Priv.-Doz. Dr. Martin Kainz

Groupleader LIPTOX

07486 20060 50
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Research Areas

• Aquatic ecology

• Lipid biochemistry (aquatic food webs)

• Ecotoxicology (inorganic and organic contaminants)

• Trophic biomarkers (stable isotopes, fatty acids, compound-specific stable isotopes)

My research combines ecotoxicology with dietary nutrient processes within the aquatic food web of freshwater ecosystems.

I am intrigued by the fact that some contaminants, for example the powerful neurotoxin methyl mercury (CH3Hg+; MeHg), bioaccumulate in aquatic consumers, whereas the retention of dietary nutrients, such as physiologically required fatty acids, is often species dependent. To better understand how contaminants and dietary nutrients are taken up, modified, and/or retained, I examine their pathways in organisms of the aquatic food web, conducting field and laboratory experiments. I am also attempting to combine elements of the aquatic with human food web, in particular, to identify those ecosystem parameters that may decrease bioaccumulation of contaminants and enhance retention of essential nutrients in fish and eventually in their consumers (contaminant-nutrient interaction).


MSc (1995) University of Vienna; Landscape Ecology

PhD (2001) Universiät du Québec à Montréal, Canada; Environmental Sciences

Prior Positions

2006: Researcher at the National Water Research Institute, Burlington, ON, Canada

2001 to 2005: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biology, University of Victoria, BC, Canada

Further Information

Profile from Martin Kainz on google scholar

Profile from Martin Kainz on ORCID

LIPTOX Working group Website:

Selected Publications

Jardine, T. D., Galloway, A., Kainz, M. J. (2020): Unlocking the power of fatty acids as dietary tracers and metabolic signals in fishes and aquatic invertebrates. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 375 : 1804,

Kühmayer, T., Guo, F., Ebm, N., Battin, T. J., Brett, M. T., Bunn, S. E., Fry, B., Kainz, M. J. (2020): Preferential retention of algal carbon in benthic invertebrates – stable isotopes and fatty acids evidence from an outdoor flume experiment. Freshw. Biol., 65; 1200-1209

Twining, C. W., Taipale, S. J., Ruess, J., Bec, A., Martin-Creuzberg, D., Kainz, M. J. (2020): Stable isotopes and fatty acids –current and future perspectives for advancing trophic ecology. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 375:2019064,

Stadler, M., Ejarque, B., Kainz, M. J. (2020): In-lake transformations of dissolved organic matter composition in a sub-alpine lake do not change its biodegradability. Limnol. Oceanogr.,

Tao, J., Kennard, M. J., Roberts, D. T., Fry, B., Kainz, M. J., Chen, Y., Bunn, S. E. (2020): Quality and contribution of food sources to Australian lungfish evaluated using fatty acids and stable isotopes. Aquat. Sci. 82:8.

Jing, M., Lin, D., Wu, P., Kainz, M. J., Bishop, K., Yan, H., Wang, R., Wang, Q., Li, Q. (2020): Effect of aquaculture on mercury and polyunsaturated fatty acids in fishes from reservoirs in Southwest China. Env. Poll.