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Professor Nic Bury

Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Associate Dean for Research


Professor Nic Bury

Professor Nic Bury's research interests are primarily covered by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 14 and 15 and includes aquatic toxicology, stress physiology and environmental monitoring. He supports the 3Rs (refinement, reduction and replacement) approach in animal research and part of his research includes the development of alternative test procedure for fish in toxicological studies.  He is also a member of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Current research interest:

•    Ecotoxicology (metals, pharmaceuticals, microplastics)

•    Cell culture systems to assess bioaccumulation of chemicals in fish and replacement in fish toxicity tests

•    Use of Artificial Intelligence in predictive toxicology.

•    Use of the UN SDGs for a sustainable future.

•    Sensor networks for environmental monitoring


Current PhD students

2018 – present. Peter Gudde. A multi-dimensional analysis of smart grids to assess their ability to deliver local value

2020 – present. Anita Vas. Develop and deploy a fish gill and liver cell co-culture in combination with machine learning (ML) to predict pharmacokinetics (PK) of environmental pharmaceuticals in fish (Co-supervisor).

2020 – present. Penny Fenton. “To flow or not to flow”: developing an artificial fish gill cell culture model for use in toxicology

Prof Bury is interested in discussing PhD applications in the field of aquatic and environmental toxicology.


Recent Publications


Gudde, P., Oakes, J., Cochrane, P., Caldwell, N., Bury, N. 2021. The role of UK local government in delivering on net zero carbon commitments: You've declared a climate emergency, so what's the plan?  Energy Policy, accepted.

Chang, E.D., Owen, S.F., Hogstrand, C., Bury, N.R. 2021. Developing in vitro models to assess fish gill excretion of emerging contaminants. Analytical Methods, accepted

Chang, E.D., Owen, S.F., Hogstrand, C., Bury, N.R. 2021. The effect of water pH on the uptake of acidic (ibuprofen) and basic (propranolol) drugs in a fish gill cell culture model. Environmental Science and Technology, accepted

Bury, N.R. 2021. Are salmonid fish more susceptible to the class of contaminants of emerging concern the synthetic glucocorticoid? Open Access Journal of Toxicology 4(5): OAJT.MS.ID.555650.

Miller, TH., Ng, K.T., Lamphiere, A., Cameron, T.C., Bury, N.R., Barron, L.P. 2021. Multicompartment and cross-species monitoring of emerging contaminants in an estuarine habitat. Environmental Pollution, 270: 116300.



Bell, D., Bury, N.R., Woolnough, L., Corps, N., Mortimore, D., Gretton, S. 2020. Use of X-ray micro-computed tomography to study the moult cycle of the freshwater amphipod Gammarus pulex. Zoology, 143: 125833.

Muraina, I.A., Bury, N.R., Scott, A., Graham, A., Hogstrand, C. 2020. The zebrafish Znt1a(sa17) mutant reveals roles of zinc transporter-1a in embryonic development. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. 60: 126496.

Muraina, I.A., Maret, M., Bury, N.R., Hogstrand, C. 2020. Hatching gland development and hatching in zebrafish embryos: A role for zinc and its transporters Zip10 and Znt1a. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 528: 698 – 705.



Fitzgerald, J.A., Urbina, M.G., Rogers, N.J., Bury, N.R., Katsiadaki, I., Wilson, R.W., Santos, E.M. 2019 Sublethal exposure to copper suppresses the ability to acclimate to hypoxia in a model fish species. Aquatic Toxicology 217:105325. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2019.105325.

Miller, T.H., Ng, K.T., Bury, S.T., Bury, S.E., Bury, N.R., Barron, L.P. 2019 Biomonitoring of pesticides, pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs in a freshwater invertebrate to estimate toxic or effect pressure. Environment International. 129:595-606. First to show widespread accumulation of the illicit drugs in macroinvertebrates in rural streams, the occurrence of pesticides banned for use in 2007 and a model to predict toxic pressure. Wide media coverage.

Lavelle, A.M., Bury, N.R., O'Shea, F.T., Chadwick, M.A. 2019Influence of urban river restoration on nitrogen dynamics at the sediment-water interface. PLoS One. 14(3):e0212690. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212690.

Bussolaro, D., Wright, S.L., Schnell, S., Schirmer, K., Bury, N.R., Arlt, V.M. 2019.Co-exposure to polystyrene plastic beads and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contaminants in fish gill (RTgill-W1) and intestinal (RTgutGC) epithelial cells derived from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Environmental Pollution. 248:706-714.

Chang, E. D., Hogstrand, C., Miller, T.H., Owen, S.F., Bury, N.R. 2019. The use of molecular descriptors to model pharmaceutical uptake by a fish primary gill cell culture epithelium. Environmental Science and Technology 53, 706-714. First to develop an in vitro model to describe uptake of pharmaceuticals by fish. 

Miller, TH; Gallidabino, MD; MacRae, JI; Owen, SF; Bury, NR; Barron, LP. 2019. Prediction of bioconcentration factors in fish and invertebrates using machine learning. Science of the Total Environment, 648, 80 – 89. A demonstration of how machine learning can be used in ecotoxicology to predict bioaccumulation.