a compound that reacts with a certain component of a living cell and oxidizes it. The reactive oxygen species produced in cells include hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid, hydroxyl radical and superoxide anion. Antioxidant is a foreign substance that reacts with the oxidant faster than the components of the cell. An imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in favour of the oxidants is termed oxidative stress. Antioxidants act as free radical scavengers and therefore can lower the risk of numerous degenerative diseases by preventing damages caused by free radicals. Fruits and vegetables are the major sources of antioxidants in human diet. Several natural compounds found in food, such as polyphenols, vitamins A and E, and some carotenoids, have been found to show excellent antioxidant activity. Chlorophylls and their derivatives have also been reported to possess this activity. However, literature is still scarce regarding their antioxidant properties. It is known that the amount of each antioxidant in fruits, vegetables and their derivatives is strongly influenced by numerous factors such as agro-technical processes, environmental conditions, processing factors and storage conditions. Continuous monitoring of antioxidant capacity of plant-based foods through different phases, from cultivation to storage, is needed to maintain or even improve the beneficial properties of food. The goal of this project is to develop several cyclic multi-pulse voltammetric techniques for the characterization of natural antioxidants and to apply them in routine analysis of food quality. Experimental results will be explained by the comparison with the theoretical simulation of responses of various electrode mechanisms of independent and conjugated multiple redox centers.more »
Establishing and developing of an ecotoxicology platform in Serbia and Croatia: a focus on zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Swiss National Science Fondation (SNSF), SCOPES Joint Research Projectmore »
Estimating the role of marine biogenic organosulfur compunds in the formation and properties of atmospheric organic aerosols
Croatia-Slovenia cooperation in science and technology, 2016-2017, PI S. Frka Milosavljevićmore »
Exploring the impact of wastewaters from pharmaceutical industries on the composition and antibiotic resistance profile of exposed microbial communi...
The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria is currently one of the most serious health threats. There is growing evidence that continuous environmental discharge of antibiotics and heavy metals contributes to this issue. The selection pressure imposed by these pollutants has promoted the development and spread of antibiotic resistance among commensal and pathogenic bacteria. Although pharmaceutical waste is recognized as the most important point source of these pollutants in the receiving aquatic environment, its impact on the composition and antibiotic resistance profile of exposed microbial communities is not known. To fill this important research gap, we propose to take an interdisciplinary approach focusing on freshwater sediments impacted by wastewaters of two local pharmaceutical industries. We will assess the prevalence of antibiotics and heavy metals in these sediments and identify potential hot spots for resistance evolution. Antibiotic resistance genes from hot spots and reference sites will be discovered using functional metagenomics. This will lay the groundwork for a quantitative study that will establish spatio-temporal relationships between industrial discharge and the occurrence of antibiotic resistance. This, in combination with direct capturing of resistance plasmids from sediment bacteria to a model pathogens will be critical to draw conclusions about the spread of resistance genes among bacteria. Complete sequencing of transferable plasmids will furthermore assist in identifying novel plasmids that carry clustered antibiotic and heavy metal resistance gene loci. Finally, the impact of discharge on dynamics of sediment community composition will be analyzed by Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. We believe that the obtained knowledge will have vital implications for the development of effective management strategies to reduce the spread of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance determinants via environmental pathways.more »
Wild fish stocks are being rapidly depleted, and mariculture – cultivating marine organisms in a controlled environment – can provide an alternative source of seafood. Worldwide mariculture fish production is rapidly growing, and developing mariculture is one of Croatia's strategic goals. Achieving this goal requires minimizing production costs and environmental impacts of mariculture.
The aim of the UKF project FiMDEB was to create a model relating feeding to fish growth, and use it to investigate how common feeding scenarios could be improved. The model was to be based on Dynamic Energy Budget theory of metabolic organization, which describes how organisms acquire and partition energy. Since fish feed constitutes approximately 50% of operational costs of mariculture, any savings in fish feed can lead to substantial savings in production costs.more »
FP7 Programme, Sensitive MeAsuRmenT, detection and identification of engineered NANO particles in complex matrices
2012-2016, PI (Croatia) D. Lyons, collaborator: T. Mišić Radićmore »
The main objective of the project is to perform hydrogeological investigations to define exact origin of water of the Kupa River.
Hypothesis is that the sources of Kupa and Rječina rivers (belonging to Black Sea and Adriatic Sea watersheds respectively) both originate from the same groundwater body situated at the boundary of the two watersheds under the mountain Risnjak. The two sources are at the distance of 22 km, at 313 and 385 meters above sea level, respectively.more »
Application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has been recognized worldwide through environmental monitoring and risk management in the case of natural hazards, industrial accidents and dangerous influence of energy and traffic systems (Environmental Informatics). Of special interest are ICT-based in-situ measurement systems and Monitoring of the Environment based on networking of sensors and communication systems. Our research is interdisciplinary and belongs to these strategic directions. The main goals of our project concern development of specialized information systems (IS), Web applications for temporal and spatial presentations and services necessary to provide the efficient management of complex data and processes in investigations of the water quality, natural and anthropogenic pollution sources, the risk assessment and particularly the influence of river traffic on the waterways.more »
Integration of geo-chemical laboratory techniques, in situ field measurement, and hyperspectral air-borne remote sensing for environmental risk asse...
The aim of the proposed bilateral project is to start a long term co-operation between two departments having similar scientific interests and results in the field of analysis and risk assessment of environmental heavy metal contamination, however, using different research approaches. Combining the techniques, which are, even separately, at the frontline of scientific applications, an integrated, highly precise and generally applicable method will be developed, validated and tested. Three approaches will be integrated including high scale hyperspectral air-borne imaginary of high resolution, X-ray fluorescent spectrometry for non-destructive in situ measurement with many sampling points to work out adequate and most reliable sampling strategy, and high tech laboratory techniques for geochemical analyses.more »
The SPHERE as an extension and continuation of the project „Nature of organic matter, interaction with traces and surfaces in environment“ aims to study sulphur (S) and carbon (C) dynamics between different environmental compartments (atmosphere, water, sediment, biota) of the sea- and fresh-water environment including distribution between organic, inorganic, dissolved, colloidal and nanoparticulate fractions.more »
Transport and Chemodynamics of Trace Elements in Freshwater and Coastal Sedimentary Systems (TRACESS)
The aim of the proposed project entitled "Transport and Chemodynamics of Trace Elements in Freshwater and Coastal Sedimentary Systems" (TRACESS) is to increase our understanding of the biogeochemical cycles that are important for freshwater and coastal sedimentary systems in karstic areas, using specific groups of elements i.e. anthropogenic and bioactive (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, V, Zn), rare earth elements (REE), redox sensitive elements, toxic elements and compounds (organotin compounds) which were chosen to represent different biogeochemical environments where a suite of geochemical processes can be traced. Sideline research will involve balneochemical investigations of peloid producing environments in pristine and anthropogenically impacted locations along the eastern Adriatic coast.more »
- visualization and characterization of surfaces and surface processes on the nanoscale using atomic force microscopy (AFM)