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The group Systemic Physiological and Ecotoxicological Research of the University of Antwerp, Belgium, performs fundamental and applied research concerning key issues in environmental and adaptational biology. SPHERE focuses on how organisms respond to environmental changes, and does so at multiple levels of organization: from the molecular level (including genomics, proteomics and metabolomics), over the organismal level to responses of populations in real field situations.

Video: Adverse Outcome Pathways

on Tue, 03/08/2016 - 16:21
Date & Time: 
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 16:15

SETAC released two workshop videos on adverse outcome pathways. The course is given by dr. Dan Villneuve from the EPA, he is also an important partner in the CEFIC project "Development of an alternative testing strategy for the fish early life-stage test for predicting chronic toxicity" of which Dries Knapen is the promotor.

Sphere is a stronghold in the EPHEMARE project

on Wed, 01/06/2016 - 11:48
Date & Time: 
Friday, January 1, 2016 - 08:00

The EPHEMARE project is a JPI Oceans project supported through the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO) of which Sphere is an important workpackage leader. 

The main environmental concern caused by plastics is their non-degradability. Disposed plastics undergo weathering (leaching of plasticizers, thermo-oxidative breakage of the polymeric chains, photodegradation, physical abrasion) that makes them more brittle and susceptible to fragmentation into small particles.

PhD position: Development and validation of an active passive water sampling device

on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 15:10

The Sphere group in the Department of Biology in cooperation with the Faculty of Applied Engineering offers a vacancy for a full time Master of Industrial Sciences Biochemistry or MSc Bio-Engineering with a possibility to obtain a PhD.

Development of an innovative “active” passive water sampling device mimicking pollutant uptake by aquatic organisms.

The two-year multi-disciplinary project aims to develop an active passive water sampler for inorganic and organic pollutants. The apparatus allows the time integrated monitoring of surface waters and waste streams.

Centre of Excellence: EnviroStress - Environmental Stress in a Rapidly Changing World

on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 14:25
Date & Time: 
Monday, January 4, 2016 - 14:15

prof. Ronny Blust, Head of the Sphere research group is the spokesperson for EnviroStress, one of the Centres of Excellence at the University of Antwerp.

The research consortium brings together and integrates high level expertise in the fields of molecular and organismal physiology, population and behavioural ecology, and environmental chemistry and toxicology. This creates a unique combination of state of the science know-how and methodological approaches and instruments at a national and international level.

Sphere is a member of Enviromics

on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:26
Date & Time: 
Friday, February 28, 2014 - 11:15

The Enviromics consortium embedded ( in the Industrial Research Fund at the University of Antwerp, offers expertise throughout the field of environmental sciences and technology. We integrate the knowhow of several top research groups at the University of Antwerp into one easily accessible service centre that provides top notch scientific advice across the board of environmental research.

We span all important environmental niches: water, sediment, soil and air, biota, as well as surface and particulate analysis.

Integrated zebrafish research

on Sun, 10/21/2012 - 11:10
Date & Time: 
Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 11:00


Together with the Gamete Research Center of the University of Antwerp (Belgium) within the department of Veterinary Sciences, we created a joint research facility integrating our broad knowhow and infrastructure around the zebrafish model. Our research covers many aspects of zebrafish biology, including reproduction, embryonic development, zebrafish adult ecotoxicological tests, early life stage tests and transgenerational tests.