Miquel Lurling

Dr. ir. Miquel Lurling


Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands



Deterioration of water quality is one of the greatest threats to all organisms. To preserve and restore freshwater ecosystems requires a system analysis: adequate monitoring, identification of the pressures, and understanding of the ecosystem.


Miquel is associate professor at the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group of Wageningen University and senior researcher at the Aquatic Knowledge Centre Wageningen (AKWA). He is co-chair of the Workgroup on Lake Restoration of the International Society of Limnology, member of the World Water Quality Alliance, and chair of the Foundation for International Water Quality Management. Miquel has over 25 years’ experience in aquatic ecology, water quality research and university teaching. His current focus is on aquatic ecosystem restoration. 

Projecten & samenwerkingen


  • Inventive forecasting tools for adapting water quality management to a new climate (Inventwater)

    Project 2021–2025
    Inventive forecasting tools for adapting water quality management to a new climate (Inventwater)
  • Sublethal Effects of Pharmaceuticals on Aquatic Food Web Functioning (Infodisrupt)

    Project 2019–2023
    Pharmaceuticals are therapeutic agents contaminating aquatic systems and hence included in the Water Framework Directive’s watch list of Contaminants of Emerging Concern. High global consumption of pharmaceuticals has led to their increased occurrence in aquatic systems. As they are designed to be therapeutically active at ng/L to μg/L concentrations, pharmaceuticals can affect non-target organisms in aquatic system exhibiting sub-lethal effects. Sub-lethal effects caused by pharmaceuticals can be direct when there are similarities in the mode of action. Indirect effects triggered by pharmaceuticals can be density-mediated and/or trait-mediated including the once caused by the disruption and/or mimicking of infochemicals involved in chemical communication between organisms.
    In this project, we explore the sub-lethal effects of pharmaceuticals on aquatic food web functioning. Firstly, by understanding the impact of sub-lethal concentrations of pharmaceuticals on trophic interactions. Secondly, we assess the significance of these sub-lethal effects on aquatic food web functioning. Therapeutic drugs with high global occurrence, environmental relevance and persistence are used for all the experiments. The observations and findings of this project will inform the water managers about the significance of considering the sub-lethal effects of environmental concentrations of pharmaceuticals on aquatic ecosystems while determining their environmental risk limits.