Understanding the relative importance of genetic and epigenetic factors in determining radiation-induced damage in Daphnia pulex
The project aims to further our understanding of the impacts of long-term radiation exposure on Daphnia Pulex in the natural environment, and determine whether laboratory exposures can be used to predict these impacts. Following the 2011 accident at Fukushima: we urgently need new evidence to inform ongoing UK and international (International Atomic Energy Agency and International Commission on Radiation Protection) initiatives in this area.
The Chernobyl Exclusion zone (CEZ) provides a natural working laboratory for investigating the effects of radiation on wildlife. This project will utilize the CEZ to assess the effects of varying contamination levels on Daphnia pulex populations. In addition, laboratory-based experiments will be conducted to support any observed effects. Phenotypic, genetic and epigenetic changes will be assessed.