Dr Ross Brown
Senior Research Fellow


I am a Senior Research Fellow in the Ecotoxicology and Aquatic Biology Research Group, based in Biosciences at the University of Exeter, UK. I previously gained 25 years of experience working in the chemical/pharmaceutical industry, in environmental risk and impact assessment. My former work spanned the prospective assessment of pharmaceutical effects on wild fish populations via laboratory exposure studies and computational population dynamics modelling - to retrospective ecological monitoring of chemical releases in aquatic ecosystems.  

My current research interests concern refining and improving the realism of environmental risk assessment via the use of molecular, ecotoxicological and ecological approaches to identify species, populations and assemblages which are most susceptible to chemical exposures and effects. Import aspects of this research include evaluating chemical impacts in the context of other environmental stressors and quantifying their potential interactions.

Broad research specialisms:

Aquatic (eco)toxicology including: assessing the impacts of chemical, physical and biological stressors on aquatic organisms (e.g. fish); extrapolating effects measured in model species in the laboratory to adverse effects on wildlife populations and communities.

Molecular, population and community ecology including: population dynamics and population genetics, focusing mainly on fish; application of computational and biological test systems for predicting environmental effects of chemicals based on ecological life-histories, environmental stressor and food web interactions.

Environmental and human health assessments including: the integrated design of risk assessments for ultimately protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services (which benefit human health) and the dual use of vertebrate models (e.g. zebrafish) as both environmental and human health assessment models.

Current Research:  

Understanding the effects of genetic and environmental factors on population fitness in fish

Prediction of fish species susceptibility to endocrine disrupting chemicals

Defining of “adverse outcome pathways” for chemicals with the aid of transgenic zebrafish models

Deriving specific protection goals for the environmental risk assessment of chemicals based on an ecosystem services framework


BSc. (hons); MSc.; PhD.

Contact details

Tel+44 (0) 1392 72 4677
AddressGeoffrey Pope Building
University of Exeter
Stocker Road

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