Course theme

Type of course


Speciation and Bioavailability of Metals, Organics and Nanoparticles

  • 17 - 21 June 2024
  • Antwerpen, Belgium
  • Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
  • 2.0 ECTS

This course focuses on the speciation and bioavailability of metal complex species, organic compounds and nanoparticles in aqueous environments.

Course Programme

The course program will focus on the analytical and physical chemistry of metal ions in complexing aqueous environments and the bioavailabilities of different species. Due attention will also be given to the speciation and bioavailability of organic compounds. Modern analytical speciation techniques such as DGT, PLM, DMT, stripping voltammetries, ligand exchange methods, SPME, radiotracer techniques, etc. will be discussed in methodological detail. The thermodynamic and kinetic backgrounds of metal ion binding by simple ligands, macromolecular complexing agents, colloids and nanoparticles will be a key topic. Particular attention will be paid to the speciation and physicochemical characterization of nanoparticles, including plastic particles, as well as the bioavailability of nanoparticulate chemical species. Existing equilibrium speciation codes will be critically tested in interactive exercises. Dynamic features of complex systems, including their practical lability characteristics, will be discussed on the basis of the underlying reaction kinetics and the pertinent transport conditions. Rates of biomembrane transfer of chemical species will be evaluated in terms of their physicochemical properties, and illustrated by a couple of case studies on metal uptake by organisms. Whole cell metal-responsive biosensors will be discussed in mechanistic detail. Participants are welcome to suggest topical issues that merit attention.

The program is concluded by a session for which participants are invited to present their own research topics within the framework of subjects discussed in the course. The various scheduled sessions are led by a small international team of specialists, including Ronny Blust, Jérôme F. L. Duval, Herman P. van Leeuwen, Paulo Pinheiro, Jaume Puy, Jan Hendricks, and Raewyn M. Town. As much as possible, the lectures will be of an interactive nature.

More information and registration

Early registration is strongly recommended. Registration should be done via email to Professor Raewyn M. Town (

Target group

PhD students and Postdocs who are entering the field or want to deepen their knowledge on the subject.

Credit points


Course fee

  • € 575 for PhD students*
  • € 750 for postdocs

The course fee includes course material, daily lunch, coffee, and tea.
The fee does not include accommodation, breakfast or dinner. Accommodation is not included in the fee of the course, but there are several possibilities in the vicinity of the venue.

* = WIMEK PhD candidates can ask WIMEK for a subsidy to the course with a maximum of €500. Please contact WIMEK ( for more information.

Cancellation conditions

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us. By NOT paying the participation fee, your registration is NOT automatically cancelled (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions).

Also note that when there are not enough participants, we can cancel the course. We will inform you if this is the case a week after the early bird deadline. Please take this into account when arranging your trip to the course (I.e. check the re-imburstment policies).

Former occurrences of this course

13-17 June 2022   |   30 Sept – 4 Oct 2019   |   6-10 Nov 2017   |   29 June – 3 July 2015   |   3-7 June 2013   |   21-25 Nov 2011   |   12-16 April 2010

  • University of Antwerpen; SETAC Europe; WIMEK, Wageningen UR
  • Once every two years
  • Ronny Blust, Jérôme F.L. Duval, Herman P. van Leeuwen, Paulo Pinheiro, Jaume Puy, Jan Hendricks, and Raewyn M. Town
  • PhD students and postdocs who are entering the field or want to deepen their knowledge on the subject are invited to apply for participation. Candidates from all over the world are welcome.
  • 22 April 2024