2011/717 Postdoctoral research fellow – Toxicology

2011/717 Postdoctoral research fellow – Toxicology


By Catherine McLeod



In this project, a postdoctoral research fellow, Dr Catherine McLeod was involved in a number of research projects related to toxins in seafood and the risks that they potentially pose. The position produced a number of valuable reviews and papers that will assist in defending and negotiating trade positions.


A detailed proposal was distributed under the auspices of SafeFish, to assess current seafood industry protocols for managing risks from ciguatoxin contamination. Research on a number of algal biotoxin reports, reviews and discussions are likely to lend international support for the position that the use of the mouse bioassay as a first-line test has run its course, and that the future for shellfish (and other seafood) safety testing lies with alternative chemical and antibody-based methods.


Research investigations were also conducted on behalf of the Tasmanian shellfish and rocklobster industries during and subsequent to the 2012-13 toxic microalgal bloom. This work has enhanced the capabilities in the management of toxic algal blooms and research initiatives to assist the seafood industry to respond to such events.


Research also contributed to reports investigating cadmium in prawns, and presented several options and recommendations for Australia’s wild-capture prawn industry to address market access restrictions imposed on Australian export prawns. Research on wild-caught prawns clearly demonstrated that all sampled prawns had sufficient levels of selenium to be marketed as a good source of this essential micronutrient.


A complete list of projects that Dr McLeod was involved with is listed below:


2008/741.20 Human enteric viruses in Australian bivalve molluscan shellfish

2008/782 European Commission and Australian Embassy, Brussels, Belgium, IFREMER (Nantes and Arcachon, France) and the 7th International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Safety, Nantes France

2008/909 Market access for abalone

2009/752 Overseas market access for shellfish

2009/787 The whole prawn - Prawn market access defenders

2010/723 Improving safety and marketability of Australian Oysters in China

2010/737 Marine biotoxins and market access for abalone

2011/726 Wanted dead or alive: Novel technologies for measuring infectious norovirus particles