PHARMARINE is a research project funded within the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2020. The project sets out to assess transport vectors and fate of human pharmaceuticals via ocean currents from the continental Europe to polar regions in the European Arctic. Potential aqueous pathways of drugs will be investigated at several locations along a northward transect going from the South (the Baltic Sea and the North Sea) through the Norwegian Coastal Current and warm North Atlantic Current to the Spitsbergen fjords (Hornsund and Kongsfjorden) in the North. In addition, potential of pharmaceuticals to accumulate in the benthic macroinvertebrates will be unravelled in order to assess contamination status of the Arctic fauna. Biomagnification of pharmaceuticals in benthic food web will be also studied at one Arctic location employing stable nitrogen isotope ratio as an indicator of relative trophic position. By exposing benthic and pelagic faunal species to selected pharmaceuticals at environmental and above-environmental concentrations under simulated cold Arctic conditions in a series of experiments, harmful effects on animals will be quantified. Biological responses will be measured at different levels of biological organisation (from genes and cells to metabolic activity) using early-warning biomarkers such as DNA and proteins. Results of the laboratory experiments will thus provide novel empirical information on biological impacts and threat pharmaceuticals pose currently on the Arctic marine ecosystem.

Project full title: Transport via ocean currents of human pharmaceutical products and their impact on marine biota in the European Arctic

Project acronym: PHARMARINE
Call: GRIEG-1
Research area: Earth Sciences
Programme Operator: National Science Centre
Contract number: UMO-2019/34/H/NZ8/00590
Project duration: 36 months (October 2020 – September 2023)
Project budget: 1 489 705 Euro
Project Promoter: University of Gdańsk (UG)
Principal Investigator: Assoc. Prof. Adam Sokołowski, PhD


Get in Touch