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Laboratory for Biological Effects of Metals

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.

Laboratory for Biological Effects of Metals

 Mission and vision

  • to define biological and biochemical changes in indigenous aquatic organisms (bivalves and fish) caused by essential and non-essential metals, using integrated biological and chemical approach
  • to apply interdisciplinary skills and knowledge for implementation of WFD and MSFD to achieve and maintain good environmental status of Croatian natural waters

 Research topics

  • assessment of metal bioavailability in aquatic environment using passive samplers for metals and cytosolic metal levels in tissues of aquatic organisms
  • investigation of inducibility, polymorphism and metal-binding properties of metallothioneins (MTs)
  • assessment of natural and metal induced variability of MTs and their application in marine, estuarine and freshwater organisms (bivalves and fish) as a biomarker of exposure to metals
  • use of fish intestine parasites (Acanthocephala) as indicators of fish exposure to dietborne metals
  • application of cellular energy allocation in bivalves from estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems to assess the natural or anthropogenic stress
  • application of chromatographic and metal analyses to characterise protein and metal profiles in the cytosols of aquatic organisms
  • integration of the collected biological and chemical data to differentiate the impact of natural factors from the anthropogenic impact on the studied biomarkers


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