Research Lab



Lab Members

Research Interests

The Biotox Laboratory is focused on:

  • Environmental Biochemistry and Toxicology: organisms exposed to contaminants in aquatic environments (e.g. xenoestrogens, emerging compounds, metals and other elements).
  • Environmental Proteomics. Biomarkers. Oxidative stress in organisms exposed to pollutants.
  • Climate change effects on marine biota.
  • Immunobiology;
  • Nanotoxicology. Food Toxicology.

Our main foci of research are:

1. Effects of xenoestrogens on organisms;

2. The use of biomarkers of response and effect (e.g. proteins, antioxidant enzymes);

3. Identification of proteins of interest, using proteomic methodologies, following exposure to environmental stressors;

4. Development of biosensors and immunoassays for food quality assessment.

Research Highlights
How marine organisms are capable to adapt to climate change at the molecular level? How nanotechnology affects living organisms?


Seasonal proteome variation in intertidal shrimps was analyzed showing that cytoskeleton, energy metabolism and transcription were modulated by season. In general, shrimps modulate gene expression leading to metabolic and structural and structural adjustments related to seasonal differences in the wild. This potentially promotes performance and fitness as suggested by the higher condition index in summer-collected shrimps possibly suggesting reduced genetic diversity or physiological canalization. The way animals respond to climate change will be crucial for their near future adaptation and survival.

Introduction of seaweeds in Portuguese gastronomy: chemical and biochemical characterization, learn more here.


highlight 2020


Representative Projects

  • “PAHMIX-Mixtures of Environmental Carcinogens: a molecular approach to improve environmental risk assessment strategies”, FCT-MCTES, Total and Unit funding: €238,296 Mário Diniz (co-PI)
  • “3Qs for Quality – Development of molecular sensors and technologies for seafood quality”, FCT-MCTES, Total funding: €197,948, Unit funding: €90,260, Mário Diniz (PI)
  • “Multifunctional study of xylem-sap Portuguese olive cultivars and its relation with susceptibility to infection by Xylella fastidiosa”, FCT-MCTES,Total funding: €199,991, Unit funding: €18,900 , Mário Diniz (Collaborator)
  • “AMBIEnCE-Impact of atmospheric multi-stressors to coastal marine systems in a changing climate scenario”, Total funding: €226,076, Unit funding: €10,000, Mário Diniz (Collaborator)
  • “Of pigments and toxins an integrative approach to the biotechnological potential of a marine polychaete”, FCTMCTES, Total funding: €199,398, Unit funding: €7,500, Mário Diniz (Collaborator)

Selected Publications

Serrano, VM; Cardoso, AR; Diniz, M; Sales, MGF. 2020. In-situ production of Histamine-imprinted polymeric materials for electrochemical monitoring of fish. SENSORS AND ACTUATORS B-CHEMICAL, 311, DOI: 10.1016/j.snb.2020.127902
Mauricio, R; Jorge, J; Dias, R; Noronha, JP; Amaral, L; Daam, MA; Mano, AP; Diniz, MS. 2020. The use of peracetic acid for estrogen removal from urban wastewaters: E2 as a case study. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, 192, DOI: 10.1007/s10661-020-8079-7
Matos, B; Martins, M; Samamed, AC; Sousa, D; Ferreira, I; Diniz, MS. 2020. Toxicity Evaluation of Quantum Dots (ZnS and CdS) Singly and Combined in Zebrafish (Danio rerio). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17010232
Espalha, C; Fernandes, J; Madeira, C; Noronha, JP; Vassilenko, V; Diniz, MS. 2020. Comparing the Detection of Histamine by Using GC-MS and ELISA Methods: Clues fora Faster and Direct Detection of Biogenic Amines in Seafood Products. Marine Drugs, 18, DOI:
Pegado, MR; Santos, CP; Pimentel, M; Cyrne, R; Paulo, M; Maulvaut, AL; Raffoul, D; Diniz, M; Bispo, R; Rosa, R. 2020. Effects of elevated carbon dioxide on the hematological parameters of a temperate catshark. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A-Ecological Genetics and Physiology, 333, DOI: 10.1002/jez.2333