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Post-doctoral position : Analysis of pharmaceutical residues in the marine environment

ABG-88813 Thesis topic
2019-12-03 > €25,000 and < €35,000 annual gross
Aix Marseille Univesité
Aix-en-Provence - Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur - France
Post-doctoral position : Analysis of pharmaceutical residues in the marine environment
  • Ecology, environment
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering sciences
passive sampling, environmental monitoring, LC/MS, analytical method development

Topic description

This work is part of a research program supported by the French RMC Water Agency, which aims to provide a better knowledge of the contamination of the marine environment by pharmaceuticals, give substantial policy recommendations for the monitoring of these substances in order to  reach a better characterization of marine ecological state,  and thus provide a decision-making tool for public authorities.

Marine contamination by pharmaceutical residues has received a recent attention, since the first study reporting their presence at detectable concentrations is relatively recent, going back to 20 years only. Until now, their occurrence has been mainly described in wastewater treatment plant effluent and freshwater. In the marine environment, occurrence data are scarce, and their environmental behaviour is less documented.

Growing urbanization of coastlines increases anthropic pressure incurred by the marine environment.  The presence of pharmaceuticals can act as an additional stressor on marine ecosystems already impacted by climate change, overfishing and eutrophication.

The work carried out will be divided in 3 stages:

1/ Bibliographic review: update of a database on marine contamination by pharmaceuticals from data published in the scientific literature since 2017.

2/ Elaboration of a monitoring strategy: this step aims to provide a methodology to characterize the level of contamination of marine environment by pharmaceuticals. A prioritization list of compounds has already been identified following current legislation and watch list (DCE, OSPAR), or other factors such as a reported toxicity for non-targeted aquatic organisms, or human being. The work carried out will give a significant part to experimental method developments. These developments will include a calibration of passive samplers and an optimization of an existing method for the analysis of targeted compounds using LC-QqToF. Another aspect of development will include the development of an analytical strategy for the non-targeted analysis of possible organic micropollutants.

3/ Determination of recommendations and valorizations of research work: recommendations for the strategy of monitoring of pharmaceutical compounds in the marine environment will be proposed. Results will be published in the scientific literature and presented in international congresses.

Funding category

Other public funding

Funding further details

Presentation of host institution and host laboratory

Aix Marseille Univesité

The LCE thematic areas concern (1) the determination of the kinetics and  the chemical and photochemical mechanisms of transformation and transfer of contaminants in air, water and soil, and (2) the development of innovative analytical methods for flow and continuous analysis of contaminants in air and water. Fundamental and applied research are carried out in these scientific themes. The aim of fundamental studies is to advance knowledge in the field of environmental analytical chemistry  and in the chemical and physico-chemical evolution of contaminants in various environmental compartments (air, water, soil). This knowledge can meet environmental and societal issues such as the management of natural and human ecosystems by improving the monitoring of chemical and environmental quality of the ecosystem and its evolution. This knowledge can also meet the needs of the economic world for the monitoring of water supply and working atmospheres, optimization of manufacturing processes and management of gaseous and/or liquid effluents. This research is often carried out in collaboration with SMEs and/or large industrial groups in many sectors such as microelectronics, petrochemicals, water distribution, etc...

Candidate's profile

PhD in analytical chemistry or environmental sciences- Strong experience in LC-MS – Strong experience in passive sampling - – Ability to take initiative Good redactional skills

Application deadline

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