Mechanistic modelling for ecotoxicology and ecology

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EU Marie-Curie Initial Training Network 'CREAM'

European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme
Project leader
UFZ, Leipzig, Germany (Prof. Dr. Volker Grimm, see the project team)


The network consisted of 13 partner institutions and 10 associated partners from industry, regulatory authorities, and contract research organizations. CREAM included 20 PhD and three postdoc projects. All projects were related to developing ecological models for the risk assessment of chemicals, primarily pesticides. Since empirical approaches are too limited to solve the problems, mechanistic effect models are needed to make chemical risk assessment more ecologically relevant. To make this possible, CREAM is designed to (1) develop guidance for Good Modelling Practice which makes modelling more transparent, consistent, comprehensive, and reliable; (2) test and demonstrate the added value of models in a number of case studies; (3) train more researchers in both modelling and regulatory risk assessment so they can be involved in future model-based risk assessments in academia, industry, and regulatory authorities.

My role

(co-)supervision of four PhD students at VU (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), UFZ (Leipzig, Germany), JU (Krakow, Poland) and INRA (Rennes, France). Application of the standard DEB model to toxic effects, development of simplified DEB models, and harmonisation of survival models into GUTS.

Output: PHD theses (as supervisor)

  • E. I. Zimmer: “The pond snail under stress. Interactive effects of food limitation, toxicants and copulation explained by Dynamic Energy Budget theory.” Defense 18 June 2013. Download thesis from ThB website. Collaboration with Virginie Ducrot, INRA, Rennes, France.
  • B. T. Martin: “Linking individual-based modelling and Dynamic Energy Budget theory: lessons for ecology and ecotoxicology.” Defense 18 June 2013. Download thesis from VU-DARE. Collaboration with Volker Grimm, UFZ, Leipzig, Germany.
  • N. T. Hamda: “Mechanistic models to explore combined effects of toxic chemicals and natural stressing factors: case study on springtails.” Defense 10 February 2014. Download thesis from VU-DARE. Collaboration with Ryszard Laskowski, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.
  • A. Barsi: “Risk assessment of endocrine disrupting pesticides in gastropods.”  Defense: 14 January 2015. Download thesis from VU-DARE. Collaboration with Virginie Ducrot and Laurent Lagadic, INRA, Rennes, France.

Output: Publications (as first or co-author)

  • Jager T and C Klok (2010). Extrapolating toxic effects on individuals to the population level: the role of dynamic energy budgets. Phil Trans R Soc B 365:3531-3540. DOI 10.1098/rstb.2010.0137
  • Ashauer R, Agatz A, Albert C, Ducrot V, Galic N, Hendriks J, Jager T, Kretschmann A, O’Connor I, Rubach MN, Nyman A-M, Schmitt W, Stadnicka J, van den Brink PJ and Preuss TG (2011). Toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic modelling of quantal and graded sub-lethal endpoints - a brief discussion of concepts. Environ Toxicol Chem. 30(11):2519-2524. DOI 10.1002/etc.639
  • Jager T, Albert C, Preuss TG and Ashauer R (2011). General Unified Threshold model of Survival - a toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic framework for ecotoxicology. Environ Sci Technol 45:2529-2540. DOI 10.1021/es103092a
  • Jager T and Selck H (2011). Interpreting toxicity data in a DEB framework; a case study for nonylphenol in the marine polychaete Capitella teleta. J Sea Res 66:456-462 DOI 10.1016/j.seares.2011.04.003
  • Jager T and Zimmer EI (2012). Simplified Dynamic Energy Budget model for analysing ecotoxicity data. Ecol. Mod. 225:74-81 DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.11.012
  • Martin B, Zimmer EI, Grimm V and Jager T (2012). Dynamic Energy Budget theory meets individual-based modelling: a generic and accessible implementation. Methods Ecol Evol 3:445-449. DOI 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2011.00168.x
  • Zimmer EI, Jager T, Ducrot V, Lagadic L and Kooijman SALM (2012). Juvenile food limitation in standardized tests - a warning to ecotoxicologists. Ecotoxicology 21:2195-2204. DOI 10.1007/s10646-012-0973-5
  • Jager T (2013). All individuals are not created equal; accounting for inter-individual variation in fitting life-history responses to toxicants. Environ Sci Technol 47:1664-1669. DOI 10.1021/es303870g
  • Jager T, Barsi A and Ducrot V (2013). Hormesis on life-historty traits: is there such a thing as a free lunch? Ecotoxicology 22:263-270. DOI 10.1007/s10646-012-1022-0
  • Jager T, Martin BT and Zimmer EI (2013). DEBkiss or the quest for the simplest generic model of animal life history. J Theor Biol 328:9-18. DOI 10.1016/j.jtbi.2013.03.011
  • Martin B, Jager T, Nisbet RM, Preuss TG and Grimm V (2013). Predicting population dynamics from the properties of individuals: a cross-level test of Dynamic Energy Budget theory. American Naturalist 181(4):506-519. DOI 10.1086/669904
  • Martin BT, Jager T, Nisbet RM, Preuss TG, Hammers-Wirtz M and Grimm V (2013). Extrapolating ecotoxicological effects from individuals to populations: a generic approach based on Dynamic Energy Budget theory and individual-based modeling. Ecotoxicology 22:574-583. DOI 10.1007/s10646-013-1049-x
  • Barsi A, Jager T, Collinet M, Lagadic L and Ducrot V (2014). Considerations for test design to accommodate energy-budget models in ecotoxicology: a case study for acetone in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. Environ Toxicol Chem 33(7):1466-1475 DOI 10.1002/etc.2399
  • Jager T (2014). Reconsidering sufficient and optimal test design in acute toxicity testing. Ecotoxicology 23(1):38-44 DOI 10.1007/s10646-013-1149-7
  • Jager T, Barsi A, Hamda NT, Martin BT, Zimmer EI and Ducrot V (2014). Dynamic energy budgets in population ecotoxicology: applications and outlook. Ecol Mod 280:140-147 DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2013.06.024
  • Martin B, Jager T, Nisbet RM, Preuss TG and Grimm V (2014). Limitations of extrapolating toxic effects on reproduction to the population level. Ecol Appl 24(8):1972-1983 DOI 10.1890/14-0656.1
  • Zimmer EI, Ducrot V, Jager T, Koene J, Lagadic L and Kooijman SALM (2014). Metabolic acceleration in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis? J Sea Res 94:84-91 DOI 10.1016/j.seares.2014.07.006
  • ...

Output: Presentations (as presenter and as contributor)

Too many to count ... ;-)

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