Carolina Di Paolo

Current position:

PhD student at the RWTH Aachen University, Department of Ecosystem Analysis, Institute for Environmental Research (Bio5)


+49 241 80 26698

Picture Fellow

Current research

The PhD project has focus on advancing mechanism-specific screening tools using zebrafish early life stages and permanent cell lines for application in EDA. Bioassays will be integrated in biotesting strategies for the evaluation of classes of toxicants of specific modes-of-action, including anti-androgenic, mutagenic, and neurotoxic compounds.
The methods will be applied as part of the bioanalytical tools in effect-directed analysis of surface water samples from European sites, in collaboration with the fellows and researchers from the Helmhotz-Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ.
Furthermore, there is contribution for the organization and performance of the NORMAN interlaboratory study, as part of the NORMAN WG on bioassays.


  • Zebrafish experimental model, with focus on embryonic and larval stages
  • Bioassays with fish embryos and larvae
  • Behavioral assessment in zebrafish early life stages
  • Mutagenicity and genotoxicity assessment
  • Anti-androgenicity assessment

Research interests

  • Ecotoxicological assessment by battery of bioassays
  • Effect-directed analysis of complex samples
  • Integrated chemical and ecotoxicological assessments
  • Dynamics of pollutants in biotic and abiotic compartments
  • Developmental neurotoxicity and environmentally relevant behavioural effects

Curriculum vitae

since 07/2012

Early stage researcher and PhD student, ITN EDA-EMERGE, RWTH Aachen University. Aachen, Germany.

09/2009 - 06/2012

Scientist in aquatic ecotoxicology at the Ecotox Centre, Swiss Centre for Applied Ecotoxicology, Eawag – EPFL. Dübendorf, Switzerland.

01/2008 - 08/2009

MSc Environmental Sciences, specialization Water Quality & Aquatic Ecology, Wageningen University. Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Thesis title: “Black-Carbon inclusive modelling of PBDEs and PCBs in estuarine food webs”

02/2006 - 09/2007

Technical manager, aquarium products manufacturer. Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil.

01/2004 - 09/2006

MSc Biological Oceanography, University of Sao Paulo – USP. Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Thesis title: “Comet Assay applied to DNA damage study in fat snook, Centropomus parallelus (Poey, 1860), exposed to β-naphthoflavone”

02/1997 - 12/2003

BSc Veterinary Medicine, University of Sao Paulo - USP, Brazil. Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Thesis: “Methods for assessment of toxic effects of pollutants in marine organisms”


DI PAOLO, C.; Groh, K.; Zennegg, M. ; Christoffel, A. ; Sigrist, N. ; Vermeirssen, E.; Murk, A. J. ; Eggen, R.I.L. ; Hollert, H.; Schirmer, K.; Werner, I. Oral presentation: Can the sensitivity and predictive potential of zebrafish early life stage (ELS) tests be improved by additional endpoints and chemical analysis? 3rd Young Environmental Scientists Meeting (YES Meeting - SETAC). February 2013, Krakow, Poland.

DI PAOLO, C.; Groh, K.; Kienle, C.; Kunz, P.; Vermeirssen, E.; Schirmer, K.; Werner. Oral presentation: Molecular and behavioral endpoints in zebrafish early life stage tests: increased sensitivity and link to delayed effects. 6th SETAC World Congress / SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting. May 2012, Berlin, Germany.

DI PAOLO, C.; Groh, K.; Schirmer, K.; Werner, I. Oral presentation: Additional morphological, molecular and behavioral endpoints in zebrafish early life stage tests: increased sensitivity and prediction of delayed effects. Swiss and Upper Rhine Valley (SURV) Zebrafish Meeting 2012. April 2012. Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland.

DI PAOLO, C.; Groh, K.; Kienle, C.; Kunz, P.; Vermeirssen, E.; Schirmer, K.; Werner, I. Oral presentation: Molecular and behavioral endpoints in the zebrafish early life stage (ELS) test: identifying modes of action and increasing sensitivity. 12th Annual XeRR Meeting 2011. December 2011. University of Zürich-Irchel, Zürich, Switzerland.


