Mechanistic modelling for ecotoxicology and ecology

DEBtox Researc

Type of activities offered by DEBtox Research

DEBtox Research specialises in the development and application of mechanistic models in eco(toxico)logy. My focus is on working with models based on Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory (at the moment especially DEBkiss) and the General Unified Threshold model for Survival (GUTS), but I am also experienced in toxicokinetic modelling. My modelling expertise comes with an extensive knowledge of the statistics associated with fitting models to data and the calculation of confidence intervals (incl. intervals on model predictions). And, last but not least, I love to write, as you can see from my publication record.

These models can be applied to a wide range of species (basically: all), and an enormous range of fundamental and applied research questions. You can think of studies aimed at understanding stressor effects of toxicants and environmental factors (e.g., ocean acidification, starvation), but also more fundamental topics (e.g., biology of ageing, linking the molecular level to life-history traits, inter- and intra-species differences in life history). I am happy to discuss the possibilities of these models to address your research question, so please contact me if you are interested.
I prefer to work on multi-year research projects with a scientific (or applied-scientific) character, that include the possibilities for dedicated experimental work to be performed (I do not have access to laboratory facilities myself), with full freedom to publish the results. For example, include me as an SME into your project proposals for research councils (e.g., European: ERC, Norwegian: RCN). I can also be hired for a single data analyses (or scientific consult) with full confidentiality, albeit at a higher hourly rate. Furthermore, I am interested in providing courses, guest lectures or training on my core topics. More concretely, my activities include:
  • Data analysis using models, specifically DEBkiss-based or GUTS models, but also TK models.
  • Advice on the most appropriate design of experimental tests for parameterising models.
  • Collection of literature data and their analysis using DEB-based or GUTS models.
  • Model predictions with above-mentioned models for untested scenarios.
  • Publication in scientific peer-reviewed journals and presenting the results at conferences.
  • Scientific advice and training on the subject of modelling and model applications.


Even when I have insufficient time available to work on your project within a given time frame, it is useful to contact me. For more standard GUTS analyses in a regulatory setting, I would like to redirect you to Bongers EcoTox Services, where I act as an advisor. For DEB-based work, I collaborate within the DEBnet network of professionals.


Courses offered

Every other year, we try to organise a summer course on TKTD modelling on TKTD modelling (specifically, using the DEBkiss model). If you want to learn about the basics of TKTD modelling, DEB theory, coding and fitting, in a friendly way: this is the course for you. In 2021, we'll offer the course again, in a slightly different format, and in autumn. More information.

There are some course opportunities for GUTS and openGUTS as well. Look at the openguts website for more details. We also offer a DIY, on-demand, on-line short course on openGUTS.

DEBtox Research,, Chamber of Commerce Utrecht 62405055, email: tjalling (at)