The research team consists of young scientists with a strong background in environmental organic and inorganic chemistry and analysis, phytoplankton ecology and primary production, ecological simulation, environmental physics and marine technology. This combination ensures ability to fully realise and enhance the objectives of the project, strongly supported by the specific areas of expertise within the team. All involved scientists are internationally renowned with experience in aquatic sciences and have demonstrated an ability to deal with a wide range of research questions in the field. This project will create the opportunity to build a highly educated team leading the field. In order to achieve the goals of the proposal, professor S. Pergantis (from Univ. of Crete, Dept. of Chemistry) will also participate. He will be responsible for Investigating the Behavior of Metal-containing Nanoparticles (NP) in Seawater Environments using Single-Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. He has a great experience in this field and his participation is very important. Furthermore significant knowhow transfer will be achieved among the two institutes. Two scientists from Switzerland will also participate. They have a long experience on environmental and ecotoxicology issues of ENPs and they will contribute to design the appropriate methodology approach. Characterization of physico-chemical properties will be performed by prof. C. Kordatos at National Technical University of Athens. It is seen as important that all scientists are involved in evaluating the progress of the project and a separate steering group will therefore not be established.

Participant names Field of expertise Institute
Dr. Hellen Kaberi Chemical Oceanography HCMR
Dr. Christina Zeri Chemical Oceanography HCMR
Dr. Paraskeyh Pitta Microbiologist HCMR
Dr. Fragoulis Costas Biology Oceanography HCMR
Dr. Sarrapolou Elena Marine Genomics HCMR
Prof. Spiros Pergantis Analytical Chemistry Univ. of Crete (UoC)
Prof. Kostas Kordatos Material Science NTUA
Dr. Thomas Bucheli Environmental sciense Agroscope Reckenholz-Tanikon, Research Station ART, Zurich, Switzerland
Dr. Katja Knauer Ecotoxicology Federal Office for Agriculture, Bern, Switzerland

In the addition to the above mentioned researchers a significant number of HCMR permanent technicians will be also participated. Furthermore two Post-doc, and two master students will be recruited.


1. Participants from host institution

KABERI HELEN is chemical Oceanographer, Researcher at HCMR. Research interests: heavy metal analyses in sediments, suspended particles and sediment trap material; calculation of sedimentation rates; study of pollution archives; radiochemistry; radionuclide tracers of water masses. Project Manager of SESAME (Southern European Seas: Assessing and Modelling Ecosystem Changes) Integrated EU Project (2006-2010). Regional Coordinator and Steering Committee member of PERSEUS (Policy-oriented marine environmental research in the Southern European Seas) FP7 project (2012-2015). Actively involved in many EU projects for the Mediterranean Sea area.

Price N.B., A.P. Karageorgis, H. Kaberi, C. Zeri, E. Krasakopoulou, F. Voutsinou-Taliadouri, F. Lindsay. 2005. Temporal and spatial variations in the geochemistry of major and minor particulate and selected dissolved elements of the Thermaikos Gulf, northwestern Aegean Sea.  Continental Shelf Research, Vol. 25, Issues 19-20, 2428-2455.

Aristomenis P. Karageorgis, Stelios Katsanevakis & Helen Kaberi, 2009. Use of Enrichment Factors for the Assessment of Heavy Metal Contamination in the Sediments of Koumoundourou Lake, Greece. Water Air Soil Pollution, DOI 10.1007/s11270-009-0041-9.


Christina Zeri, Chemist – Oceanographer, Researcher at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR). Part-time lecturer at the Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Research interests: Trace metal cycling in the water column; interactions between trace metals and organic matter; marine pollution-toxicity by heavy metals. Participation in several national and European projects focusing on the biogeochemical processes in the Mediterranean Sea.

Zeri, C., Kontoyiannis, H., Giannakourou, A., 2009, Distribution, fluxes and bacterial consumption of total organic carbon in a populated Mediterranean Gulf, Continental Shelf Research, 29, 886-895.

Zeri C., Hatzianestis I., 2005, Distribution of total dissolved and C-18 extractable copper and nickel in relation to dissolved organic matter sources, in the Thermaikos Gulf (eastern Mediterranean), Journal of Marine Systems, 58, 143-152.


