Bioaccumulation of emerging contaminants in Red Sea coral reef organismsApply
Emerging contaminants (i.e., contaminants that have been recently in the ecosystem) are becoming a concern worldwide. Several studies have shown that contaminants can bioaccumulate in marine organisms, causing physiological and morphological impacts. Among these contaminants are some stimulants (caffeine) and medicines (e.g., diclofenac) that are commonly used by humans and end up frequently in the marine environment. Limited information is available in the Red Sea regarding the accumulation of emerging contaminants in coral reef organisms. Nevertheless, previous research in the region showed high concentrations of contaminants like caffeine and diclofenac in water samples collected near urbanized areas. This project aims to quantify the concentrations of caffeine and diclofenac in biological tissues of reef-associated organisms like corals and algae. This study will serve as the foundation to conduct ecotoxicological studies to investigate the response of those organisms to different concentrations of these emerging contaminants and guide environmental regulation. The student will participate in the processing of samples, quantification of contaminants, data analyses and writing. If time permits, one lab-based experiment will be conducted to assess the responses of coral larvae to observed concentration ranges of targeted contaminants.
Desired Project Deliverables
Draft of a publication based on the data collected.
Develop and conduct a lab-based ecotoxicological experiment