In our ever-expanding world, manufactured chemicals are essential. The diverse range of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and personal care products we use are vital to maintaining public health, food production, and quality of life.
But their use throughout society is causing increased chemical pollution in our environment. This project will explore the link between the sources of chemical pollutants and their effects. We will study their pathways, fate, and ecological impacts in freshwater ecosystems. In particular, we'll look at the effects on freshwater microbes and the functions they perform.
Through this project, we will:
Field sites include the River Thames and Bristol Avon catchments in southern England. We've chosen locations that coincide with wastewater treatment works. This will allow us to understand how chemicals in sewage effluents contribute to the chemical burden. We can also assess the ecological impacts across land use gradients.
PACIFIC is a collaboration led by Dr Daniel Read of the UK Centre of Ecology & Hydrology. Partners include Professor Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, University of Bath; Dr Michelle Jackson, University of Oxford; and Dr Kerry Walsh, Environment Agency.