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SETAC AGB conference 21-22 March 2017

Posted By Brett P. Lyons, Thursday, February 23, 2017

The upcoming SETAC AGB Annual Meeting will be held at

 

SETAC Arabian Gulf Branch Annual meeting

Qatar University

March 21 & 22, 2017

 

The theme for this year’s meeting will be

 

Environmental Quality in the GCC: Addressing the Challenges

 

and include sessions on

 

Oil Spill-Related Research and Monitoring

Assessing Environmental Impacts and Ecosystem Well-Being

Addressing Future Challenges to Environmental Quality

 

We are now soliciting abstracts for platform and poster presentations (please submit to: setacagb@gmail.com) 

The deadline for submission will be February 28, 2017

 

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting! 


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Assessing the health of Kuwait's marine environment

Posted By Brett P. Lyons, Monday, December 12, 2016

Research assessing the health of Kuwait's marine environment formed the basis of a special issue in Marine Pollution Bulletin and was presented at SETAC Europe (Nantes) 2016

Scientists from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), UK worked with the Kuwait Environment Public Authority (KEPA) to undertake an extensive monitoring programme to assess the impact of sewage and industrial effluent discharged into Kuwait’s marine environment. Based in and around Kuwait Bay, the integrated programme included field work, training packages and the analysis of 30 years of historic water quality data.

Kuwait is situated at the north-western corner of the Arabian (Persian) Gulf. Its territorial waters are characterised by shallow seas, high summer water temperatures (>30oC) and elevated salinities (average 41‰). A main feature of its marine environment is Kuwait Bay. This 750 km2 semi-enclosed shallow body of water provides vital habitats and nursery grounds for many fish, shrimp and other ecologically important organisms (eg elasmobranchs, marine mammals and sea birds).

The work included reviewing historic data to establish a baseline of marine pollution, and collecting new data on both the current levels of chemical contamination and sewage pollution in sediments from areas impacted by industrial and wastewater discharges. A review of historic water nutrient data clearly indicated that such discharges are adversely effecting water quality in the seas around Kuwait.

Aligned to this was the collection of data on the uptake and accumulation of chemical contaminants in teleost fish and sharks sampled from Kuwait Bay. Significantly, levels of metal contamination in the extremely rare smoothtooth blacktip shark (Carcharhinus leidon) were shown to exceed human food safety limits. Kuwaiti waters are one of only two locations where the smoothtooth blacktip shark is known to occur. Therefore, such findings emphasize the need for further research and the implementation of appropriate management measures to help conserve this threatened species.

The biological effects of chemicals being released into Kuwait’s marine environment were investigated using both marine ecotoxicology bioassays and histopathological assessments of fish health. Several effluents discharging into Kuwait bay were shown to be toxic to marine species and have endocrine disrupting properties.

The research presented in the marine Pollution Bulletin special issue provides an important source of baseline information to guide management decision making within Kuwait. It will also help establish appropriate long term monitoring programmes. The contributions from a number of different management and research organisations, demonstrates the increasing focus on the status of the Kuwaiti marine environment. This provides hope that Kuwait, a country with a long cultural association with the sea, can balance the demands of a rapidly changing country with the steps required to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem status for the benefit of current and future generations.

 

 

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PhD opportunity in marine eco-genotoxicology at the Environmental Science Center, Qatar University.

Posted By Brett P. Lyons, Monday, December 12, 2016

 

PhD opportunity:

In the context of the recently approved Qatar Foundation NPRP9-394-1-090 project: “The Pearl Oyster: from national icon to guardian of Qatar's marine environment” (1), the Environmental Science Center, Qatar University (http://www.qu.edu.qa/offices/research/esc/) has a 36 months research assistant position available for a new PhD student.

The PhD research project will focus on the assessment of the Qatari marine environment ecotoxicological status, focusing on the identification of the potential ecological effects of contaminants at different biological organization levels (gene, chromosome, cell, individual and population), through a multidisciplinary approach, with the evaluation of classical and eco-genotoxicological endpoints, integrative histopathology and the determination of the transcriptomic responses to the different environmental stresses.

The PhD will be performed in collaboration with the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Weymouth, UK, and the PhD student will be trained (both in ESC-QU and Cefas) on the main and more recent methodologies for the assessment of the marine environment ecotoxicological status.

For more details, please contact: Dr. Jeff Obbard, Director ESC: jeff.obbard@qu.edu.qa or Dr. Alexandra Leitão-Ben Hamadou: Alexandra.hamadou@qu.edu.qa.

1)      http://www.qnrf.org/en-us/Funding/Research-Programs/National-Priorities-Research-Program-NPRP

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