Radboud University Nijmegen

Radboud University Nijmegen

The Radboud University Nijmegen is one of the leading academic communities in the Netherlands. It has eight faculties and enrols over 14.000 students in 60 study programmes. The Department of Environmental Studies (DES) of the Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Computing Science has three main tasks: (1) to coordinate a Bachelor and Master Programme in Environmental Sciences; (2) to perform scientific research; (3) to provide services to society on environmental science. DES participates in several national and inter­natio­nal networks, e.g., the European Thematic Network of Education and Training for Environment - Water (ETNET), the Netherlands Centre for River Studies (NCR), the European Network of Environmental Scien­ces (ESSENCE) and the Dutch Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the En­viron­ment (SENSE). A considerable effort is invested in research, both based on funding by the university and by external sources, including research funded by the European Union (e.g., the IRMA-SPONGE project under INTERREG-IIC the “Freude am Fluss” project under INTERREG IIIB, and the NOMIRACLE project under FP6), the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NOW), the Dutch Ministry for the Environment (VROM) and the Partners for Water Programme (World Bank). The main research topics are ecological rest­o­­ration of river basins and modelling of environmental risks posed by chemical contaminants and other stress­ors. In this context, priority setting of chemical emissions is an important focus in our research, in­clu­ding an adequate quantification of uncertain­ties. For this purpose, we combine, simplify and extend environ­mental modelling tools, such as evaluative multi-media fate and exposure models and species sensitivity dis­tri­butions. In a recent study, for instance, we probabilistically estimated combined toxic pressure on coastal North Sea ecosystems from 343 high-production-volume chemicals and 200 pesticides used within the catch­ment of rivers Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt. The results give clear indications that 95% of the impact probably resulted from


Dr. Mark Huijbregts is an assistant professor at RU. He is specialised in the modelling of the environmental behaviour and combined effects of chemical contaminants. He has extensive experience in environmental modelling and risk assessment. Multimedia fate and exposure modelling, mechanistic foodchain modelling and toxic pressure calculations have his main focus with more than 70 publications in international peer reviewed journals.

Selected Publication List:

1. Harbers JV, Huijbregts MAJ, Posthuma L, Van de Meent D. 2006. Estimating the Impact of High Production Volume Chemicals on Remote Ecosystems by Toxic Pressure Calculation. Environmental Science and Technology 40 (5): 1573-1580.

2. Hendriks AJ, Smitkova H, Huijbregts MAJ. 2007. A new twist on an old regression: transfer of chemicals to beef and milk in human and ecological risk assessment. Chemosphere (accepted).

3. Huijbregts MAJ, Thissen U, Guinée JB, Jager T, Van de Meent D, Ragas AMJ, Wegener Sleeswijk A, Reijnders L. 2000a. Priority assessment of toxic substances in LCA, I: Calculation of toxicity potentials for 181 substances with the nested multi-media fate, exposure and effects model USES-LCA. Chemosphere 41: 541-573.

4. Huijbregts MAJ, Thissen U, Guinée JB, Jager T, Van de Meent D, Ragas AMJ. 2000b. Priority assessment of toxic substances in LCA. II: Assessing parameter uncertainty and human variability in the calculation of toxicity potentials. Chemosphere 41: 575-588.

5. Huijbregts MAJ, Geelen L, Hertwich E, McKone TE, Van de Meent D. 2005a. Human intake fraction of toxic pollutants: a model comparison between CalTOX and USES-LCA. Env. Tox. Chem. 24 (2): 486-493.

6. Huijbregts MAJ, Struijs J, Goedkoop M, Heijungs R, Hendriks AJ, Van de Meent D. 2005c. Human population intake fractions and environmental fate factors of toxic pollutants in Life Cycle Impact Assessment. Chemosphere 61 (10): 1495-1504.

7. Smitkova H, Huijbregts MAJ, Hendriks J. 2005. Comparison of three fish bioaccumulation models for ecological and human risk assessment and validation with field data. SAR QSAR Research 16 (5): 483–493.

8. Van de Meent D, Huijbregts MAJ, 2005. Evaluating ecotoxicological effect factors based on the Potentially Affected Fraction of species. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 24 (6): 1573-1578.



Powerpoint Presentation on the RUN: