Aquatic Ecotoxicology

About Aquatic Ecotoxicology Services:

Aquatic ecosystems are important for regulators and scientists requiring risk and hazard assessments of chemicals to aquatic organisms.  Testing is performed across a range of trophic levels (i.e. algae, invertebrates and fish) and ranges from acute toxicity testing to chronic exposure. Smithers Viscient performs aquatic testing in both freshwater and marine species.  Most organisms used for testing are routinely cultured on site at Smithers Viscient.

Fish out of water

Smithers Viscient’s Aquatic Ecotoxicology Expertise:

Senior research biologists at Smithers Viscient average over twenty years’ experience with fish and invertebrate short-term, early life stage and full life-cycle studies (including multiple-generation studies) and fish sexual development tests, inhibition of shell deposition in mollusks and aquatic plants (algae and macrophytes) tests. Our team has vast experience with all types of exposure systems, from static to flow-through testing to handle the most challenging molecules and routinely develops custom methodologies, apparatus and culture techniques to address testing needs for our customers. Our group is experienced at measuring unique or non-standard endpoints as well as designing innovative tests to accommodate poorly soluble, highly reactive/adsorptive and/or highly volatile test substances. Smithers Viscient has developed multiple methods for appropriate dosing, including non-solvent delivery techniques.

Available studies include bioaccumulation and bioconcentration testing.


Ring Test Involvement:

New guideline/method research projects

  • Myriophyllum OECD test methods
  • Glyceria OECD method development
  • OECD short-term fish reproductive assay
  • EPA lab comparison of OECD 223 guideline (2 chemicals)


Other Research Projects Outside of Industry Round Robin Testing Programs:

  • Developing a fish life-cycle study design with a live-bearer (Gambusia sp)
  • Developing assays with more than 10 additional aquatic macrophyte species
  • Numerous mesocosm, microcosm and water/sediment exposures in freshwater and marine environments
  • Developing a ten species aquatic invertebrate acute toxicity test


Aquatic Ecotoxicology Guidelines:

  • OECD
  • FIFRA 40 CFR PART 158
  • FDA
  • EU
  • BBA

A complete list of guidelines and test species is available upon request. Contact Us


Aquatic Ecotoxicology Equipment and Instrumentation includes:

Recent laboratory expansion has increased capacity of both culture and testing space. Our versatile testing space for acute and chronic work allows us to accommodate a multitude of study designs, including 30 flow-through systems. Smithers Viscient has customized environmental chambers/laboratories for several types of testing. In addition, our facilities are equipped with outdoor microcosm systems and greenhouse space for aquatic plant testing.