Doc. Dr. Anita Jemec Kokalj

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My main research activity: Anita Jemec Kokalj is an expert in the field of ecotoxicology and has been involved in nanotoxicity studies since 2008. Her background is in molecular biology and biochemistry, with recent work mainly focusing on the potential effects of nanomaterials and microplastics in different test systems, from cell lines, invertebrates from different environments to vertebrate embryos. Her main focus is to study the biochemical changes in organisms exposed to different type of pollutants, in particular pesticides and nanomaterials. She investigates the response of the cholinergic system to different types of stressors. Within the framework of the EU FP7 NanoValid project she has been involved in the validation of the toxicity protocols for nanomaterial testing. She is a member of the Technical committee SIST CEN/TC 352 “Nanotechnologies”.

My main research fields are:

  • aquatic toxicology,
  • terrestrial toxicology,
  • emerging contaminants of concern: endocrine disruptors, pesticides, nanomaterials and microplastics,
  • environmental risk assessment,
  • honeybee research,
  • biology of cave and surface freshwater crustaceans.

I was awarded a PhD in Biological Science (2008) from Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The title of the thesis is: Biochemical biomarkers in invertebrates.

Awards, honors, and grants:

  • (2014) Grant from Slovenian Academy of Science and Estonian Academy of Science for a 4 days visit at the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics (NICPB), Estonia,
  • (2009) Grant from Slovenian Academy of Science and Estonian Academy of Science for a 10 days visit of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics (NICPB), Estonia,
  • (2009) The Royal Society travel grant, 3-months visit of University of Exeter, UK,
  • (2008) World Federation of Scientists National Scholarship,
  • (2005) Young Investigator Award for the presentation at the conference Second Workshop on Comparative Aspects of Oxidative Stress in Biological Systems,
  • (2004) Faculty Jesenko’s prize.
  • (2003) Faculty Prešeren’s prize.
  • (2003) Scholarship for successful students, Student club Domžale.
  • (1994-2001) Zois Scholarship.

Editorial board memberships:




I am also interested how microplastics, an emerging contaminant, may affect the environment. Read about my latest research here.

2017
Plastic bag and facial cleanser derived microplastic do not affect feeding behaviour and energy reserves of terrestrial isopods
Jemec Kokalj A, Horvat P, Skalar T, Kržan A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Science of The Total Environment

2017
Cerium(IV) oxide nanoparticles induce sublethal changes in honeybees after chronic exposure
Kos M, Jemec A, Glavan G, Marolt G, Zidar P, Božič J, Novak S, Drobne D
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Science: Nano

2017
Impact of polyethylene microbeads on the floating freshwater plant duckweed Lemna minor
Kalčíková G, Žgajnar Gotvajn A, Kladnik A, Jemec A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Pollution

2017
Comparative study of acetylcholinesterase and glutathione S-transferase activities of closely related cave and surface Asellus aquaticus (Isopoda: Crustacea)
Jemec A, Škufca D, Prevorčnik S, Fišer Ž, Zidar P
[ pdf ] [ site ] PLOS ONE

2016
Four decades of multidisciplinary studies on isopods: a tribute to Pavel Ličar
Bogataj U, Drobne D, Jemec A, Kostanjšek R, Mrak P, Novak S, Prevorčnik S, Sket B, Trontelj P, Tušek Žnidarič M, Vittori M, Zidar P, Žnidaršič N, Štrus J
[ pdf ] [ site ] Acta Biologica Slovenica

2016
Uptake and effects of microplastic textile fibers on freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna
Jemec A, Horvat P, Kunej U, Bele M, Kržan A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Pollution

2016
In field conditions, commercial pigment grade TiO2 was not harmful to terrestrial isopods but reduced leaf litter fragmentation
Jemec A, Kos M, Drobne D, Koponen IK, Vukić J, Ferreira NGC, Loureiro S, McShane HVA
[ pdf ] [ site ] Science of the Total Environment

2016
The role of PVP in the bioavailability of Ag from the PVP-stabilized Ag nanoparticle suspension
Romih T, Jemec A, Kos M, Hočevar SB, Kralj S, Makovec D, Drobne D
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Pollution

2016
Gold nanoparticles do not induce adverse effects on terrestrial isopods Porcellio scaber after 14-day exposure
Škarková P, Romih T, Kos M, Novak S, Kononenko V, Jemec A, Vávrová M, Drobne D
[ pdf ] [ site ] Acta Biologica Slovenica

2016
No chronic effects on biochemical biomarkers, feeding and survival of carnolian honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica) after exposure to nanosized carbon black and titanium dioxide
Jemec A, Milivojević T, Drobne D, Sepčić K, Božič J, Glavan G
[ pdf ] [ site ] Acta Biologica Slovenica

2016
Multilaboratory evaluation of 15 bioassays for (eco)toxicity screening and hazard ranking of engineered nanomaterials: FP7 project NANOVALID
Bondarenko OM, Heinlaan M, Sihtmäe M, Ivask A, Kurvet I, Joonas E, Jemec A, Mannerström M, Heinonen T, Rekulapelly R, Singh S, Zou J, Pyykkö I, Drobne D, Kahru A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Nanotoxicology

2016
Chapter 12: Biological Characterization of Nanomaterials
Jemec A, Mesarič T, Sopotnik M, Sepčić K, Drobne D
[ pdf ] [ site ] Nanomaterial Characterization: An Introduction

2016
Effects of food salinization on terrestrial crustaceans Porcellio scaber
Škarková P, Kos M, Drobne D, Vávrová M, Jemec A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Applied Soil Ecology

