Special Issue "Biomarkers: An Integrative Useful Tool for Ecotoxicolgy and Biomonitoring"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Laura Guimarães
Guest Editor
CIIMAR - Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Portugal
Interests: molecular responses of animals to contaminants; methods of diagnose of environmental health; integrated effects-based monitoring of aquatic systems
Dr. Carlos Gravato
Guest Editor
Faculty of Sciences & CESAM – University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: oxidative stress; cellular energy allocation; detoxification processes; behavior

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The application of biomarkers in ecotoxicology and biomonitoring has been rapidly accelerating since the 90s due to their many advantages, including in allowing for expeditious determination. This, however, has resulted in frequent misleading interpretations, mostly due to i) their application without any underlying effects-based monitoring framework; ii) a lack of harmonized protocols and quality assurance methods to support comparability of results; and iii) the use of too many new indicator species for which no baseline information is available. The wealth of information that is often generated when using biomarkers is also often neglected due to the simplistic data analysis and interpretation that is applied, too simplistic to  overcome disadvantages and generate a meaningful conclusion. Nevertheless, this is not taken into account in the improvement of our discussion about their application toward the early diagnosis of environmental health or in risk assessment. More recently, within the scope of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, efforts have been made to discuss the meaning of each biomarker and to show which can really improve our knowledge and be used as complementary tools for ecotoxicology and biomonitoring. This exercise needs, however, to be extended not only to freshwater systems, but to all studies concerning biomarkers. Thus, this Special Issue aims to gather the latest research that contributes toward answering the following questions: (1) How can we complement toxicity data with valuable information acquired from biomarker analysis?; (2) How can different biological models deal with stressful conditions as a function of their physiological status?; (3) What is the ecological relevance of biomarkers and their association with deleterious effects at higher levels of biological organization?; and (4) Which biomarkers, and bioindicator species, are meaningful and relevant for biomonitoring studies? Research studies concerning the use of biomarkers in other topics are also very welcome, namely, innovative statistical analysis and interpretation, studies of comparative physiology, wastewater quality and reuse, micro- and nanoplastic contamination, as well as the development of new methods or protocols are all within the scope of this Special Issue.

Dr. Laura Guimarães
Dr. Carlos Gravato
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • histopathology
  • oxidative stress
  • cellular energy allocation
  • behavior
  • neurotoxicity
  • immunotoxicity
  • non-invasive biomarkers
  • ecotoxicogenomics
  • genotoxicity

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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