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Aquatic Toxicology

The first graduate student at the Huntsman in 1970 studied the effects of oil spills on the American lobster. Today, we combine our extensive experience to hold and close aquatic species life cycles with world class toxicology expertise and facilities to offer exposure studies using published standard methods and custom study designs for a broad range of contaminants and sectors.


Dr. Benjamin de Jourdan joined the Huntsman team in 2017 to lead our Aquatic Toxicology efforts in support of global Study Sponsors from across sectors of the ocean economy. Ben has tremendous experience across a multitude of species, stressors of interest, exposure systems and statistical methods that is applied within Huntsman research contracts for local, national and international Study Sponsors. Ben was honoured as the recipient of the 2020 Star Mentor of the Year within the Institution category by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation for his exemplary job of training the next generation of researchers in New Brunswick universities, colleges and research institutions. Huntsman successes in Aquatic Toxicology would not be possible without a deep pool of support technicians to implement the research activities requested of us by our Study Sponsors. Huntsman technical staff have direct expertise to conduct toxicology research, including set-up, implementation and assessments to complete required trials, coupled with years of cumulative experience to acquire and maintain numerous aquatic species and life stages that are cultured to support our studies.

If you are inspired to support Huntsman Aquatic Toxicology research, sustainable use of our aquatic resources, or graduate student research at Huntsman then please donate or choose other ways to support the Huntsman mission today!



Our government is committed to investing in research to better protect our aquatic ecosystems. In St. Andrews New Brunswick this funding will allow The Huntsman Marine Science Centre to assess the impact of exposure time, temperature and photo- oxidation on the toxicity of individual polycyclic aromatic compounds in several Atlantic marine species. This research will benefit Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
The Honourable Dominic Leblanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs 

Aquatic Toxicology Exposures

Aquatic Species and Life Stages


Contaminants Studied



Example Projects

Collaborations with Academia

Selected Recent Publications

Aquatic Toxicology Exposures

All Huntsman environmental toxicology studies are conducted to meet the principles of Good Laboratory Practices with regards to project management, documentation, quality assurance, and archiving samples and study records. Our expertise and facilities provides significant capacity for the Huntsman to offer toxicology support to Study Sponsors using published standard methods or custom study designs for a broad range of sectors that may affect the aquatic ecosystem.

  • Standard Methods
    Our facilities are well equipped to complete aquatic standard tests as outlined by Environment Canada, US Environmental Protection Agency, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and any other regulatory agency globally. These studies typically prescribe general or universal conditions and procedures for testing a variety of stressors for their effects on specific species and life stages over a range of concentrations or doses. Industry and government alike require these studies to develop safety data for consumer and commercial products, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and to enforce environmental regulations. 


  • Custom Exposure Studies
    Our ability to develop and implement custom exposure studies, which focus on non-standard but local species that often have cultural and fishery significance, provides further advantage to our Study Sponsors. Huntsman capacity ensures these species and target life stages are available in abundance, amenable to culture conditions, and easy to use within exposure trials. Examples of frequent customized studies include:


  • Exploring the effects of contaminants on early life stages of commercially important species to our region, such as Atlantic cod, American lobster, Atlantic salmon, Atlantic herring and snow crab.

  • Both static and flow-through exposure systems are often used within Huntsman toxicology studies. Delivering study contaminants using novel passive dosing methods are also achieved at the Huntsman on a regular basis.

  • Oral gavage and voluntary feeding methods have been developed to study the effects of in-feed aquaculture medications on non-target species located in the vicinity of fish farm operations, such as juvenile and adult American lobsters.

  • Identifying generational effects following exposure of individuals in collaboration with Huntsman Breeding and Genetics expertise to establish a breeding matrix that, when combined with family-based toxicity data, may detect fisheries recruitment concerns through differential performance within and between families.

  • Research capacity in Aquatic Animal Health and field-based environmental monitoring rounds out our scientific capacity at Huntsman that may be involved to support toxicology studies as required.

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