We have specialist expertise in aquatic ecotoxicology which we utilise in a professional consulting capacity for clients in a range of industries and sectors including mining, desalination, local government (e.g. stormwater and WWTP assessment), processing (effluent discharge) and project development (e.g. dredging and sediment disturbance).
Skills and Techniques
Hydrobiology has extensive experience in monitoring macrobenthos, fish, seagrass and coral communities as part of impact assessment, ecosystem health and habitat association studies. Hydrobiology offers sector-specific technical skills in freshwater, estuarine and marine flora and fauna ecology, hydroacoustics, water and sediment quality monitoring, biomonitoring, ecotoxicology and developing and implementing risk assessment frameworks.
Our staff are highly proficient in the use of environmental guidelines such as the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (2000), and the National Assessment Guidelines for Dredging (2009) and other international guidelines, and have experience in applying a range of risk assessment frameworks (including the Australian Standards, CCME, IFC, OECD, WHO and US EPA). Hydrobiology has also contributed to standard development in this field.
Our key ecotoxicology skills and techniques include:
- Conducting surveys to assess diversity of flora and fauna, and other appropriate bioindicators of environmental quality in freshwater and marine habitats.
- Design and implementation of ecotoxicology testing programs, which may include:
- Direct Toxicity Assessment (DTA) of industrial or urban discharge waters;
- Focused studies of the toxicity of specific chemical contaminants;
- Developing site specific guidelines.
- Sediment toxicity testing to assess the suitability of dredge material for sea disposal;
- Derivation of Species Sensitivity Distributions (SSD);
- Designing and analysing efficient monitoring programmes to evaluate ecological recovery;
- Evaluation of the trophic movements in food chains through examination of contaminant levels in biota;
- Risk assessment of deep-sea sediment load discharge;
- Risk assessment of industrial and urbane water discharges.
- Project environmental approvals (EIS, SEIA);
- Management of mine, desalination and other industrial discharges;
- Guideline development (for project management and risk minimisation);
- Investigation of fish kills and stakeholder claims of impact to aquatic organisms..