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Ana Lopez Antia

  • Research interest:My areas of expertise are ecotoxicology, environmental risk assessment and wildlife conservation. One of my lines of research aims to assess the risk of seeds treated with pestiticides for birds. Seed treatments are a method widely used for crop protection. Treated seeds pose a risk to seed-eating birds and mammals that use them as a food source. In my PhD project, I described the toxicological effects of ingesting cereal seeds treated with pesticides (insecticides and fungicides) on the health and reproductive success of red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa). A second aim was to estimate the risk of exposure of partridges to treated seeds in the field.I am currently working on a project to assess the adverse effects of Perfluoralkyl compounds on birds. These compounds have a wide range of applications such as surface coatings for carpets, textile stain, soil repellents, food contact paper and fire-fighting foams. The extended use of perfluoralkyl compounds, together with their high persistence, has resulted in global contamination of the environment, wildlife and humans. The ubiquity of these compounds contrasts sharply with the limited information about their effects on organisms. With this project, we aim to understand the toxicity mechanism of perfluoralkyl compounds and the biological consequences of exposure to levels present in the environment.Prior to my PhD studies, I worked for five years in the Ebro Delta where I worked as an ornithologist and as bird ringer.
  • Disciplines:Analytical spectrometry, Animal biochemistry, Animal developmental and reproductive biology, Animal ecology, Animal immunology, Analytical biochemistry, Nucleic acids, Conservation and biodiversity, Environmental impact and risk assessment, Soil sciences, challenges and pollution not elsewhere classified
  • Research techniques:Field techniques used: Bird trapping (mist nets, funnel traps, nest-boxes), biometric measurements, bird ringing, blood / fat / preen oil sampling (non-destructive), feces / pellets collection. Laboratory techniques used: Chromatography (HPLC-MS, GC-MS) , spectroscopy (AA), ELISA, genetics (PCR), genomics and transcriptomics (RT-PCR).These techniques are used to perform the following analyses: Toxicological analyses: Pesticides, PFAAs, rodenticides, metals.Antioxidants and oxidative stress parameters: Total non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity (TAC), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) / superoxide dismutase (SOD) / catalase (CAT) activity, protein carbonyls, lipid peroxidation (MDA), reduced (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG), vitamins (retinol, α-tocopherol) and carotenoids (zeaxanthin and lutein).Immune parameters: Innate immune parameters (agglutination, lysis, haptoglobin concentrations and nitric oxide concentrations), cellular immune response (phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin test), humoral immune response (haemagglutination test after injecting an antigen, SRBC).Plasmatic biochemistry: alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LHD), creatine phosphokinase (CPK), albumin, total protein, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, creatinine, urea and uric acid.Hormone concentration: Sex steroid hormones (testosterone and estradiol) and thyroid hormones (thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3)).Transcriptomics: RNA extraction, RT-PCR, high throughput sequencing.Other measurements: Molecular sexing of birds, acetylcholinesterase activity (AChE).
  • Users of research expertise:Other researchers.Industry (Chemical industry to perform studies about the effects of pollutants in birds).