EU network of mesocosms facilities for research on marine and freshwater ecosystems open for global collaboration.

Cambridge Environmental Assessments (CEA)

Details coming soon.

No opening for TA in 2019

No opening for TA in 2018

Name
Cambridge Environmental Assessments (CEA)
Legal name of organisation
RSK ADAS Ltd
Country
United Kingdom
Continent
Europe
Organisation address

Cambridge Environmental Assessments, ADAS Boxworth, Cambridgeshire, CB23 4NN

Primary contact information (PI)

Dr Nadine Taylor

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Years of Mesocosm Experiments
2009 to present.
Description of Facility

Outdoor freshwater static mesocosm systems.

We have 99 flat bottomed and 100 unique sloped mesocosms which are designed to simulate edge of field environments. Our sloped mesocosms were installed in 2013, are 2.6 m long, 1 m wide and 0.7 m deep and are used for herbicide studies. The sloped mesocosms are designed to enable the incorporation of a wide variety of plant species, providing a habitat which mimics the plant community found in edge of field environments. Our flat bottomed mesocosms were installed in 2009, are 1.8 m long, 0.9 m wide and 0.8 m deep and are predominantly used in pesticide studies.

Indoor laboratories.

We have a GLP laboratory facility in which we can carry out higher tier chronic testing on multiple and single species under controlled conditions.

Controlled Parameters
  1. Outdoor mesocosms: Plant community, water depth, test item present, initial organism establishment
  2. Indoor laboratories: Environmental parameters (including temperature, pH,  oxygen and light/dark cycles), species present, sediment/substrates, feeding regimes
Research Topics

At CEA we produce robust population and community endpoints (ETO RAC and ERO RAC) that meet the requirements of the EFSA (2013) aquatic guidance. We conduct mesocosm studies on both herbicide and pesticide products and can carry out the application of our test item in several ways (e.g. mix-in, spray-over) and perform single or multiple applications as required.

Facility location(s)
Primary interests

Chemical risk assessment, primarily determining regulatory endpoints for various agrochemicals

Specialist areas
  • Higher tier freshwater aquatic testing to Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards.
  • Bespoke experimental design
  • Identification of freshwater phytoplankton, periphyton, macrophytes, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates and emergent insects
  • Statistical analysis of data generated to current guideline requirements
Photos of experiments/installations

Established sloped mesocosms (Credit: Cambridge Environmental Assessments)
Established sloped mesocosms (Credit: Cambridge Environmental Assessments)
Established flat bottomed mesocosms (Credit: Cambridge Environmental Assessments)
Set-up of sloped mesocosms prior to a study (Credit: Cambridge Environmental Assessments)

TA

Infrastructure (short name)
CEA
Installation (short name)
Location

Cambridge Environmental Assessments, ADAS Boxworth, Battlegate Road Cambridgeshire, CB23 4NN, UK

Coordinates / (routes, areas if non-static)
Water / environmental conditions
Depths / bottom / surface
Description

Description of the infrastructure: Cambridge Environmental Assessments (CEA) as part of RSK ADAS Ltd is a multi- disciplinary research and consultancy group, providing higher tier risk assessment and novel experimental studies to commercial and Government organisations. RSK hold a long-established, 199 mesocosm, certified facility, with a strong reputation for testing on multiple and single species can be carried out under controlled conditions as well as a microscopy lab for taxonomic identification of organism samples.

performing studies to regulatory standards. Mesocosms include 99 flat bottomed and 100 unique sloped mesocosms which are designed to simulate edge of field environments. Our sloped mesocosms were installed in 2013, are 2.6 m long, 1 m wide and 0.7 m deep and are used for herbicide studies. The sloped mesocosms are designed to enable the incorporation of a wide variety of plant species, providing a habitat which mimics the plant community found in edge of field environments. Our flat bottomed mesocosms were installed in 2009, are 1.8 m long, 0.9 m wide and 0.8 m deep and are predominantly used in pesticide studies. RSK have a laboratory facility in which higher tier chronic testing on multiple and single species can be carried out under controlled conditions as well as a microscopy lab for taxonomic identification of organism samples.

Established flat bottomed mesocosms (left), Macrophytes within sloped mesocosm (right) in UK.
Instruments / sensors / equipment
Modality of access

Modality of access under AQUACOSM-plus: At least 240 person-days in total will be allocated to external users supported by an AQUACOSM-plus TA activity. A minimum of 4 visiting scientists over 60 days in M22-33 are welcome to join on-going experiments.

Unit of access

Persondays

What is available and when
What service and support facilities are available

Services currently offered by the infrastructure: RSK specialises in the area of environmental toxicity, and works across a whole range of chemical substances, encompassing agrochemicals, biocides, veterinary and human pharmaceuticals, food additives, novel foods and general chemicals. We have significant experience working with both large and small chemical companies, with an excellent reputation in the use of mesocosm studies for regulatory submissions, and an in-depth knowledge of regulatory requirements for chemical risk assessment. RSK hosts a dedicated higher tier aquatic ecotoxicology group, with proven expertise in designing and developing non-standard, tests for investigating the effects of chemicals in the aquatic environment. Other specialist areas of work includes the identification of freshwater phytoplankton, periphyton, macrophytes, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates and emergent insects, as well as the statistical analysis of data generated to current guideline requirements.

Support offered under AQUACOSM-plus: Users supported by TA will be offered access to the facility, for either short or long term studies designed and run by external users with help and guidance from RSK staff members. TA users will also be offered RSKs’ expertise and knowledge regarding additional services offered by the infrastructure.

Accommodation

Local hotels available near to the site.

Special rules