Dr Berta Bonet PhD

Dr Berta Bonet

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Berta Bonet is an ecotoxicologist interested in how stress (anthropogenic and/or environmental) affect aquatic ecosystems performance among other scientific interests. Her current research focuses on the effects of the climate change (increase of temperature) on fluvial biofilms at different levels (molecular, functional and structural) and how this environmental change can modulate nanoparticles behaviour and their toxic effects on fluvial biofilms.

ORCID iD: orcid.org/0000-0002-4290-5583
Scopus author iD: 55070308500
Researcher ID: H-1122-2016

Dr Bonet's ResearchGate profile
Dr Bonet's LinkedIn profile


  • 2008-13 - International PhD in Experimental science and sustainably, especially in fluvial Ecology and Community Ecotoxicology summa cum laude, University of Girona (UdG, Spain). PhD fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (FPI 20060097171).
  • 2008-09 - Postgraduate Certificate in Education (CAP), University of Girona (UdG, Spain).
  • 2007-08 - Research Masters in Basic and Applied Ecology, University of Barcelona and University of Girona (UB-UdG, Spain).
  • 2001-05 - BSc, Degree in Environmental Science, University of Girona (UdG, Spain).


During her studies in environmental science Dr Bonet became familiar with various ecological and hidrological concepts and methods, such as the river continuum concept as well as several techniques to perform filed samplings (her speciality is in science and technology).

Dr Bonet obtained the PhD in experimental sciences and sustainability at the University of Girona. During this time, she focused her attention on fluvial biofilms due to their high importance in fluvial ecosystems and their potential as bioindicators. Especially she was actively involved in the development of biochemical biofilm biomarkers (i.e. antioxidant enzyme activities (AEA)). Inititally, she applied biofilm AEA as biomarkers of metal pollution in streams, under real environmental conditions. Her research showed that AEA are not only able to respond under metal pollution but to annual environmental changes (e.g. temperature or light). Furthermore, throughout her PhD she had the opportunity to interact and collaborate closely with researches, students and postdocs in her group from a number of different countries (Colorado, France, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, India, Mongolia and Switzerland). Through these collaborations Dr Bonet was engaged in writing several papers on different research topics. She has also participated in the organization of scientific workshops. For more details see scientific networks information.

At present Dr Bonet is a Marie Curie post-doc at the University of Birmingham (project number: 706172 — NanoToX — Does climate change enhance the nanoparticle toxicity of freshwater biofilms?) (H2020-MSCA IF-2015/H2020-MSCA-IF-2015), supervised by Dr Stefan Krause.


Dr Bonet has teaching experience having been lecturer of biology and practical lecturer of environmental impact assessment and ecology for different degrees at the University of Girona (UdG). Dr Bonet also trained PhD students in designing and performing experiments.


Current research project:

NanoTox -  EU H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Independent Fellowship
Marie Curie post-doc at the University of Birmingham (project number: 706172 — NanoToX — H2020-MSCA IF-2015/H2020-MSCA-IF-2015).

Participation in national and international research projects

  • 2015-2017 Collaborator in national project STREAMFISH, towards a sustainable use of Mediterranean stream ecosystems: direct and indirect effects of hydrological alteration on fish. Ministry of Economy and Finance (CGL2013-43822-R).
  • 2014-2015 Postdoc on Silver nanoparticle effects on simple stream food webs and ecosystem processes (SNEP) project. Part of a Swiss National Research Programme NRP 64 on Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials.
  • 2009-2013 Collaborator in the Spanish project SCARCE, specifically in work package 4 about Quality-Linking the effects of chemical quality and environmental stressors on biodiversity and human risks (Consolider-Ingenio 2010 CSD2009-00065)
  • 2010-2013 Researcher in the Spanish project FLUVIALMULTISTRESS: multi-stressors in fluvial ecosystems (CTM2009-14111-CO2-01).
  • 2007-2010 Collaborator in the Research Training Network Keybioeffects (MRTN.CT-2006-035695).
  • 2006-2009 Researcher in the Spanish project FLUVIALFITOMARC: use of periphyton as a tool to evaluate the effects of pollution on the structure and function of the fluvial ecosystems (CGL2006-12785).

Other activities

Participation in national and international cooperation projects

2015-2018 Project manager of an Erasmus+ project:  the Implementing quality of education & training of the young Universities in rural area of Cambodia (UNICAM) at the University of Girona (UdG). Project reference 562006-EPP-1-2015-1-ES-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP (Jan-Nov 2016). 


Guasch H, Artigas J, Bonet B, Bonnineau C, Canals O, Corcoll N, Foulquier A, López-Doval JC, Tiam SK, Morin S, Navarro E, Pesce S, Proia L, Salvadó H, Serra A. 2016. The use of biofilms to assess the effects of chemicals onfreshwater ecosystems, in: Romaní, A.M., Guasch, H., Balaguer, M.D. (Eds.),Aquatic Biofilms: Ecology, Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment. CaisterAcademic Press, Norfolk, UK, pp. 126–144.

Tuulaikhuu BA, Bonet B, Guasch H. Effects of low arsenate concentration exposure on freshwater fish (Gambusia holbrooki) in presence of fluvial biofilms. Science of the Total Environment (in press).

Morin S, Bottin M, Bonet B, Corcoll N, Guasch H, Coste. 2015. Cumulative stressors trigger increased vulnerability of diatom communities to additional perturbations. Freshwater Biology (DOI:10.1007/s00248-015-0602-y).

