News about our project

Pharmaceuticals threaten Amazonian freshwater ecosystems

June 22nd, 2021|

A new study has been published in Environment International which shows the first quantitative analysis of pharmaceuticals and other urban contaminants in Amazonian freshwater ecosystems. We assessed exposure patterns in four large cities of the Brazilian Amazon (Manaus, Santarém, Macapá, Belém). Our study shows that the chemical burden created by the emission of untreated wastewaters from urban areas poses significant long-term risks for freshwater ecosystems, with chemical mixtures potentially affecting up to 50-80% of species. We conclude that the protection of Amazonian freshwater […]

51 pharmaceuticals and metabolites identified in Amazonian waters

June 22nd, 2021|

A target and suspect screening approach as been applied to assess the presence of 900 pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs in Amazonian freshwaters. Our study identified 51 different compounds, with the highest prevalence of contaminants in streams crossing the urban areas of Manaus, Macapá and Belém. Most compounds in the identified list are analgesics and antihypertensives. Our study has been published in the journal Water Research, and shows the first evidence of pharmaceuticals being widespread contaminants in Amazonian […]

Expedition 2019 succesfully completed!

March 13th, 2020|

The SILENT AMAZON expedition concluded successfully on the 15 December of 2019. After 30 days navigating the river, the field team has achieved its main goal: collecting 40 samples of water across different anthropogenic pressure gradients in the basin. It has been more than 1500 km, and focal sampling in four major cities: Manaus, Santarém, Macapá and Belém. Moreover, the team has managed to get 17 macrophyte and 53 fish samples. Water samples have been send to different […]

Plastics reach the Amazon

November 1st, 2019|

Plastic is a recurrent element in our daily lives. Only about 15% of total plastic consumed is recycled, while the rest is often dumped into the environment. The Amazon is not an exception. In some areas, the banks of the Amazon River look like this picture. Plastics are dangerous for large mammals, like freshwater dolphins and manatees, fish and birds. Moreover, they breakdown into smaller particles, the so-called microplastics, that can be ingested by smaller animals such as freshwater invertebrates. The SILENT […]

National Geographic Bootcamp

November 1st, 2019|

In July 2019, Andreu Rico attended the Story Telling Bootcamp organized by the National Geographic Society. Several workshops were organized on research communication, scientific photography and video, and social media. Also, there was an opportunity to show our research to a crowd of highly influential researchers in the Amazon. But, most importantly, it was a great opportunity to meet amazing people and learn from other projects taking place along the Amazon River.

First project meeting Manaus

November 1st, 2019|

Planning a large river monitoring campaign is not an easy task. One may expect that upon the field many things turn wrong. To prevent experimental failures and to plan ahead the field work, in July 2019, Andreu Rico visited Andrea Waichman in Manaus (Brazil). During that visit some preliminary water, plant and fish samples were taken, mainly to test sampling procedures and analytical methods. The results of this trial show that wastewaters dumped into the Amazon River contain a wide range of […]