Postdoctoral Researcher / Ecotoxicologist
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Leiden, Netherlands
6 dagen geleden

Naturalis is partner in the LIFE Environment and Resource Efficiency Project entitled Systematic use of contaminant data from apex predators and their prey in chemicals management (LIFE APEX)

The AIM of LIFE APEX is to improve systematic use, by regulators, of chemical monitoring data from apex predators and prey ( AP&P’) for better chemicals management, thereby reducing exposure to harmful substances and protecting human health and the environment.

Chemical monitoring data from apex predators (e.g. raptors, otters, seals) are of particular value; their position at the tops of food webs means they act as sentinels to reveal harmful (persistent, bio-

accumulative, toxic PBT) substances, in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. When combined with data from selected prey (e.

g. fish), apex predator data can deliver useful quantitative information on bioaccumulation. LIFE APEX involves making better and more cost-

effective use of chemical monitoring data from to the large, valuable but underused resource of AP&P samples in Europe’s Environmental Specimen Banks (ESBs), Natural History Museums (NHM) and other collections.

LIFE APEX responds to explicit needs of regulators for specific regulatory applications in relation to REACH and the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR).

LIFE APEX is financed for 4 years under the 2017 LIFE Environment and Resource Efficiency project. Starting date 1 September 2018.

The main responsibility of the Ecotoxicologist will be to take the lead for Naturalis in demonstrating the use of chemical monitoring data from raptor samples to assess impact and effectiveness of risk mitigation measures at national and European scales.

The objective is to show that chemical monitoring data from raptor samples from environmental specimen banks (ESBs) and natural history museums (NHMs) can be used for wide-

scale assessment of chemical risk mitigation measures (RMM). This will involve showing that NHM samples can usefully complement samples from ESBs and developing guidelines for tracking changes in chemical concentrations in samples from raptors and other apex predators.

The Ecotoxicologist will collaborate with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). CEH will lead the overall coordination and will coordinate the work with respect to ESB samples.

The Ecotoxicologist will focus on the NHM samples and therefore collaborate with the University of Florence (Department of Chemistry), which will carry out the chemical analyses of selected NHM samples.

  • Specifically, this demonstration work will involve : (1) a review of literature (focused on legacy persistent organic pollutants) to provide proof of concept and elucidate key issues;
  • 2) developing guidelines on use of NHM raptor samples to monitor environmental changes in pollutants; (3) demonstrating potential for pooling samples, impact of pooling on power to detect change in contaminant concentrations at country scale;
  • 4) demonstrating monitoring at pan-European scale; (5) developing a framework on generation and use of raptor chemical monitoring data to assess RMM.

    In addition, the Ecotoxicologist will provide input to a number of other actions of the LIFE APEX project, including :

  • Testing of the functionality of collection templates for the collection of data on available AP&P samples from ESBs and NHMs;
  • Input to a protocol on regulatory application of the approach for assessment of effectiveness of RMMs and a report on the relevance of the approach to the chemicals industry;
  • Input to LIFE APEX dissemination and communications strategy and public outreach through NHMs;
  • Input to LIFE APEX project reporting and After-LIFE planning;
  • Supporting the Fraunhofer Institute (Fh-IME) in the review of existing Quality Assessment for sampling, processing and archiving of AP&P samples and the development of guidance on assessing quality of AP&P chemical monitoring data;
  • Supporting the Naturalis Project Manager (PM) on engaging other NHMs across Europe as Replication and Transfer (R&T) Partners;
  • Supporting the Naturalis PM in gathering AP&P samples (otter, seal, raptor) from NHMs across Europe for wide-scope target and non-target screening;
  • Support to the Naturalis PM in relation to project monitoring.
  • General requirements and skills :

    The successful candidate should have a PhD in environmental toxicology with :

  • a track record of at least 4 of relevant post-doctoral experience including publications in international peer reviewed journals;
  • knowledge of the literature on contaminant monitoring in raptors and of key issues relating to contaminant monitoring in raptors;
  • knowledge of suitable samples and appropriate analytical methods for monitoring of contaminants in raptors, and ability to interpret analytical results;
  • experience of networking in relation to the use of raptors for chemical monitoring in Europe;
  • experience in development of protocols relating to contaminant monitoring in raptors;
  • experience in organizing international workshops;
  • written and spoken proficiency in English including the ability to write scientific papers and reports.
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