Aquatic Ecotoxicology

  • Work with a partner with more than 20 years of experience in a wide range of study types on water quality and aquatic life. Accessing our new state-of-the-art facilities, purpose-built, high spec aquatic facility.
  • Services Available
Aquatic Ecotoxicology



Fera offers a full package of studies to GLP on aquatic non-target organisms, on microorganisms and ready biodegradability tests. The potential toxic effects of Plant Protection Products (PPPs), chemicals and metabolites on algae and aquatic macrophytes are examined using different types of study designs in accordance with current OECD and EPA guidelines, covering the requirements for the registration of plant protection products (PPPs) and veterinary medicines. 

All studies are planned and performed by an experienced team of scientists and technical personnel, with the analytical dose verification and fate of the active ingredient(s) is performed as close as possible in parallel to the biological part of the study. We can also adapt our services to provide bespoke tests that meet your specific data requirements. 

"Our routine tests can be adapted to suit your particular data requirements"


Fera has the best people in the right place focussed on delivering the right solution. We continuously invest in our people and support them in delivering the best science to our partners.
Osama Chahrour

Gordon Turnbull

Gordon works on the detection and measurement of herbicide, pesticide, veterinary medicine and other chemical residues.  As a GLP study director, Gordon has conducted a wide range of studies including method development and validation, the analysis of crops and animal tissues, and environmental risk assessment studies using both radiolabelled and non-radiolabelled chemical substances.

Meet the scientists

Steve Mattock

Steve is the Head of the Ecotoxicology group at Fera. Steve has over 22 years practical experience of conducting ecotoxicology studies in both industry and contract research laboratories. In addition, he has also spent over 15 years working as an environmental risk assessor preparing ecotoxicology risk assessments for plant protection products, biocides and REACH related registrations.

Chris Sinclair

Chris Sinclair

Chris is an expert in regulatory environmental risk assessment processes, registration requirements and guidance for pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines and pesticides, with over 15 years experience. He also leads on the ecotoxicology of chemicals (quantifying the impact chemicals have on terrestrial and aquatic organisms from earthworms and plants to fish and crustaceans). 


Interested in taking a tour of our new mesocosm facility - for Higher Tier Risk Assessments? 



Services Available


Study Guideline⠀⠀
Description of Test
OECD 201
Freshwater alga and cyanobacteria, growth inhibition test
OECD 202
Daphnia sp. acute immobilisation test
OECD 203 Fish, acute toxicity test
OECD 235 Chironomus sp., Acute Immobilisation Test
OECD 210 Fish, Early-life Stage Toxicity Test
OECD 211 Daphnia magna Reproduction Test
OECD 233 Sediment-Water Chironomid Life-Cycle Toxicity Test Using Spiked Water or Spiked Sediment
OECD 221 Lemna sp. Growth Inhibition Test
OECD 218 Chironomid Toxicity Test Using Spiked Sediment
OECD 219 Chironomid Toxicity Test Using Spiked Water
OECD 239 Water-Sediment Myriophyllum Spicatum Toxicity Test
OECD 305 Bioconcentration: Flow-through Fish Test


More detail below regarding the available tests:

OECD 201, OECD 202, OECD 203 and OECD 235

Effects on Aquatic Organisms

For the protection of the aquatic environment, it is important that testing assesses each of the trophic levels; primary producers (photosynthetic organisms), primary consumers (herbivores) and secondary consumers (predatory organisms).  For the primary producers, tests are performed that provide the Effective Concentration test statistics (EC10, EC20, EC50) and corresponding No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) for the green alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (OECD 201).  Where herbicidal activity is exhibited and a second species is required, the same endpoints are provided for the diatom Navicula pelliculosa.  Where anti-microbial activity is known, a cyanobacterial species such as Anabaena flos-aquae can be used.

For the protection of primary consumers, tests are performed that provide the 24 and 48 hour median Effective Concentration (EC50), and where possible the No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) for the cladoceran Daphnia magna (OECD 202)Where an insecticidal mode of action is known or insecticidal activity is exhibited and a second species is required the same endpoints are provided for the dipteran Chironomus riparius (OECD 235).  For the protection of secondary consumers, yet in order to minimise fish testing, a threshold approach is taken and a limit test performed wherever possible, with Oncorhynchus mykiss (OECD 203).

.

OECD 210, OECD 211, OECD 218, OECD 219, OECD 233 and OECD 305

Long-term and Chronic Effects

Where exposure of surface water is both likely and long-lasting due to the fate and stability of compounds, it is important that longer term chronic assessments are made for the relevant trophic levels.  For the protection of primary consumers, tests are performed that provide the Effective Concentration test statistics (EC10, EC20) and corresponding No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) for reproduction in the cladoceran Daphnia magna (OECD 211).  Where insect growth regulation is known or accumulation in aquatic sediment is indicated, the same endpoints or provided for development of the dipteran Chironomus riparius (OECD 218/219 or OECD 233).

For the protection of secondary consumers (fish), tests are performed that provide the Effective Concentration test statistics (EC10, EC20) and corresponding No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) for the Early Life Stage (OECD 210).  Additionally, where bioconcentration is indicated, then relevant BCF and uptake/depuration rate constants are provided (OECD 305).

OECD 221, OECD 238 and OECD 239

Effects on Aquatic Macrophytes

Primary producers are considered sufficiently protected by the OECD 201 test, unless herbicidal activity or plant growth regulation is known, then tests are performed that provide the Effective Concentration test statistics (EC10, EC20, EC50) and corresponding No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) for the macrophyte Lemna minor (OECD 221)Additionally, if there are clear indications of effects on dicotyledons or monocotyledons, the same endpoints are provided for Myriophyllum spicatum (OECD 238/239) or Glyceria maxima respectively.


Contact us

Experience the ultimate interactive map and virtual tour of Fera


Copyright © 2019 Fera Science Limited (“Fera”). All rights reserved.
Registered Office: 30 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LR. Registered in England & Wales, No 9413107. Fera is a joint venture company of Capita Plc, 30 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LR. Registered in England and Wales No 02081330. VAT Registration ID: GB 618184140
For further information about how Fera uses any personal data collected from you, please see our Privacy Notice at www.fera.co.uk/privacy-policy.