IRIS is constantly working to develop new technology for marine monitoring and in 2015 it has further developed its work on environmental indicators and bio sensors. Bio sensors are a development area at IRIS Environment in which we look at changes in predictable behaviour patterns in marine organisms. These sensors will be used both in laboratories and in the field.
In the NFR project MOAB, microbial sensors are integrated into a real time, multi sensor, field based measurement system: the ´Environmental Sampling Processor´ (ESP). The biological markers are based on recent years’ innovations in gene analysis. In MOAB, we will use genetic markers from bacteria that break down oil as real time indicators of oil spills and leaks. The principle is based on crude oil changing the species profile of bacteria in the water, so that soon after an oil spill, the microbial community is dominated by bacteria that break down oil, as the genetic markers will reveal.
In the HT Biomarkers project we further develop biological tools for measuring the condition of health of important marine invertebrates. With the aid of flow cytometric techniques, we are aiming at optimising methods for monitoring the environment. Among other things, we are investigating the effect of oil on mussels and this method will make it possible to track physiological changes in a more effective manner.
Monitoring fresh water with a focus on lakes and water systems has been one of the division’s most important areas for some years, and this work is helping to ensure that water resources in the region have a water quality that corresponds to the requirements of the EU water directive. There is also research into Legionella in drinking water. We have an interdisciplinary project that is looking at the incidence, types and pathogenic properties of different Legionella strains in municipal shower systems in Stavanger. It is looking more closely at the significance of plumbing material and also at how the city can best communicate risks in connection with Legionella.