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Support the Living Lab for research on hazardous compounds in 36 ditches

Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Sciences of Leiden University started crowdfunding to raise 15.000 euro to build a laboratory in nature: The Living Lab. This is necessary to test the effects of chemical compounds in a natural situation.

Dutch water quality

We are dependent on water to less our thirst, for agriculture, swimming and many other ends. Luckily, the Netherlands is a land of water. Unfortunately,  (mainly) due to industry and agriculture every year large quantities of chemical compounds enter our waterbodies. In spite of years of research, there remains a large knowledge gap on the actual effects of these chemical compounds in our natural waters.

Nature's complexity

To date, the effects of chemical compounds are mostly tested in simple laboratory setups in a controlled environment. While this is an easy and quick way of determining compound effects, it is endlessly less complex than our natural environment. This complexity of our natural environment might actually alter the toxicity of several chemical compounds. Therefore, we cannot fully assess the hazard of chemicals in our environment by a laboratory setup.

Living Lab

The Living Lab will be 36 ditches, each with a length of 10 meters located on an extension of the Bio Science Park in Leiden. These ditches will be exposed to different combinations of chemical compounds used in agriculture, such as nutrients and pesticides. The great benefit of this setup is that the chemical compounds can be tested under real natural conditions. With donations received through crowdfunding, the researchers will be able to dig and create the 36 experimental ditches and  so creating a natural research environment.

How can I support?

To collect money a crowdfunding campaign has been started on the 19th of September 2016. This crowdfunding campaign will be until the 31th of October 2016. The goal of raising is  €15.000,-  to create the Living Lab.  You can donate at: Steun Leiden.

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