The research focus of Chemical Stress Ecology & Aquatic Toxicology laboratory (CSE) is to perform an aquatic risk assessment of pesticide use, promoting the safe use of pesticides by farmers to ensure sustainable agriculture. Research group of this laboratory aims at investigating the effects of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) on freshwater invertebrate species and communities. Protection of non-target organisms from the potential effects of agricultural pesticides is the aim of risk assessment procedure. Humans have changed the structure and functioning of the world’s ecosystems more rapidly, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, and fresh water etc. Hence, modern agriculture practices rely on the usage of synthetic pesticides (e.g. insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) in order to reduce crop losses due to pest and disease to achieve higher crop yields. Pesticides applied in crops may enter water bodies adjacent to agricultural fields, via different entry routes such as spray drift, agricultural run-off, leaching and/or drainage. Given the fact that they are inherently designed to harm biota, therefor, pesticides may pose risk to a range of aquatic organisms. These contaminations may have undesirable impacts on the ecology of freshwater ecosystems. In order to prevent unacceptable, adverse effects on non-target aquatic communities of natural aquatic ecosystems, the evaluation of these effects is considered to be major challenge now days as well as part of the registration procedure of pesticides. Protecting the biological community of fresh waters, it is essential to assess the potential risks associated with PPPs to aquatic ecosystems.
Zafar M.I., R.P.A. van Wijngaarden, I. Roessink and P.J. van den Brink. 2011. Effects of time-variable exposure regimes of the insecticide chlorpyrifos on freshwater invertebrate communities in microcosms. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 30 (6): 1383-1394.
Zafar M.I., J.D.M. Belgers, R.P.A. van Wijngaarden, A. Master and P.J. van den Brink. 2012. Ecological impacts of time-variable exposure regimes to the fungicide azoxystrobin on freshwater communities in outdoor microcosms. Ecotoxicology 21(4): 1024-1038.
R.P.A. van Wijngaarden., J.D.M. Belgers, M.I. Zafar, A. Master, M.C. Boerwinkle and G.H.P. Arts. 2014. Chronic Aquatic Effect Assessment for the Fungicide Azoxystrobin. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 33(12): 2775-2785.
Farooqi A., M. I. Zafar. 2016. Response to "Co-occurrence of arsenic and fluoride in the groundwater of Punjab, Pakistan: source discrimination and health risk assessment" by Rasool et al. 2015. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 30 (12): 4233-4246.
Mamoona H.N., Hussain, I, and Zafar M.I. (2015). Classification of Water Quality Index and Identification of Significant Factors. Water Resources Management. 30(12): 4233-4246.
Raza A ., A. Farooqi, A. Javed, M.I. Zafar. (2017). Effect of Human Settlements on Surface and Groundwater Quality:Statistical Source Identification of Heavy and Trace Metals of Siran River and its Catchment Area Mansehra, Pakistan. Journal of The Chemical Society Of Pakistan. 39(03):296-308.
S. Ahmed, M.I. Zafar, A. Hussain, M.A. Riaz and M. Shahid. 2011. Evaluation of plant extracts on mortality and tunneling activities of Subterranean Termites in Pakistan. In: Pesticides in the Modern World - Pests control and pesticides exposure and toxicity assessment. Stoytcheva, Margarita (ed.) InTech - Open Access Publisher. pp. 39-51.
K. Fariha, A. Farooqi, M. I. Zafar. 2017. Biodegradation of Xenobiotics in Soil by Fungi. In: Xenobiotics in the Soil Environment: Monitoring, Toxicity and Management. Soil Biology, Vol 49. pp 235-242. Springer, Cham.