Search site

School of Geography

Sarah Letsinger Sarah Letsinger

Contact details

School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK



Project title

Effects of Pharmaceuticals in the Marine Environment

Project overview

Pharmaceuticals have been frequently detected in fresh water ecosystems globally and at high concentrations. The painkiller Diclofenac and two hormones 17 alpha-ethinylestradiol and 17 beta-estradiol have recently been added to the EUs priority substance list for surface waters due to their ubiquitous presence in fresh water ecosystems and the risk they pose to aquatic organisms. Focus on pharmaceuticals in rivers has increased significantly over the years, however, comparably little attention has been paid to marine ecosystems. As a result, there are large gaps in the knowledge of release, fate and toxicity of pharmaceuticals in estuarine and marine environments.


  1. To assess the occurrence and seasonal trends of Pharmaceuticals in coastal and estuarine waters in the UK.
  2. To identify the presence of pharmaceuticals in marine sediments, water column and surface waters.
  3. To identify the biological effects of Pharmaceuticals to marine invertebrates at a molecular level.

Research Affiliations

River Basin Processes and Management


NERC DTP Studentship 

Short Curriculum Vitae

2014 – 2015 MRes Marine Biology, Plymouth University 

2011-2014 BSc (Hons) Marine Biology, Newcastle University