MODELKEY – Models for Assessing and Forecasting the Impact of Environmental Key Pollutants on Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Leading organisations:
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ


Geographic Area:
British Isles Central Europe Eastern Europe Scandinavia Southern Europe Western Europe


MODELKEY comprises a multidisciplinary approach aiming at developing interlinked and verified predictive modelling tools as well as state-of-the-art effect-assessment and analytical methods generally applicable to European freshwater and marine ecosystems

Target audience:

Area of interest:
Occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment and Risks to ecosystems


1) To assess, forecast, and mitigate the risks of traditional and recently evolving pollutants on fresh water and marine ecosystems and their biodiversity at a river basin and adjacent marine environment scale,
2) To provide early warning strategies on the basis of sub-lethal effects in vitro and in vivo,
3) To provide a better understanding of cause-effect-relationships between changes in biodiversity and the ecological status, as addressed by the Water Framework Directive, and the impact of environmental pollution as causative factor,
4) To provide methods for state-of-the-art risk assessment and decision support systems for the selection of the most efficient management options to prevent effects on biodiversity and to priorities contamination sources and contaminated sites,
5) To strengthen the scientific knowledge on an European level in the field of impact assessment of environmental pollution on aquatic eco-systems and their biodiversity by extensive training activities and knowledge dissemination to stakeholders and the scientific community.

Communication material:

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HCWH Europe gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the European Commission (EC)’s LIFE+ programme, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) Germany, and the German Environment Agency (UBA). HCWH Europe is solely responsible for the content of this project and related materials. The views expressed do not reflect the official views of the EC, BMU, or UBA.