Constantin Frangoulis: Biology, Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium 1994), Master in Oceanography, University of Liege (Belgium 1996), PhD in Oceanography, University of Liege (Belgium 2002). Research scientist, Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece. Research interests: Carbon, nitrogen, toxins flux with emphasis on mesozooplankton; parameterisation, validation of zooplankton in ecological models; zooplankton community structure in coastal and offshore areas; Interannual variability of zooplankton, time-series; metabolism and production of copepods; processes in pelagic food webs. Participation to ongoing programs: Medex (Marinera), SESAME, PERSEUS.

Frangoulis C., Psarra S., Zervakis V., Meador T., Mara P., Gogou A., Zervoudaki S., Giannakourou A., Pitta P., Lagaria A., Krasakopoulou E., Siokou-Frangou I. Connecting export fluxes to plankton food web efficiency in the Black Sea waters inflowing into the Mediterranean Sea. J. Plankton Res. 32, 1203-1216 (2010).

Frangoulis C., Carlotti F., Eisenhauer L., Zervoudaki S. Converting copepod vital rates into units appropriate for biogeochemical models. Progress in Oceanography, 84, 43-51 (2010).
Dr. E. Sarropoulou is an active young scientist (Research Assistant (Grade III) of the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture of the Greek Centre  for Marine Research (HCMR). She has participated in several large, EU-funded projects mainly involved as an expert in genetics and functional genomics applied to studying growth, stress and disease resistance in marine aquaculture species. Dr. E. Sarropoulou has published more than 15 publications in high-impact international peer-reviewed scientific journals (e.g. PLOSONE, BMC Genomics, Molecular Immunology,  Physiological Genomics, Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution) that have received more than 150 citations and has a H-index = 7. She has communicated more than 20 publications in national and international workshop and conference proceedings. She has been participating in European projects and national scientific research projects mainly related to genetic studies, gene expression as well as to the introduction of genomic methods. Working in the field of functional genomics and metagenomics she is trained in the laboratories of Roche in Penzberg, Germany on next generation sequencing with the GS-FLX platform (454, Roche) and is responsible for operating the instrument. She acts as a regular reviewer for more than 5 international peer-reviewed journals and she has been a reviewer of International research proposals.

Sarropoulou, E., P. Sepulcre, L. Poisa-Beiro, V. Mulero, J. Meseguer, A. Figueras, B. Novoa, V. Terzoglou, R. Reinhardt, A. Magoulas, and G. Kotoulas. 2009. Profiling of infection specific mRNA transcripts of the European seabass Dicentrarchus labrax. BMC Genomics 10: 157.

Sarropoulou E, Fernandes J.M.O., Mitter, K, Magoulas A, Mulero V, Sepulcre P, Figueras A, Novoa B, Kotoulas G, (2010). Evolution of a multifunctional gene: The warm temperature acclimation protein Wap65 in the European seabass Dicentrarchus labrax. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55 pp. 640-649. DOI information: 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.10.001.


Paraskevi (Vivi) Pitta is a Marine Biologist with BSc. in Biology (Univ. Athens, 1984), DEA in General Ecology (Paris XI, 1987), MSc. in Marine Biology (Univ. Crete, 1991), PhD in Marine Ecology (Univ. Crete, 1996). She is Assistant Researcher at HCMR since 2006 and Associate Researcher since 2011. Her research interests are the structure and function of the marine microbial food web including trophic relationships, microzooplankton ecology and mixotrophy and the response of microbial populations to the availability of nutrients. One of her recent activities is the development of a facility of marine mesocosms in HCMR-Crete and her participation in MESOAQUA, an EU project comprising mesocosm facilities from 6 large Eur. She has 35 publications in peer reviewed journals, 714 citations, cum. Impact factor 92.3 and h-index 16.

Calbet, A., Martínez, R.A., Isari, S., Zervoudaki, S., Nejstgaard, J.C., Pitta, P., Sazhin, A.F., Sousoni, D.d, Gomes, A., Berger, S.A., Tsagaraki, T.M, Ptacnik, R. (2012) Effects of light availability on mixotrophy and microzooplankton grazing in an oligotrophic plankton food web: Evidences from a mesocosm study in Eastern Mediterranean waters. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 424-425, 66-77.

