Aquatic Pollution and Ecotoxicology Research

  • Food and Envirnomental Research Food and Envirnomental Research
  • Food and Envirnomental Research Food and Envirnomental Research
  • Food and Envirnomental Research Food and Envirnomental Research
  • Food and Envirnomental Research Food and Envirnomental Research
  • Food and Envirnomental Research Food and Envirnomental Research
  • Investigation Group Food and Envirnomental Research

Research Projects

Water resources are suffering an increasing deterioration due to population growth, the expansion of the agricultural frontier, the intensive rearing of animals and the development of numerous industries. Aquatic biota, including that which is consumed as food, is affected by these activities.

Our mail goal is to assess the impact of human activities on environmental compartments of the water system, including abiotic components (water, sediments and riverside soils) and the organisms that inhabit it.

For this purpose, we study chemical and biochemical markers that allow us to detect different types of pollution in the study area, predict the effect that such pollution can have on those organisms disrupting their health, and identify areas of food provision with different degrees of contamination.

Sources of organic pollution in rivers: identification by evaluation of chemical markers

The detection of key chemicals (chemical markers) to differentiate various sources of pollutants in waterbodies is a newly developed area of great importance for the management of water resources. Depending on the sample and the analyte to be studied, we apply different extraction techniques (for liquid, semisolid or solid samples) and measurement methods (LC or GC coupled to UV, fluorescence, Mass, Electron capture detection, among others) for identification, quantification and evaluation of environmental distribution of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides and fungicides), petroleum products, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, other pollutants such as emerging (drugs, personal care products, natural hormones, etc.) and their metabolites.

Native organisms as bioindicators of pollution in rivers

Biota exposed to an environmental contaminant may incorporate, metabolise, accumulate and/or eliminate it. This pollutant can also generate toxic effects on the exposed organism, from molecular level to individual level. One of our challenges is to study different biological responses, known and unknown, to be used as biomarkers of pollution in the exposed local biota. For this purpose, we use classical biochemical tools (gene expression, enzyme activity, levels of oxidized lipid, proteins and nucleic acids) validated in the bioindicator of interest. In this way, and working jointly with research groups from other scientific disciplines, we can elucidate mechanisms and levels of toxic action as well as pharmacokinetics of compounds on native species (plants, invertebrates and fish) present in our study area, including those that are edible.


Bonansea, R.; Wunderlin, D.A.; Amé, M.V. Behavioral swimming effects and acetylcholinesterase activity changes in Jenynsia multidentata exposed to chlorpyrifos and cypermethrin individually and in mixtures. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety (2016). 129: 311–319.

Bertrand, L.; Asís, R.; Monferrán, M.V.; Amé, M.V. Bioaccumulation and biochemical response in South American native species exposed to Zinc: Boosted Regression Trees as novel tool for biomarkers selection. Ecological Indicators (2016). 67: 769–778.

Bertrand, L.; Monferrán, M.V.; Mouneyrac, C.; Bonansea, R.I.; Asis, R.; Amé, M.V. Sensitive biomarker response of shrimp Palaemonetes argentinus exposed to chlorpyrifos at environmental concentrations: Role of alpha-tocopherol and metallothioneins.  Aquatic Toxicology (2016). 179: 72-81.

Bonifacio, A.F.,  Cazenave, J.,  Bacchetta, C.,  Ballesteros, M.L., Bistoni, M.A.,  Amé, M.V.,  Bertrand, L.,  Hued, A.C. Alterations in the general condition, biochemical parameters and locomotor activity in Cnesterodon decemmaculatus exposed to commercial formulations of chlorpyrifos, glyphosate and their mixtures. Ecological Indicators (2016). 67: 88-97.

Guyón, N.F.; Roggio, M.A.; Amé, M.V.; Wunderlin, D.A.; Bistoni, M.A. Annual dynamics of aromatase and physiological indexes in male fish inhabiting downstream wastewater treatment plant discharges. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (2016) 97:632–638.

Bonansea, R.I.; Marino, D.J.G.; Bertrand, L.; Wunderlin, D. A.; Amé, M.V. Tissue-specific bioconcentration and biotransformation of cypermethrin and chlorpyrifos in a native fish (Jenynsia multidentata) exposed to these insecticides singly and in mixtures. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2017) 36(7): 1764–1774.

Bertrand, L., Marino, D.J., Monferrán, M.V., Amé, M.V. Can a low concentration of an organophosphate insecticide cause negative effects on an aquatic macrophyte? Exposure of Potamogeton pusillus at environmentally relevant chlorpyrifos concentrations. Environmental and Experimental Botany (2017) 138: 139-147.

Ballesteros, M.L., Rivetti, N.G., Morillo, D.O., Bertrand, L., Amé, M.V., Bistoni, M.A.Multi-biomarker responses in fish (Jenynsia multidentata) to assess the impact of pollution in rivers with mixtures of environmental contaminants. Science of the Total Environment (2017) 595: 711-722.

