Ongoing projects

Exploring the role of rhizobacterium Ensifer meliloti on cadmium speciation and cadmium accumulation in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

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The project explores the role of rhizobacteria, the extracellular polymeric substances and humic substances on the speciation and accumulation of Cd in rice. This project will help us understand how the presence of the rhizobacterium affect the Cd speciation in solution, and further Cd accumulation in rice.

  • Funding: China scholarship council.
  • UniGe Responsible : Prof. Vera Slaveykova
  • Collaborators: Keji Wang



Oxidative stress as a mediator of bacterial resistance development towards antibiotics in the presence of sublethal levels of heavy metals

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This mechanistic project explores the influence of sub-lethal concentrations of heavy metal on bacterial resistance. The relationships between heavy metal-induced oxidative stress and damage, and bacterial resistance are thoroughly studied.
  • Funding: China scholarship council.
  • UniGe Responsible : Prof. Vera Slaveykova
  • Collaborators: Dr. Wei Liu, Dr. Yan Xu



Towards better understanding of the adverse outcome pathways of silver nanoparticles in freshwater gastropods (NANOPATHS)

This project aims to get deeper knowledge on the basic mechanisms governing the biological responses of aquatic invertebrates to nanoparticles exposure under freshwater settings and to propose adverse outcome pathways for freshwater gastropods.
  • Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation
  • UniGe Responsible : Dr. Wei Liu
  • PhD student : Ting Wang
  • Partners: Prof. Vera Slaveykova, Dr. Mylène Docquier (Genomic platform iG3), Dr. Isabelle Worms, Dr. Emmanuel Castella.




Exploring the interaction of mercury species with different diatoms

This project aims to attain insights about the role of diatoms (phytoplankton group) in the Hg cycle on freshwater systems. Bioaccumulation, kinetics and prevailing mechanisms of Hg biotic transformation pathways mediated by mainly Cyclotella meneghiniana under different conditions will be determined. Physiological endpoints will also be determined under different mercury concentrations and species to understand how it affects this organism. In parallel, transcriptomic and metabolomic techniques will be applied to explore the affected pathways.
  • Funding: University of Geneva and Swiss National Science Foundation
  • UniGe Responsible : Prof. Vera Slaveykova
  • PhD student : M. João Santos



Green Breath Box : Insights into biogeochemical cycles, environment, and sustainability






Elucidation of the role of phytoplankton on aquatic biotic and abiotic transformation of mercury (PHYTAMBA)


This project aims to obtain new insights into the role of phytoplankton in Hg cycling and abiotic and biotic transformations in freshwater environments.





Interaction of nanoparticles with metalloproteins


  • The project studies the interaction of nanoparticles (AgNPs and AuNPs) with metalloproteins by focusing on the formation of nanoparticles-protein corona (dynamic vs. static), the behaviour of the NPs and the related consequences for the protein in terms of conformation change and its biological function.
  • Funding : University of Geneva
  • UniGe Responsible : Prof. Vera Slaveykova
  • Collaborators : Dr. Wei Liu and Dr. Isabelle Worms




Projet Tripartite

  • Funding : University of Geneva
  • UniGe Responsibles : Prof. Vera Slaveykova, Dr John Pote and Honorary Prof. Walter Wildi