Biological impacts

Effects of radiation on aquatic invertebrates: combining field studies in lakes of  varying contamination at Chernobyl with laboratory experiments

Neil Fuller  
 

This 3.5 year studentship will investigate the effects of ionising radiation on invertebrate crustaceans. The effects of chronic low-dose radiation on organisms are much less clear than the effects of acute high-dose radiation, in part because there have been few field studies following long-term exposure in contaminated environments. Understanding the effects of chronic low-dose irradiation on invertebrates is vital for assessing the effects of planned or accidental releases of radioactivity to aquatic ecosystems. This project will combine laboratory exposures with field sampling to observe the effects of chronic ionising radiation on the development, reproductive fertility, DNA damage and genetic diversity of crustacean populations.