Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research


The Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) is the Spanish National Research Council, the Spanish largest public research institution, and ranks third among Europe’s largest research organisations. CSIC plays a key role in scientific and technological policy in Spain and worldwide. The CSIC produces 20% of the national scientific output, remains the first institution in Spain in the generation of patents and has a broad experience managing large and singular infrastructures.  It is a major player in the development of the European Research Area (ERA) and therefore a significant contributor to the European integration process.

IDAEA - Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research was founded in 2008 as a new multidisciplinary research institute, is the CSIC’s reference centre on environmental science (Water & Air research). IDAEA main mission is to provide high quality research based on hard science activities in environmental sciences, analytical chemistry, geochemistry, hydrology and biotechnology. Much of the research work at this institute is centred on two of the great environmental challenges of our time, namely the cleanliness and availability of the WATER we drink and is used in the food we consume and the quality of the AIR we breathe.

The Environmental Chemistry Department is a diverse and highly interdisciplinary group of scientists whose research focuses on the processes influencing the chemical speciation of natural systems, the mobility and fate of contaminants in the environment (water, air, soil, crops and biota), the processes that affect the toxicity and bioavailability of contaminants, and many aspects of contaminant remediation. We are experts on the assessment of presence, distribution and fate of natural and anthropogenic contaminants, including priority and emerging organic contaminants, metals and organometallic compounds inputs to the environment.

Environmental and Water Chemistry for Human Health (ONHEALTH) group will be highly involved in Pharm-ERA project.

Environmental and Water Chemistry for Human Health (ONHEALTH) team

Research interests & main objectives


The mission of ONHEALTH group is to enhance the understanding of the sources, occurrence, fate and behavior of both natural and anthropogenic environmental organic contaminants as well as the assessment of potential effects on ecosystems and human health, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the scientific basis of environmental management. The major focus is on engineered systems, aquatic environments, terrestrial habitats, and the exposure to living organisms. To achieve these goals, we employ four main research lines:

  • 1) Chemical and biological analysis to reliably detection and measurement at ultra-trace levels of contaminants in different matrices,
  • 2) Conduct controlled conditions experiments at our research facilities,
  • 3) Assess the impact of complex mixtures in environment and humans,
  • 4) Assess the biota and human exposure through different routes (dietary, inhalation, dermal).

Principal investigator

Dr. Victoria Osorio (PI and PhD supervisor) is a Ramón y Cajal postdoctoral fellow devoted to broaden the knowledge on the effects of the continuous release of complex mixtures of CECs into the environment. With a solid background on Environmental Analytical Chemistry her main current research lines at IDAEA are focused on the development of effect-based chemical and bioanalytical methods such as Effect-Directed Analysis (EDA) and HRMS Imaging to assess the occurrence, fate and risks of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) in the environment.

Staff involved in Pharm-ERA

Dr. Sandra Pérez (research team member and PhD supervisor) is a permanent staff researcher IDAEA-CSIC.  Group leader of the research group “environmental analysis, fate and effects of emerging pollutants”. Her work is mainly focused on the development of analytical methods for the study of occurrence, distribution, and metabolism/degradation of emerging organic pollutants in the aquatic and terrestrial environment including biota.         

Equipment and processes

The high impact of ONHEALTH research group is recognized as being a reference at national and international level in their field of expertise, using cutting edge approaches .The research unit disposes of the most advanced analytical instrumentation available in the market including online extraction systems coupled to liquid chromatography-low resolution mass spectrometry (MS) with quadrupole analyzers or hybrid analyzers like triple quadrupole as well as high resolution (HR)-MS based on Orbitrap or hybrid QTOF systems. In addition, toxicity test panels, biosensors and mesocosm facilities are also available in the research unit.

Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) system coupled to a Tribrid Orbitrap High Resolution Mass Spectrometric (HRMS) Analyzer
Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) system coupled to a Hybrid Quadrupole-Time of Flight (QTOF) High Resolution Mass Spectrometric (HRMS) Analyzer

Modification date : 22 March 2024 | Publication date : 06 March 2024 | Redactor : Emilie EGEA