Objective 1

Identify biomarkers in freshwater and coastal/marine species from the Brazilian fauna that could be usefull as reference parameters in the establishment of environmental regulations aiming to preserve both continental and coastal waters in Brazil. This identification is based on modern technologies and tools available in the Aquatic Toxicology field.


  • a)To analyze the bulk of scientific data available in the literature from studies that employed aquatic native species from Brazil in toxicity tests with metals, pesticides, hydrocarbons and domestic sewage, aiming to elaborate and to make electronically available a toxicology databank containing the listing of studied species and the characteristics of the tests employed.

  • b)To identify and select, based on criteria established in the recent literature, aquatic animal species (one from freshwater and one from marine coastal water) from the Brazilian fauna as biological models for use in toxicity tests with metals, pesticides, hydrocarbons and domestic sewage.

  • c)To perform toxicity tests in laboratory with at lest one chemical compound of reference from each one of the aquatic contaminants selected (metals, pesticides and hydrocarbons) and with a mixture of contaminants (domestic sewage). The species previously selected will be employed and the response of 15 biomarkers among the morphological, biochemical, physiological, immunological, genetic, and behavioral ones will be analyzed. These biomarkers will include the classical or those developed by INCT-TA researchers.

  • d)To analyze the physicochemical characteristics of the experimental media and the concentration of the reference chemical compounds employed in the toxicity tests aiming to model the response of the 15 biomarkers previously analyzed.

  • e)To select, based on the modeling previously performed, the 3 biomarkers that better responded to each one of the reference chemicals or the mixture of contaminants, giving preference to those showing a relationship with behavioral effects.

  • f)To perform, in situ, the calibration of the 3 biomarkers selected, through collection of environmental and biological samples from the same species tested in laboratory and collected in freshwater and estuarine-coastal water bodies showing recognized different degrees of contamination with metals, pesticides, hydrocarbons, and domestic sewage.

  • g)To verify, based on the results from the toxicity tests performed in laboratory and from the calibration studies performed in situ, the adequacy of the Brazilian regulation regarding the emission of metals, pesticides, hydrocarbons and domestic sewage in freshwater and coastal waters from Brazil.

Objective 2

To contribute in the training of high-quality personnel capable to develop advanced studies in Aquatic Toxicology and forefront activities associated with the development and application of chemical, biological and ecotoxicological modeling tools, aiming to preserve the Brazilian water resources.


  • a)To contribute in the training program of 72 technologists through undergraduate courses and supervision of their dissertations in the scope of the Technological Course in Environmental Toxicology offered by the Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG).

  • b)To participate in the training program of 500 undergraduate students in the Biological and Earth Science fields through undergraduate courses offered by the FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF RIO GRANDE (FURG), FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF SANTA CATARINA (UFSC), FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF PARANÁ (UFPR), STATE UNIVERSITY OF LONDRINA (UEL), FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF SÃO CARLOS (UFSCAR) and FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF PERNAMBUCO (UFPE).

  • c)To participate in the training program of 50 undergraduate students in the Biological and Earth Science fields through supervision of their BSc thesis at the undergraduate courses offered by FURG, UFSC, UFPR, UEL, UFSCAR and UFPE.

  • d)To contribute in the training program of 50 Master and PhD students through graduate courses and supervision of their MSc and PhD thesis in the scope of the graduate programs offered by FURG, UFSC, UFPR, UEL, UFSCAR and UFPE.

  • e)To complement the training program of 10 junior post-doctorates through supervision of their academic activities in the scope of the Aquatic Toxicology in laboratories from INCT-TA associated groups.

Objective 3

To transfer knowledge to society on different aspects of aquatic contamination and pollution, especially on the threats to environmental and human health, as well as on the need to preserve water resources for our well-being and of the next generations.


  • a)To elaborate instructional material for education and science diffusion containing recent knowledge on the different aspects of pollution and aquatic toxicology, conservation of water resources, and the routine of Aquatic Toxicology researchers. This material will be consisted of a series of TV shows with popular profile and will be on air in five presentations of 30 min each. Diffusion will be reached through the science diffusion program of FURG-TV and the other TV stations from the partners Universities.

  • b)To produce instructional material for education and science diffusion as a high-quality DVD that will be distributed to 100 public elementary and high schools in the educational area of influence of the headquarter and partners Universities.

Objective 4

To transfer knowledge to decision makers (governamental agencies) aiming the implementation of a monitoring program on the conservation of Brazilian water resources based on the application of modern tools to detect the biological effects of water contaminants.


  • a)To organize an annual conjoint meeting between INCT-TA researchers and Brazilian government representatives involved in water quality monitoring, favoring the generation of public politics regarding conservation of aquatic life and direct transference of the scientific and technological knowledge generated by the INCT-TA.

  • b)To prepare, in conjunction with decision makers, a viable proposal for application of adequate, practical and low costing biomarkers as a complementary tool in the formulation of public politics, aiming the adequate monitoring and conservation of the quality of water resources.