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ESR 10: Liyan Xie

Country of origin: China

Host institution: Aarhus University


About me

Liyan attained her degree of bachelor in Environmental Science from Hong Kong Baptist University, China. She developed a strong interest in ecotoxicology, which led her to the subject of the Bachelor thesis with investigation on the effect of low-dose cadmium on zebrafish embryos and the combined effect of low-dose cadmium and Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate on zebrafish in term of physiological response. She continued to do a master study in the field of environmental toxicology at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. In the first year study, she acquired theoretical and practical experience on ecotoxicology. As part of her master study, she engaged in an internship project at the Department of ecology, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) which was about the role of the biotransformation pathway of Folsomia candida in detoxifying a neonicotinoid.

Currently, she is employed as PhD student at the Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University. The work will focus on soil invertebrates - Collembola and Enchytraeidae and their responses to the combined exposure of contaminants and natural stressors. Particularly, she will use the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) framework to link the individual and population level response and finally feed the data into assessment at community/ecosystem service level to make the AOPs complete.


Project title: Linking individual and population level responses to combined effects of contaminants and natural stressors
Objectives: Develop and use Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) framework for analysing individual and population responses to combined effects of chemical and natural stressors in springtails and/or oligochaetes.
Test hypothesis that both detoxification and repair of toxicant injuries costs in terms of energy, and that acclimation and stress responses induced by exposure to natural stressors have costs in terms of energy.
Test hypothesis that costs – if not compensated for–impact on growth, reproduction and ultimately on population growth rates.
Expected results: Test designs allowing well-controlled dosage of contaminants combined with well-controlled natural stressors; measure metabolic status, growth, reproduction and survival over time. Model data with DEBtox.
Understand importance of selected relevant natural stressors for toxicity of chemicals at higher organizational levels. Feed results into assessments at community/ ecosystem service levels.
Complement work of ESRs 1 and 14 to map complete AOP of combined effects of chemical and natural stressors.
Place: Aarhus, Denmark
Planned secondments: VUA, M24, 2 months, learn DEB theory and methodology
ECT, M30, 2 months, link the data at the individual, population level to effects at the ecosystem level
Work packages: 4 - Predicting effects on ecosystem services through AOPs
3 - Linking molecular responses to effects at higher biological levels using adverse outcome pathways (AOPs)
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Martin Holmstrup, AU
Dr. Stine Slotsbo, AU
Prof. Dr. Kees van Gestel, VUA
Dr. Jörg Römbke, ECT
Host institution and enrolment: Aarhus University

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