Dr Nathaniel Clark
Profiles

Dr Nathaniel Clark

Lecturer in Physiology

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health)

Biography

Biography

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.

Other Roles

2021-present: Research Staff representative for the Senate (University of Plymouth).

Previous roles

2018-2021: Weekend Technician (Rodents).

2017-2022: Weekend Technician (Fish).

Qualifications

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

Current roles

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.

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
  • Aquaculture
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
  • Environmental Science: Nano
  • Frontiers in Environmental Science
  • NanoImpact
  • Science of the total Environment

Previous roles

2022-2022: Managing Scientific Editor for Aquatic Toxicology.

2021-2022: Managing Scientific Editor for Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching interests

DIET407: Nutritional Biochemistry (module lead).

DIET408: Physiology and Genetics (module lead).

DIET501: Pathophysiology.

DIET605/SOHP604: Project Design Module.

HNUT708: Nutrition Science. 

Staff serving as external examiners

Ph.D. thesis examination (2021).

Research

Research

Research interests

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.

Other research

Current project

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. 

Previous projects

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. 

Publications

Publications

Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Journals
Articles
Clark NJ, Khan FR, Crowther C, Mitrano DM & Thompson RC (2023) 'Uptake, distribution and elimination of palladium-doped polystyrene nanoplastics in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) following dietary exposure' Science of The Total Environment 854, 158765-158765 , DOI
Clark N, Vassallo J, Silva PV, Silva ARR, Baccaro M, Medvešcek N, Grgic M, Ferreira A, Busquets-Fité M & Jurkschat K (2022) 'Metal transfer to sediments, invertebrates and fish following waterborne exposure to silver nitrate or silver sulfide nanoparticles in an indoor stream mesocosm' Science of the Total Environment 850, , DOI Open access
Khan FR, Catarino AI & Clark NJ (2022) 'The ecotoxicological consequences of microplastics and co-contaminants in aquatic organisms: a mini-review' Emerging Topics in Life Sciences , DOI Open access
Laycock A, Clark NJ, Clough R, Smith R & Handy RD (2022) 'Determination of metallic nanoparticles in biological samples by single particle ICP-MS: a systematic review from sample collection to analysis' Environmental Science: Nano , DOI Open access
Handy RD, Clark NJ, Boyle D, Vassallo J, Green C, Nasser F, Botha TL, Wepener V, van den Brink NW & Svendsen C (2022) 'The bioaccumulation testing strategy for nanomaterials: correlations with particle properties and a meta-analysis of in vitro fish alternatives to in vivo fish tests' Environmental Science: Nano , DOI Open access
Clark NJ, Khan FR, Mitrano DM, Boyle D & Thompson RC (2021) 'Demonstrating the translocation of nanoplastics across the fish intestine using palladium-doped polystyrene in a salmon gut-sac' Environment International 159, , DOI Open access
Clark NJ, Clough R, Boyle D & Handy RD (2021) 'Quantification of particulate Ag in rainbow trout organs following dietary exposure to silver nitrate, or two forms of engineered silver nanoparticles' Environmental Science: Nano , DOI Open access
Boyle D, Clark NJ, Eynon BP & Handy RD (2021) 'Dietary exposure to copper sulphate compared to a copper oxide nanomaterial in rainbow trout: Bioaccumulation with minimal physiological effects' Environmental Science: Nano Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Handy RD, Clark NJ, Vassallo J, Green C, Nasser F, Tatsi K, Hutchinson TH, Boyle D, Baccaro M & van den Brink N (2021) 'The bioaccumulation testing strategy for manufactured nanomaterials: physico-chemical triggers and read across from earthworms in a meta-analysis' Environmental Science: Nano , DOI Open access
Clark NJ, Woznica W & Handy RD (2020) 'Dietary bioaccumulation potential of silver nanomaterials compared to silver nitrate in wistar rats using an ex vivo gut sac technique' Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 200, 110745-110745 , DOI Open access
Boyle D, Catarino AI, Clark NJ & Henry TB (2020) 'Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic fragments release Pb additives that are bioavailable in zebrafish' Environmental Pollution 263, 114422-114422 , DOI Open access
Boyle D, Clark NJ, Botha TL & Handy RD (2020) 'Comparison of the dietary bioavailability of copper sulphate and copper oxide nanomaterials in ex vivo gut sacs of rainbow trout: effects of low pH and amino acids in the lumen' Environmental Science: Nano 7, (7) 1967-1979 , DOI Open access
van der Zande M, Jemec Kokalj A, Spurgeon DJ, Loureiro S, Silva PV, Khodaparast Z, Drobne D, Clark NJ, van den Brink NW & Baccaro M (2020) 'The gut barrier and the fate of engineered nanomaterials: a view from comparative physiology' Environmental Science: Nano , DOI Open access
Boyle D, Clark NJ & Handy RD (2019) 'Toxicities of copper oxide nanomaterial and copper sulphate in early life stage zebrafish: Effects of pH and intermittent pulse exposure' Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 190, 109985-109985 , DOI Open access
Clark NJ, Boyle D & Handy RD (2019) 'An assessment of the dietary bioavailability of silver nanomaterials in rainbow trout using an ex vivo gut sac technique' Environmental Science: Nano 6, (2) 646-660 Author Site , DOI Open access
Clark NJ, Clough R, Boyle D & Handy RD (2019) 'Development of a suitable detection method for silver nanoparticles in fish tissue using single particle ICP-MS' Environmental Science: Nano 6, (11) 3388-3400 , DOI Open access
Clark NJ, Boyle D, Eynon BP & Handy RD (2019) 'Dietary exposure to silver nitrate compared to two forms of silver nanoparticles in rainbow trout: bioaccumulation potential with minimal physiological effects' Environmental Science: Nano 6, (5) 1393-1405 , DOI Open access
Clark NJ, Shaw BJ & Handy RD (2018) 'Low hazard of silver nanoparticles and silver nitrate to the haematopoietic system of rainbow trout' Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 152, 121-131 Author Site , DOI Open access
Chapters
Courtene-Jones W, Clark NJ, Fischer AC, Smith NS & Thompson RC (2022) 'Ingestion of Microplastics by Marine Animals' in Andrady AL Plastics and the Ocean: Origin, Characterization, Fate, and Impacts Wiley Online Library 349-366 , DOI Open access
Personal

Personal

Other academic activities

Workshop Presentations

"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.

Platform Presentations

Speakers underlined

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.


Poster Presentations

Presenters underlined

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.