Water quality is impacted by land management practices, industrial and urban development, and climate change. Surface waters are widely used as drinking water sources, food production, and recreational activities. Hence, their quality needs to be continuously monitored. However, current routine monitoring programs are not generally comprehensive, covering only a limited number of known pollutants and emerging contaminants.
Our lab relies on state-of-the-art high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), combining suspect and non-target screening (NTS) to help expand the coverage of current water monitoring strategies. Suspect candidates can be prioritized based on their potential risk (i.e., hazard and exposure) by combining in vitro toxicity data with computational toxicity predictions. We combine this risk-based approach with effects-directed analysis (EDA), for the identification of unknown toxic chemical contaminants in water and their prioritization based on bioactivity and environmental concentrations. In addition, we use targeted and non-targeted mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and lipidomics analyses, combined with genomics techniques, to better understand the impact of contaminants on animals and human health.