Bonet B, Corcoll N, Tlili A, MorinS, GuaschH. 2014. Antioxidant enzyme activities in biofilms as biomarker of Zn pollution in a natural system: an active bio-monitoring study. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 103, 82-90.

Kim Tiam S, MorinS, Bonet B, Guasch H, Feurtet-MazelA, EonM, GonzalezP, Mazzella N. 2014. Comparative effects of polar passive sampler extracts and reconstituted mixture: Is the toxicity of pesticides mixtures to river biofilm explained by the major identified compounds? Environ. Sci. Pollut. R. (in press).

Luís AT, Bonet B, Corcoll N, Almedia SFP, Ferreira da Silva E, Figueira E, Guasch H. 2014. Experimental evaluation of the contribution of acídica pH and Fe concentration to the structure, function and tolerance to metals (Cu and Zn) exposure in fluvial biofilms. Ecotoxicology 23(7), 1270-1282.

Morin S, Bonet B, Corcoll N, Tlili A, Guasch H. 2014. Diatom responses to zinc contamination along a Mediterranean stream. Plant Ecol. Evol. (in press).

Bonet B, Corcoll N, Acuňa V, Sigg L, Behra R, Guasch H. 2013. Seasonal changes in antioxidant enzyme activities of freshwater biofilms in a metal polluted Mediterranean stream. Science of the Total Environment 444, 60-72.

Bonet B, Corcoll N, Guasch H. 2012. Antioxidant enzyme activities as biomarkers of Zn pollution in fluvial biofilms. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 80, 172–178

Corcoll N, Bonet B, Leira M, Montuelle B, Tlili A, Guasch H. 2012a. Light hystory influences the response of fluvial biofilms to Zn exposure. J. Phycol. 0, 1–13.

Corcoll N, Bonet B, Morin S, Tlili A, Leira M, Guasch H. 2012b. The effect of metals on photosynthesis processes and diatom metrics of biofilm from a metal-contaminated river: A translocation experiment. Ecological Indicators 18, 620-631

Bonnineau C, Bonet B, Corcoll N, Guasch H. 2011. Catalase in fluvial biofilms: a comparison between different extraction methods and example of application in a metal-polluted river. Ecotoxicology, 20, 293-303. 

Corcoll N, Bonet B, Leira M, Guasch H. 2011. Chl-a fluorescence parameters as biomarkers of metal toxicity in fluvial biofilm: an experimental study. Hydrobiologia 673, 119-136.

Tlili A, Corcoll N, Bonet B, Morin S, Montuelle B, Bérard A, Guasch H. 2011. In situ spatio-temporal changes in pollution-induced community tolerance to zinc in autotrophic and heterotrophic biofilm communities. Ecotoxicoly  20, 1823-1839.

Guasch H, Atli G, Bonet B, Corcoll N, Leira M, Serra A. 2010. Discharge and the response of biofilms to metal exposure in Mediterranean rivers. Hydrobiologia 657, 143-157.

Serra A, Merbt SN, Proia L, Bonet B, Corcoll N, Guasch H, Morin S, Rodríguez C, Casamayor E, Martí E. Effects of zinc pollution on stream metabolism and nutrient uptake. From community to whole reach scale.  Science of the Total Environment (submitted).


Book chapters:

Guasch H, Bonet B, Bonnineau B, Barral L. 2017. Microbial biomarkers. In: Cristiana Cravo-Laureau, Robert Duran, Christine Cagnon, Beatrice Lauga (Eds.). Microbial Ecotoxicology. Springer (submitted).

Bonnineau C, Moeller, A, Barata C, Bonet B, Proia L, Sans-Piché F, Schmitt-Jansen M, Guasch H, Segner S. 2012. Advances in the multi-biomarker approach for risk assessment in aquatic ecosystems.  In: Guasch H, Ginebreda A, Geiszinger A (Eds.) Emerging and Priority Pollutants in Rivers: Bringing Science into River Management Plans. The Handbook of Environmental chemistry. Springer Berlin/Heildelberg, pp. 147-179.

Morin S, Cordonier A, Lavoie I, Arini A, Blanco S, Duong TT, Tornés E, Bonet B, Corcoll N, Faggiano L, Laviale M, Pérès F, Becares E, Coste M, Feurtet-Mazel A, Fortin C, Guasch H, Sabater S. 2012. Consistency in diatom response to metal-contaminated environments.  In: Guasch., H., Ginebreda, A. & Geiszinger, A. [Eds]. Emerging and Priority Pollutants in Rivers. Bringing Sciences into River Management Plans. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Springer, Heidelberg. Germany. 19 pp. 117-146.

Guasch H, Bonet B, Bonnineau C, Corcoll N, López-Doval JC, Muñoz I, Ricart M, Serra A, Clements W. 2011. How to link field observation with causality? Field and experimental approaches. In: Guasch H, Ginebreda H, Geiszinger A [Eds]. Emerging and Priority Pollutants in Rivers: Bringing Science into River Management Plans. The Handbook of Environmental chemistry. Springer Berlin/Heidelberg. Germany. 19 pp. 85-116.

Guasch H, Serra A, Bonet B, Corcoll N, Leira M. 2010. Metal ecotoxicology in fluvial biofilms. Potential influence of water scarcity. In: Sabater S. & Barceló D. [Eds.]. Water Scarcity in the Mediterranean: Perspectives Under Global Change. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Springer, Berlin, Germany. 8 pp. 41-54.

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