Merlo, C., Amé, M.V., Bertrand, L., Abril, A. Changes in the bacterial community composition of different habitats along a polluted river (Suquía River, Cordoba, Argentina). Ecología Austral (2017) 27:072-084.

Bonifacio, A.F., Ballesteros, M.L., Bonansea, R.I., Filippi, I., Amé, M.V., Hued, A.C. Environmental relevant concentrations of a chlorpyrifos commercial formulation affect two neotropical fish species, Cheirodon interruptus and Cnesterodon decemmaculatus. Chemosphere (2017) 188: 486-493.

Bonansea, R.I.; Filippi, I.; Wunderlin, D. A.; Marino, D.J.G.; Amé, M.V. The Fate of Glyphosate and AMPA in a Freshwater Endorheic Basin: An Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment. Toxics (2018) 6, 3.

Lukaszewicz, G.; Amé, M.V.; Menone, M.L. Selection of reference genes for RT-qPCR analysis in the biomonitor macrophyte Bidens laevis L. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants (2018), 1-12.

Bertrand, L.; Monferrán, M.V.; Mouneyrac, C.; Amé, M.V. Native crustacean species as a bioindicator of freshwater ecosystem pollution: a multivariate and integrative study of multi-biomarker response in active river monitoring. Chemosphere 206 (2018), 265-277.

Iturburu, F.G.; Bertrand, L.; Mendieta, J.R.; Amé, M.V.; Menone, M.L. An integrated biomarker response study explains more than the sum of the parts: oxidative stress in the fish Australoheros facetus exposed to imidacloprid. Ecological Indicators 93 (2018), 351-357.

Zambrano, M.J.; Rautenberg, G.E.; Bonifacio, A.F.; Filippi, I. Amé, M.V.; Bonansea, R.I.; Hued, A.C. Effects of water quality on aspects of reproductive biology of Cnesterodon decemmaculatus. Science of The Total Environment 645 (2018), 10-21.

Vreys, N.; Amé, M.V.; Filippi, I.; Cazenave, J.; Valdés, M.E.; Bistoni, M.A. Effect of landscape changes on water quality and the health status of Heptapterus mustelinus (Siluriformes, Heptapteridae). Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (2019), on line. DOI: 10.1007/s00244-018-00593-7

Bertrand, L.; Monferrán, M.V.; Valdés, M.E.; Amé, M.V. Usefulness of a freshwater macrophyte (Potamogeton pusillus) for an environmental risk assessment in a multi-source contaminated basin.  Chemosphere 222 (2019) 1003-1016.

Lupi, L.; Bertrand, L.; Monferrán, M.V.; Amé, M.V.; Díaz, M.P. Multilevel and structural equation modeling approach to identify spatiotemporal patterns and source characterization of metals and metalloids in the aquatic environment. Journal of Hydrology 572 (2019) 403-413.

Iturburu, F.G.; Calderon, G.; Amé, M.V.; Menone, M.L. Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) of pesticides from freshwater ecosystems in Pampas region of Argentina: legacy and current use chemicals contribution. Science of The Total Environment 691 (2019) 476–482.

Corcoran, S., Metcalfe,C.D., Sultana, T., Amé, M.V., Menone, M.L. Pesticides in Surface Waters in Argentina Monitored Using Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Samplers. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 104 (2020) 21–26.

Griboff, J.; Wunderlin, D.A.; Horacekc, M.; Amé, M.V.; Monferrán, M.V. δ15N as an indicator of freshwater systems suitable for edible fish production. Ecological Indicators 108 (2020) 105743.

Salinas, C.; Amé, M.V., Bracamonte, G. Synthetic non-classical luminescence generation by Enhanced Silica Nanophotonics based on Nano-Bio-FRET. Royal Society of Chemistry Advances. RSC Adv., 2020, 10, 20620.

Griboff, J., Carrizo, J.C., Bonansea, R.I., Valdés, M.E., Wunderlin, D.A., Amé, M.V*. Multiantibiotic Residues in Commercial Fish From Argentina. The Presence of Mixtures of Antibiotics in Edible Fish, a Challenge to Health Risk Assessment. Food Chemistry 332, 2020, 127380.

Gotte, J.Y.; Carrizo, J.C.; Panzeri, A.M.; Amé, M.V.; Menone, M.L. Sublethal effects of carbendazim in Jenynsia multidentata detected by a battery of molecular, biochemical and genetic biomarkers. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 205 (2020) 111157.

Valdés, M. E.; Santos, L.H.M.L.M.; Rodríguez Castro, M. C.; Giorgi, A.; Barceló, D; Rodríguez-Mozaz, S.; Amé, M. V. Distribution of antibiotics in water, sediments and biofilm in an urban river (Córdoba, Argentina, LA). Environmental Pollution 269 (2021) 116133.