Inês Domingues
Evaluation of effects of neuroactive contaminants using behavioral endpoints
The input of neuroactive contaminants (NC) in aquatic systems has been increasing worldwide. These compounds may include pharmaceuticals (especially psychiatric drugs), pesticides (such as organophosphorus) and metals derived from industrial residues. Attending to NC mode of action (direct effect on the nervous system, behavior and neuro-endocrine regulation) and to their low environmental concentrations, it stands to reason that current standard methodologies to assess ecological risk are unable to detect effects of these compounds since they are often manifested in a long term scenario and via functional alterations of the brain that cannot be perceived by the endpoints generally adopted. The central hypothesis of this project is that low concentrations of NC found in the environment may alter brain function in zebrafish (Danio rerio) and that these effects can be detected using a battery of behavioral tests based on locomotion outputs after specific relevant exposure scenarios. The compounds of interest in this project are compounds detected in the region of Estarreja, a region belonging to the “Ria de Aveiro” delta, with an important wild life richness but also threatened by industrial and agricultural activities. This project will contribute with relevant data for an accurate risk assessment of neuroactive compounds found in Estarreja region.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • Estarreja


I have graduated in Biology at University of Porto in 2000 and completed a PhD degree in Ecology at University of Aveiro (UA) in 2007 where I stayed as a pos-doc researcher until 2019. Since PhD I have been working in the areas of aquatic ecotoxicology, using the zebrafish as a model organism to evaluate effects of environmental pollutants and emphasizing the use of the embryo test as an alternative test method in animal experimentation. Please see my complete cv at www.cesam.ua.pt/inesdomingues