Bill Langston has been a principal investigator at the Plymouth Laboratory for more than three decades and is currently an Associate Fellow at the MBA, investigating the behaviour and effects of contaminants (metals, organometals, radionuclides and persistent organics). Research encompasses fundamental and strategic studies into the impact of human activities and waste inputs in aquatic ecosystems. Specific themes include: bioaccumulation pathways, processes and models; bioavailability and impact of sediment-bound chemicals; metabolism and detoxification of pollutants; and use of biomarkers to measure the health of the estuarine and marine environment.
Current prominence is given to the study of effects in molluscs in response to oestrogenic and anti-androgenic chemicals; impact and recovery of benthic ecosystems from organotin (TBT) contamination and other long-term pollution scenarios. Recent research interests also include: nanoparticle (NP) impacts - sublethal effects in microalgae, crustacea and mollusca (growth, development and survival) in relation to structure and activity of NP; understanding the impacts of untreated minewater discharges with regard to the effects on water quality and marine ecology; application of biological-effects tools in monitoring pollution.
Commissioned research has been undertaken for the EU, Defra, Environment Agency, Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales, The Coal Authority, Milford Haven Port Authority WWF-UK.
Results of this research help to inform European and UK policy on environmental pollution.