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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Paul Boisseaux

Dr Paul Boisseaux

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ecotoxicology

 Geoffrey Pope 211


Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK


I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ecotoxicology within the NERC-funded project “TyreLoss: where are all the tyre particles?”. The massive tyre industry and the use of tyres worldwide are forecast to increase in the coming years. Tyres contribute importantly to the environmental pollution of aquatic systems. A huge variety of tyres are on the market, and so on the roads, creating a complex array of pollutants. They have diverse physical properties (microparticles of diverse shape, elasticity, behaviours, etc) and also plenty of chemical additives to impart car safety features, or not, at the cost of environmental safety (e.g., complex cocktails of toxic chemicals). In this project, I will study how tyre particles impact the health of ecologically relevant aquatic species. A deep dive into tyre additives will also help us deciphering what chemicals of high concern are at play.

Previously, I acquired experience in the use of cell lines to study contaminants cytotoxicity and mode of action (nanomaterials, PAHs). I also had experience in standard ecotoxicity testing with model species (Hyallella azteca, Chironomus dilutus, Hexagenia mayfly, Pimephelas promelas). I developed specific knowledge and technical skills in Environmental immunotoxicology with the freshwater gastropod snail Lymnaea stagnalis, i.e., how contaminants (pesticides, metals, pharmaceuticals, urban​ wastewater) may impair the immune system of organisms, how to estimate the immunocompetence of invertebrates at the cellular level and what are the forces and limits of these approaches. I also gained experience in proteomics to assess the molecular responses of a gastropod (L. stagnalis) to an acute pesticide exposure, in an Evolutionary context (multigeneration, inbreeding depression, pesticide pressure selection and interaction of these factors). During my last research project, I studied the ecotoxicology of plastics in Circular economy as potential solutions to tackle plastics waste. I gained experience with a wide variety of fossil-fuel plastics (several polymers, PP, PET, Tritan, neoprene, virgin, recycled, innovative, mixed with alternative materials, etc) and also bioplastics (second and third generations, made from fish skin, chitosan, or algae). These plastics were tested on zooplankton (artemia, daphnids) to explore their potential ecotoxicity (acute, chronic) and assess how organisms' life-history traits and physiological endpoints may be affected.


2013: Master degree in Health Engineering-Environment, Montpellier (France)

2014-2017: PhD in Ecotoxicology, Lyon (France)


* 2013 : Marie-Curie grant in the ITN-ECO project, Madrid (Spain)

Keywords: cell lines; graphene nanoplatelets; EROD activity; cytotoxicity biomarkers

* 2014-2017: PhD in Ecotoxicology, Lyon (France)

Keywords: Lymnaea stagnalis; freshwater; gastropod; hemocytes; immunocompetence; ecotoxicology ; life-history traits; relevance

* 2018: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Evolutionary ecotoxicology, Rennes (France)

Keywords: Shotgun proteomics; Lymnaea stagnalis; hemocytes; digestive gland;  selection; inbreeding ; transgenerational effect

*2019- now: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ecotoxicology, Exeter university (UK)

Keywords: Microplastics; zooplankton; toxicity testing; alternative plastics; recycled plastics ;  environmental contamination ; circular economy ; environmental management practices

Research group links

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Research interests

1.  Disciplines, topics and concepts:

* Environmental toxicology, Ecotoxicology, Evolutionary ecotoxicology, Stress ecology

* Xenobiotics impacts and mode of action

* AOP (adverse outcome pathways)

* Change of scale: molecule → cell/tissue → organism → population

* in silico vs in vitro vs in vivo vs in situ

* multi and transgenerational effects of pollutants

* immunocompetence, immunotoxicity

* life-history traits, resource allocation, trade-offs

* toxicant tolerance vs sensitization

* biomarker variability (intraindividual, interindividual, intraspecific, interphylum)

2. Tools:

* Lab exposure

* Proteomics

* Bioinformatics, statistical modelling

* Spectrofluorimetric assays

* Flow cytometry

* Microscopy

3. Transfer:

* Regulatory (eco)toxicology / water quality

* Environmental (bio)monitoring

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Journal articles

Boisseaux P, Rauert C, Dewapriya P, Delignette-Muller M-L, Barrett R, Durndell L, Pohl F, Thompson R, Thomas KV, Galloway T, et al (2024). Deep dive into the chronic toxicity of tyre particle mixtures and their leachates. J Hazard Mater, 466 Abstract.  Author URL.
Boisseaux P, Hopkinson P, Santillo D, Smith C, Garmulewicz A, Powell Z, Galloway T (2023). Environmental safety of second and third generation bioplastics in the context of the circular economy. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf, 256 Abstract.  Author URL.
Boisseaux P, Noury P, Delorme N, Perrier L, Thomas-Guyon H, Garric J (2018). Immunocompetence analysis of the aquatic snail Lymnaea stagnalis exposed to urban wastewaters. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25(17), 16720-16728. Abstract.
Tair-Abbaci K, Joachim S, Garric J, Boisseaux P, Exbrayat J-M, Porcher J-M, Geffard O (2017). Anatomical and histological characterization of the gametogenesis of Radix balthica (linnaeus, 1758) in comparison with Lymnaea stagnalis (linnaeus, 1758). Journal of Histology and Histopathology, 4(1).
Boisseaux P, Noury P, Thomas H, Garric J (2017). Immune responses in the aquatic gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis under short-term exposure to pharmaceuticals of concern for immune systems: Diclofenac, cyclophosphamide and cyclosporine A. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 139, 358-366. Abstract.
Boisseaux P, Delignette-Muller ML, Abbaci K, Thomas H, Garric J (2016). Analysis of hemocytes in Lymnaea stagnalis: Characterization and effects of repeated hemolymph collections. Fish and Shellfish Immunology, 57, 116-126. Abstract.
Boisseaux P, Noury P, Delignette-Muller ML, Thomas H, Garric J (2016). Recommendations for the analysis of hemocyte-related immunocompetent oxidative activity in the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis. Journal of Xenobiotics, 6(2 2Special Issue), 25-27.
Lammel T, Boisseaux P, Navas JM (2015). Potentiating effect of graphene nanomaterials on aromatic environmental pollutant-induced cytochrome P450 1A expression in the topminnow fish hepatoma cell line PLHC-1. Environmental Toxicology, 30(10), 1192-1204. Abstract.
Boisseaux P, Gust M, Betoulle S, Garric J (2014). Short-term immunotoxic effects of an anti-cancer drug (Etoposide) on the freshwater pondsnail Lymnaea stagnalis. Journal of Xenobiotics, 4(2).
Lammel T, Boisseaux P, Fernández-Cruz ML, Navas JM (2013). Internalization and cytotoxicity of graphene oxide and carboxyl graphene nanoplatelets in the human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line Hep G2. Particle and Fibre Toxicology, 10(1). Abstract.

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