Often, numerous environmental contaminants are found at low levels which in isolation are non-lethal but combined exhibit toxicities that are difficult to evaluate. In the long term they may be very hazardous to animal, plant and human populations, as their affects are often only detected too late, and after physical symptoms become widespread.

Our research aims to develop NMR based “molecular fingerprinting” approaches that measure the changes in a living organism as a direct response to its surroundings. This research aims to develop tools that can answer the key question “Is a particular contaminated environment safe for life?” Present work is underway using small organisms (daphnia, earthworms, and fish) as living “biosensors” that through their metabolic fluxes, “report” on the health of their immediate environment.