2016
A case study to optimise and validate the brine shrimp Artemia franciscana immobilisation assay with silver nanoparticles: The role of harmonisation
Kos M, Kahru A, Drobne D, Singh S, Kalčíková G, Kühnel D, Rekulapelly R, Žgajnar Gotvajn A, Jemec A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Pollution

2016
An interlaboratory comparison of nanosilver characterisation and hazard identification: Harmonising techniques for high quality data
Jemec A, Kahru A, Potthoff A, Drobne D, Heinlaan M, Böhme S, Geppert M, Novak S, Schirmer K, Rekulapally R, Singh S, Aruoja V, Sihtmäe M, Juganson K, Käkinen A, Kühnel D
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environment International

2016
Bismuth film electrode for anodic stripping voltammetric measurement of silver nanoparticle dissolution
Romih T, Hočevar SB, Jemec A, Drobne D
[ pdf ] [ site ] Electrochimica Acta

2015
FTIR microscopy reveals distinct biomolecular profile of crustacean digestive glands upon subtoxic exposure to ZnO nanoparticles
Romih T, Jemec A, Novak S, Vaccari L, Ferraris P, Šimon M, Kos M, Susič R, Kogej K, Zupanc J, Drobne D
[ pdf ] [ site ] Nanotoxicology

2015
High surface adsorption properties of carbon-based nanomaterials are responsible for mortality, swimming inhibition, and biochemical responses in Artemia salina larvae
Mesarič T, Gambardella C, Milivojević T, Faimali M, Drobne D, Falugi C, Makovec D, Jemec A, Sepčić K
[ pdf ] [ site ] Aquatic Toxicology

2015
Bioavailability of cobalt and iron from citric-acid-adsorbed CoFe2O4 nanoparticles in the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber
Romih T, Drašler B, Jemec A, Drobne D, Novak S, Golobič M, Makovec D, Susič R, Kogej K
[ pdf ] [ site ] Science of the Total Environment

2015
The hazard assessment of nanostructured CeO2-based mixed oxides on the zebrafish Danio rerio under environmentally relevant UV-A exposure
Jemec A, Djinović P, Osojnik Črnivec IG, Pintar A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Science of The Total Environment

2015
The impact of humic acid on chromium phytoextraction by aquatic macrophyte Lemna minor
Kalčíková G, Zupančič M, Jemec A, Žgajnar Gotvajn A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Chemosphere

2012
Upon Exposure to Cu Nanoparticles, Accumulation of Copper in the Isopod Porcellio scaber Is Due to the Dissolved Cu Ions Inside the Digestive Tract
Golobič M, Jemec A, Drobne D, Romih T, Kasemets K, Kahru A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Science & Technology

2012
The link between antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione S-transferase and physiological condition of a control population of terrestrial isopod (Porcellio scaber)
Jemec A, Lešer V, Drobne D
[ pdf ] [ site ] Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

2012
Assessment of landfill leachate toxicity reduction after biological treatment
Jemec A, Tišler T, Žgajnar Gotvajn A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

2011
Ecotoxicity of nanosized TiO2. Review of in vivo data
Menard A, Drobne D, Jemec A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Pollution

2010
Zinc bioaccumulation in a terrestrial invertebrate fed a diet treated with particulate ZnO or ZnCl2
Pipan-Tkalec Ž, Drobne D, Jemec A, Romih T, Zidar P, Bele M
[ pdf ] [ site ] Toxicology

2010
Biochemical biomarkers in environmental studies – lessons learnt from enzymes catalase, glutathione S-transferase and cholinesterase in two crustacean species
Jemec A, Drobne D, Tišler T, Sepčić K
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Science and Pollution Research

2010
Toxicity of abamectin to the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber (Isopoda, Crustacea)
Kolar L, Jemec A, van Gestel CAM, Valant J, Hrženjak R, Kožuh Eržen N, Zidar P
[ pdf ] [ site ] Ecotoxicology

2009
The sensitivity of two biochemical biomarkers in terrestrial isopods after short-term copper exposure
Jemec A
[ pdf ] [ site ] Acta Biologica Slovenica

2009
Hazardous potential of manufactured nanoparticles identified by in vivo assay
Valant J, Drobne D, Sepčić K, Jemec A, Kogej K, Kostanjšek R
[ pdf ] [ site ] Journal of Hazardous Materials

2009
In vivo screening to determine hazards of nanoparticles: Nanosized TiO2
Drobne D, Jemec A, Pipan-Tkalec Ž
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Pollution

2008
Effects of ingested nano-sized titanium dioxide on terrestrial isopods (Porcellio scaber)
Jemec A, Drobne D, Remškar M, Sepčić K, Tišler T
[ pdf ] [ site ] Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

2008
Toxicity of imidacloprid to the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber (Isopoda, Crustacea)
Drobne D, Blažič M, Van Gestel CAM, Lešer V, Zidar P, Jemec A, Trebše P
[ pdf ] [ site ] Chemosphere

2007
The applicability of acetylcholinesterase and glutathione S-transferase in Daphnia magna toxicity test
Jemec A, Drobne D, Tišler T, Trebše P, Roš M, Sepčić K
[ pdf ] [ site ] Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology

2007
Biochemical biomarkers in chronically metal-stressed daphnids
Jemec A, Tišler T, Drobne D, Sepčić K, Jamnik P, Roš M
[ pdf ] [ site ] Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology

2007
Comparative toxicity of imidacloprid, of its commercial liquid formulation and of diazinon to a non-target arthropod, the microcrustacean Daphnia magna
Jemec A, Tišler T, Drobne D, Sepčić K, Fournier D, Trebše P
[ pdf ] [ site ] Chemosphere