DI PAOLO, C., T.-B. Seiler, S. Keiter, M. Hu, M. Muz, W. Brack and H. Hollert (2015). "The value of zebrafish as an integrative model in effect-directed analysis - a review." Environmental Sciences Europe 27(1): 8.

Wernersson, A.-S., M. Carere, C. Maggi, P. Tusil, P. Soldan, A. James, W. Sanchez, V. Dulio, K. Broeg, G. Reifferscheid, S. Buchinger, H. Maas, E. Van Der Grinten, S. O'Toole, A. Ausili, L. Manfra, L. Marziali, S. Polesello, I. Lacchetti, L. Mancini, K. Lilja, M. Linderoth, T. Lundeberg, B. Fjallborg, T. Porsbring, D. Larsson, J. Bengtsson-Palme, L. Forlin, C. Kienle, P. Kunz, E. Vermeirssen, I. Werner, C. D. Robinson, B. Lyons, I. Katsiadaki, C. Whalley, K. den Haan, M. Messiaen, H. Clayton, T. Lettieri, R. N. Carvalho, B. M. Gawlik, H. Hollert, C. DI PAOLO, W. Brack, U. Kammann and R. Kase (2015). "The European technical report on aquatic effect-based monitoring tools under the water framework directive." Environmental Sciences Europe 27(1): 7.

Wernersson A-S, Carere M, Maggi C, Tusil P, Soldan P, James A, Sanchez W, Broeg K, Kammann U, Reifferscheid G, Buchinger S, Maas H, Van Der Grinten E, Ausili A, Manfra L, Marziali L, Polesello S, Lacchetti I, Mancini L, Lilja K, Linderoth M, Lundeberg T, Fjällborg B, Porsbring T, Larsson DGJ, Bengtsson-Palme J, Förlin L, Kase R, Kienle C, Kunz P, Vermeirssen E, Werner I, Robinson CD, Lyons B, Katsiadaki I, Whalley C, den Haan K, Messiaen M, Clayton H, Lettieri T, Negrão Carvalho R, Gawlik BM, Dulio V, Hollert H, DI PAOLO C, Brack W (2014). Technical Report on Aquatic Effect-Based Monitoring Tools. European Commission. Technical Report 2014-077, Office for Official Publications of European Communities, ISBN: 978-92-79-35787-9. doi:10.2779/7260.

Brack, W.; Govender, S.; Schulze, Krauss, M.; Hu, M.; Muz, M.; Hollender, J.; Schirmer, K.; Schollee, J.; Hidasi, A.; Slobodnik, J.; Rabova, Z.; Ait-Aissa, S.; Sonavane, M.; Carere, M.; Lamoree, M.; Leonards, P.; Tufi, S.; Ouyang, X.; Schriks, M.; Thomas, K.; Almeida, A.C.; Froment, J.; Hammers-Wirtz, M.; Ahel, M.; Koprivica, S.; Hollert, H.; Seiler, T.B.; DI PAOLO, C.; Tindall, A.; Spirhanzlova, P. (2013). EDA-EMERGE: an FP7 initial training network to equip the next generation of young scientists with the skills to address the complexity of environmental contamination with emerging pollutants. Environmental Sciences Europe 25: 18. doi:10.1186/2190-4715-25-18.

DI PAOLO, C., Gandhi, N., Bhavsar, S.P., Van Den Heuvel-Greve, M., Koelmans, A.A. (2010) Black Carbon Inclusive Multichemical Modeling of PBDE and PCB Biomagnification and -Transformation in Estuarine Food Webs. Environmental Science & Technology 44 (19): 7548-7554. doi: 10.1021/es101247e

Two other manuscripts in preparation.


EDA-EMERGE Newsletter



Marie Curie ITN EU-FP7 project