Sebastián, M. Pitta, P., González, J.M.Thingstad, T.F.Gasol, J.M (2012) Bacterioplankton groups involved in the uptake of phosphate and dissolved organic phosphorus in a mesocosm experiment with P-starved Mediterranean waters. Environmental Microbiology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2012.02772.x

Thingstad T.F., Law C.S., Krom M.D., Mantoura R.F.C., Pitta P., Psarra S., Rassoulzadegan F., Tanaka T., Wassmann P., Wexels Riser C. & Zohary T., 2006. Response to Comment on “Nature of phosphorus limitation in the ultraoligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean” Science, 312: 1748d.


2. Participants from non-host institution

Assoc. Prof. Spiros A. Pergantis is an Analytical Chemist with BSc. in Chemistry (Univ. Ioannina, 1988) and a PhD in Environmental Analytical Chemistry (Univ. of British Columbia, Canada, 1994). Since 2003 he is at the Univ. of Crete and since 2008 he is Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry. He recently (2010-11) completed a US National Research Council Resident Senior Research Associateship Award which involved a 9-month sabbatical with the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), National Exposure Research Laboratory, Las Vegas, NV for nanoparticle work. He is on the Editorial board of Editorial Board Member of the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research, and on the Advisory Board of J. Anal. At. Spectrom.. He has published 58 research papers and 2 review articles all in peer–reviewed journals, with 1075 citations and an h-index of 19.

S. A. Pergantis*, T. L. Jones-Lepp, E. M. Heithmar “Hydrodynamic Chromatography On-Line with Single Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry for Ultratrace Detection of Metal-Containing Nanoparticles” Anal. Chem. (Accepted).

E. A. Kapellios and S. A. Pergantis*, “Size and Elemental Composition of Nanoparticles Using Ion Mobility Spectrometry with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry” J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2012, 27, 21-24 (Featured on Journal Inside Cover).

C. Carazzone, R. Raml and S. A. Pergantis* “Nanoelectrospray Ion Mobility Spectrometry On-line with Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry for Sizing Large Proteins, DNA and Nanoparticles”, Anal. Chem. 2008, 80 (15), 5812-5818.

H. R. Hansen* and S. A. Pergantis, “Identification of Sb(V)-complexes in biological and food matrices and their stibine formation efficiency during hydride generation with ICP-MS detection” Anal. Chem. 2007, 79, 5304.

Report: E. M. Heithmar and S. A. Pergantis, “Characterizing Concentrations and Size Distributions of Metal-Containing Nanoparticles in Waste Water” US EPA, APM 272, EPA/600/R-10/117, 2010.

Katja Knauer received her PhD in Environmental Sciences at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. After her postdoc at MIT in Boston and at the University of Geneva, she worked as a study director and as an environmental risk assessor at Syngenta in Switzerland on the  ecotoxicological effects of plant protection products (PPP) in support of applications for Registration. During 2004 and 2008, she joined the University of Basel and conducted two projects for the Federal Office for Environment with the focus on the detection of micropollutants in the environment and on mixture toxicity of pesticides. In June 2008, she joined the Federal Office for Agriculture in charge of the scientific evaluation of the plant protection products dossier for the authorization process. She participated in various Setac workshops addressing topics such as quality standards for water and soil, ELINK- linking exposure to effects, and AMRAP- aquatic plants in the aquatic risk assessment. She is member of the SETAC-Europe Council since 2006 and actively involved in the award committee (past-chair)  and science committee (Vice-chair).

Dr. Thomas Bucheli,is Head of Organic Trace Analysis Group at Agroscope Reckenholz Tanikon, Research Station ART, Zurich, Switzerland. He has been involved in numerous research projects and he has published more than 100  scientific papers. Among others he is scientific responsible in a Switzerland nation project entitled “Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials”


Knauer, K. Hommen, U. (2012). Sensitivity, variability, and recovery of functional and structural endpoints of an aquatic community exposed to herbicides, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 78, 178-183.

Schwab, F., Bucheli, T.D., Lukhele, L.P., Magrez, A., Nowack, B., Sigg, L, Knauer, K. (2011)  Are carbon nanotube effects on green algae caused by shading and agglomeration? Environmental Science and Technology, 45,6136-6144.

Nowack, B. , Bucheli, T.D. (2007) Occurrence, behavior and effects of nanoparticles in the environment  (Review) .Environmental Pollution. 150,5-22.