Dr Nathaniel Clark
Lecturer in Physiology
School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health)
I am a Lecturer in Physiology and Research Fellow in Toxicology, with a particular focus on particle (engineered nanomaterials, nanoplastics and microplastics) exposures in fish for environmental safety.
2021-present: Research Staff representative for the Senate (University of Plymouth).
2018-2021: Weekend Technician (Rodents).
2017-2022: Weekend Technician (Fish).
2021 - Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2020 - Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2019 - Ph.D. in Ecotoxicology
2014 - MRes. Marine Biology
2013 - BSc. (Hons) Marine Biology and Oceanography
Roles on external bodies
2022-present: Scientific Advisory Panel to the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME). 2022-present: Editorial Board of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.
2022-present: Editorial Board of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.
2021-present: Topic Board Editor: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/toxics/topic_editors
2020-present: The OECD's Working Party for Manufactured Nanomaterials
2019-present: Reviewer for Journals
- Nature Protocols
- Environmental Sciences Europe
- Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
- Environmental Science: Nano
- Frontiers in Environmental Science
- Science of the total Environment
2022-2022: Managing Scientific Editor for Aquatic Toxicology.
2021-2022: Managing Scientific Editor for Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.
DIET407: Nutritional Biochemistry (module lead).
DIET408: Physiology and Genetics (module lead).
DIET605/SOHP604: Project Design Module.
HNUT708: Nutrition Science.
Staff serving as external examiners
Ph.D. thesis examination (2021).
My research interests and experience includes:
- Particle toxicology and chemistry.
- Fish physiology and toxicology.
- Dietary accumulation/uptake in fish and rodents.
- Extraction of dissolved metals, metallic nanoparticles and nanoplastics from tissues.
- Quantification using single particle ICP-MS.
- Contaminant leaching from food using in vitro/in chemico digestibility assays.
- Species read across and tiered chemical testing strategies in line with the 3R's.
- Comparative vertebrate physiology.
- Trace element analysis in food stuffs.
2020-2023: NanoHarmony (https://nanoharmony.eu/, EU funded).
This project has the mission to support the development of Test Guidelines and Guidance Documents for eight endpoints where nanomaterial-adapted test methods have been identified as a regulatory priority. I work on two aspects of nanomaterials: T1.2 bioaccumulation and T1.4 quantification in biological samples. T1.2 focused on developing alternatives to in vivo fish bioaccumulation testing, in line with the 3 R's (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement). T1.4 uses single particle ICP-MS to determine the particulate fraction in samples where we are trying to develop a reference material for nanomaterials.
2019-2022: MINIMISE (https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=NE%2FS003967%2F1, NERC funded).
Marine plastic debris has been recorded across all parts of the globe and its potential to cause harm to marine wildlife and the healthy functioning of the oceans is an area of huge current concern. Microscopic plastic debris, (microplastic <5 mm in size and with no lower size limit), is a particular concern since its small size allows it to be consumed by many marine organisms, including those at the base of marine food webs and/or intended for human consumption. My work focused on establishing the biological fate of nanoplastics in fish following dietary exposure. As nanoplastics are difficult to detect due to the carbon background of tissues, various tracer methods were used.
2016-2019: NanoFase (http://www.nanofase.eu/, EU funded).
Progress is needed in the prediction of environmental distribution, concentration and form (speciation) of nanomaterials, to allow early assessment of potential environmental and human exposure and risks, to facilitate safe product design and to include these aspects in nano regulation. The overarching aim of this project was to deliver an integrated exposure assessment framework for nanomaterials in the environment. The framework would incorporate the consequences of these transformations for transport and fate and among the different environmental compartments including organism uptake and local accumulation of ENMs in some environmental compartments. My work involved performing experiments to assess the dietary bioaccumulation potential of silver and silver sulphide nanomaterials in fish. I also performed some of these aspects (the gut sac) in a rodent model to gain insights for human health assessments. During the project, I completed by Ph.D. and a research assistant post.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Other academic activities
"Meta-analysis of physico-chemical properties and in vitro alternative to fish" (February 2021). OECD/NanoHarmony Bioaccumulation Expert Group Workshop.
"Determination of concentrations of ENMs in biological samples using spICP-MS – Measurement and Validation" (November 2020). NanoHarmony International Workshop: Gap Analysis and Data Requirements for TG and GD Development.
Clark, N. J., Mitrano, D. M., Khan, F. R., Boyle, D. and Thompson, R. C. (November 2020). The dietary bioavailability of nanoplastics to salmon using an ex vivo gut sac technique. MICRO2020.
Silva, P. V., Silva, A. R., Clark, N. J., Vassallo, J., Baccaro, M., Medvešček, N., Grgić, M., Ferreira, A. Handy, R. D., van den Brink, N., van Gestel, C. A. M. and Loureiro, S. (May 2020). Toxicokinetics of silver nanoparticles in a stream mesocosm.
Clark, N. J., Clough, R., Boyle, D., Eynon, B. P., Woznica, W. and Handy, R. D. (September 2019). The use of single particle ICP-MS to highlight species differences in gastrointestinal physiology: fish versus rodent. 14th International Conference on the Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials.
Clark N. J., Clough R., Boyle, D., Sharma, V. and Handy R. D. (May 2019). Detection of nano-sized particles in fish tissues following an in vivo dietary exposure: a case study using silver nitrate, silver nanoparticles and silver sulphide nanoparticles. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
Clark N. J., Boyle D. and Handy R. D. (May 2018). Development of a rapid screen to assess bioaccumulation potential: from ex vivo to in vivo using pristine and aged nanomaterials in fish. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
Clark, N. J., Woznica, W. and Handy, R. D. (September 2019). The dietary bioaccumulation potential of silver from silver nanoparticles, silver sulphide nanoparticles and silver nitrate in Wistar rats using an ex vivo gut sac technique. 14th International Conference on the Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials.
Handy, R. D., Clark, N. J., Vassallo, J., Silva, P., Silva, A. R., Grgić, M., Baccaro, M., Medvešček, N., Ferreira, A., van der Brink and Loureiro, S. (September 2019). Fate and bioaccumulation of silver from AgNO3 and Ag2S nanoparticles in a freshwater river mesocosm. International Conference on the Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials.
Clark, N. J., Boyle, D. and Handy, R. D. (September 2017). An assessment of the Dietary Bioavailability of Pristine and Aged Silver Nanomaterials in Rainbow Trout Using an Ex Vivo Gut Sac Technique. 12th International Conference on the Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials.
Boyle, D., Clark, N. J. and Handy, R. D. (September 2017). Development of a tiered approach for the assessment of the dietary bioavailability of engineered copper oxide nanomaterials in rainbow trout. International Conference on the Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials.Clark N. J., Clough, R., Boyle, D. and Handy, R. D. (June 2017). Development of single particle ICP-MS to measure engineered nanomaterials in biological matrices. Current Trends in Nanotoxicology.
Clark, N. J., Boyle, D. and Handy, R. D. (February 2017). Investigation of the Dietary Bioavailability of Silver Nanoparticles in Rainbow Trout Using an Ex Vivo Technique. Nanomaterial Safety Assessment.
Shaw B. J., Letsinger, S. G. R., Correia, M., Ehrlich, N., Clark, N. J., Sharma, V. and Handy, R. D. (February 2017). The effects of surface coating on the toxicity of CuO engineered nanomaterials to early life-stage zebrafish (Danio rerio). Nanomaterial Safety Assessment.