Linking humpback whale chemical exposure to effect: Taxon-specific in vitro toxicity assessment

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Hosen_Md Hafiz All_Final Thesis_Redacted.pdf (21.78 MB)

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Primary Supervisor
Polkinghorne, Susan M
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Leusch, Frederic
Wood, Stephen A
Whitworth, Deanne J
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2024-03-06
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Abstract

Long range environmental transport is known to facilitate the poleward move of persistent and semi volatile agrochemicals. Their bioaccumulation and biomagnification along Antarctic food web have been evidenced including detection in the Antarctic keystone species, Antarctic krill, as well as in second order consumers such as southern hemisphere humpback whales (SHHW). SHHW are one of the six baleen whale species that feed in the Southern Ocean and undertake one of the longest mammalian migrations. During migration, SHHW undergo voluntary fasting, a remarkable adaptation that allows them to convert their lipid stores into energy, which inadvertently results in mobilisation of lipophilic chemical burdens from liberated fat stores. The biological impact of elevated chemical exposure could have significant effects on metabolism, reproduction, and immune functions. The process of converting lipids to energy is regulated by mitochondria. Any mitochondrial abnormalities therefore carry the potential to interrupt bioenergetics. Despite this, the inherent absence of opportunity for controlled study on these large mammals means that our basic understanding of the threats posed by contaminants to the species is incomplete. The need for species-specific chemical risk data has recently led to the cultivation of humpback whale primary and immortalised fibroblasts cell lines, which offer an opportunity for the study of cetacean chemical risk. Before conducting any risk assessment, it is essential to characterise the cell, as this knowledge is a prerequisite for a robust understanding of toxicological mechanisms of action. This thesis aims to generate SHHW species-specific in vitro chemical effect data, through the application of advanced technologies, hereby advancing cetacean ecotoxicology. [...]

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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School of Environment and Sc
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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
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chemical pollution
whale cells
Southern Ocean
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