Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC)

The Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDÆA) is a multidisciplinary research institute focused on the scientific understanding of key environmental challenges facing society, especially those linked to water and air quality issues. Since IDÆA’s foundation a decade ago, we have striven to perform at an outstanding level on environmental research, guided by the principle that our scientific understanding of current threats to global ecosystems is best approached from a holistic, systems-based viewpoint.

IDAEA scientists’ work focuses on 3 main lines of research and innovation:

  • Environmental and climate challenges
  • Global exposure to pollution
  • Circular economy
Excellence and recognition awards
  • 2020-2023, Severo Ochoa accreditation of excellence, granted by the State Research Agency attached to the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.
  • 2020, Gender Equality Accreditation, received as an Accesit from CSIC (Spanish National Research Council)
Ranking positioning
  • The CSIC is the 3rd European institution regarding the number of actions (research projects obtained) of the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme, and 8th position in the Worldwide ranking of research institutions.
  • The Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC) is in the 5th position of the CSIC ranking.
Director of the center

Ethel Eljarrat Esebag

  • PhD in Chemical Sciences from the University of Barcelona (1999) and current director of IDAEA-CSIC.
  • Expert advisor on the “plastic pollution” topic in the Congress of Deputies (Madrid), providing guidance to policymakers.
  • Her research focuses on the impact of persistent and emerging organic pollutants, specifically plasticizers, flame retardants, organophosphates, insecticides, and pesticides.
  • She investigates bioaccumulation and biomagnification in aquatic and terrestrial organisms, as well as human exposure through food and inhalation.
  • Authored more than 167 articles in SCI journals (h-index = 50), edited two books, and contributed to 30 book chapters.
Renowned researcher

Xavier Querol Canceller

  • Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Barcelona, with research focusing on environmental geochemistry applied to air pollution and quality.
  • Advisory member on air quality for the European Commission, the Ministry of Ecological Transition of Spain, IPCC, and the WHO.
  • Published ver 700 articles (h-index = 105). Thomson Reuters/Clarivate's list ranks them as one of the most cited scientific authors since 2014.
  • Awarded the Spanish National Research Prize in 2020, the Environmental Prize of the Government of Catalonia in 2009, among others.
The project

In the face of growing water scarcity, pollution poses a significant threat to organism health. We will assess the neuroactive substance presence in Barcelona tap water, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial products.

Using zebrafish and Daphnia magna as model organisms, we will conduct a multivariate study to characterize and predict the behavioural effects of these substances that target the central nervous system. Our investigation will explore potential impairments that may render organisms unable to respond effectively to threats.