Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (UHEI)

Within UHEI, the Aquatic Ecology and Toxicology Group is affiliated with the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS). The COS Heidelberg studies organismic biology beyond the borders of organizational level. Research and teaching at COS is dedicated to study organismic biology from basic molecular principles from cell biology, developmental biology, plant and animal physiology to evolution, ecology, biodiversity, systems biology and biotechnology. The Aquatic Ecology and Toxicology Group has twenty-five years of experience in aquatic toxicology, especially fish ecotoxicology. Over the years, the group has made contributions to the effects of pesticides, dioxin-like substances, endocrine disruptors, genotoxicants, teratogenic compounds and neurotoxicants in fish. Most recent projects, however, have focused on the development of alternative protocols designed to replace conventional testing schemes with intact fish, be it at the level of basal (acute) and prolonged toxicity (including teratogenicity) or at the level of more specific modes of actions such as dioxin-like action, endocrine disruption, genotoxicity or neurotoxicity.

Thomas holds a PhD and habilitation in zoology and ecology. He is an expert in aquatic toxicology working with endocrine disruptors, cytopathology, histopathology of fish, genotoxicity assessment, embryo toxicity, neurotoxicity and biomarkers. He has 30 years of experience in the area and published over 200 international articles and books in this field. As the head of the Aquatic Ecology and Toxicology Group he has supervised over 200 Diploma/Masters students, 40 PhD students and is now working as an associate professor at UHEI. Thomas is a member of numerous societies (DZG, GDCh, GfI, GfÖ, GUM, EAFP, MBA UK, SETAC, SIL) and is on the advisory board of UBA for ecotoxicological testing methods, the advisory board of the German Federal Minister for Education and Science (BMBF), the OECD expert group for “Endocrine Disruptors”. As an official delegate of the German Federal Agency for the Environment to the OECD, a member of the OECD Fish Drafting Group, the Endocrine Disruptors Working Group and the Amphibian Expert Group, Thomas has made major contributions to the drafting and validation of OECD endocrine disruption-related OECD TG 229, TG 230, TG 231 and TG 234. With Lisa Baumann as co-PI, Thomas leads WP5 in ERGO. He is responsible for the coordination of the in vivo, in vitro and in chemico experimental work designed to close the data gaps within ERGO. His major tasks are the synchronization of laboratory activities within ERGO. As a member of the OECD Fish Drafting Group, Thomas directly connects ERGO to ongoing activities at the OECD level (together with Henrik Holbech).

Lisa has over 10 years’ experience in endocrine disruption research in fish. She has specialised in aquatic toxicology with focus on endocrine effects and immunotoxicity in fish, mainly zebrafish (Danio rerio). She has special expertise in fish (histo)pathology and developmental toxicity. Lisa is an internationally recognised expert on endocrine disruption in fish. She is currently employed as a research group leader and zebrafish facility manager in the Aquatic Ecology and Toxicology Group of Prof. Dr Thomas Braunbeck at the Centre for Organismal Studies at UHEI. Lisa is the leading UHEI scientist for the experimental work in ERGO’s WORK PACKAGE (WP) 5. As co-principal investigator for UHEI, she is responsible for the performance and supervision of laboratory work, data analyses and reporting to other WPs. Her major tasks are the organisation of the experimental work, coordination with other ERGO collaborators involved in the in vivo experimental work and the supervision of UHEI BSc, MSc and PhD candidates involved in ERGO.