Student Spotlight - Md Hafiz All Hosen

Category: Our People

  25 Jun 2023

Name: Md Hafiz All Hosen (Hafiz)

Degree: PhD (Environmental Science)

Topic: “Linking Humpback Whale Chemical Exposure to Effect: Taxon-Specific In-Vitro Toxicity Assessment”

Institution: Griffith University

Supervisors: Susan Bengtson Nash, Frederic Leusch, Stephen Wood and Deanne Whitworth 

Expected completion: October 2023


Contact Number: +61451582221

About myself

I'm currently pursuing a PhD at Griffith University. I have an excellent academic background with honours and a master's in fisheries and fisheries management. Throughout my honours and master's degree, I have gained valuable knowledge and experience conducting research on aquatic organisms. During my time in Bangladesh, I actively participated in multiple research projects focused on exploring the effects of environmental factors on various aquatic species. These experiences have shaped my passion for studying the environmental stressors' impacts on marine organisms and ignited a strong commitment to formulate sustainable conservation strategies.

Driven by my passion for marine conservation and environmental stewardship, my current PhD research focuses on utilizing advanced technologies to investigate the chemical impacts on humpback whales. By employing cutting-edge tools and techniques such as advanced microscopy and metabolic analysis, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the underlying effects of environmental contaminants on these majestic creatures.

I am determined to contribute significantly to marine conservation and environmental toxicology by conducting impactful research, generating valuable insights, and proposing effective strategies for protecting and conserving marine ecosystems. My long-term career goals involve continuing research in this field, collaborating with experts worldwide, international organizations, governmental bodies, and research institutions to develop evidence-based policies and practices that safeguard our precious marine ecosystems for future generations.

Additionally, I am committed to disseminating scientific knowledge and promoting environmental awareness among the wider community. Through education and outreach programs, I seek to inspire future generations and foster a collective responsibility toward conserving our oceans and their magnificent inhabitants.

PhD Research Summary

Cetaceans are at the greatest risk of accumulating lipophilic chemicals due to their longevity and high proportion of body fat. Despite this, taxa-specific toxicological effect data is lacking due to the logistical constraints of working with large, free-swimming species. Mammals that are in negative energy balance are particularly vulnerable to toxicological effects as fat store depletion remobilises and concentrates associated persistent chemical burden that are resistant to metabolism. In this context, humpback whales, which fast seasonally for extended periods, may be at elevated risk. This study exposed humpback whale immortalised skin fibroblast cells to a range of agrochemicals as determined by their novelty and prevalence in the Antarctic ecosystem, as well as their mixtures. Cells were analysed by automated cell imaging and the seahorse mitochondrial function assay to quantify chemical effects on mitochondrial morphology and function as well as bioenergetics pathways. These findings contribute to the first set of data regarding chemical impacts to bioenergetic function of humpback whale cells, and provide taxa-specific chemical effects data in support of evidence-based conservation policy and management.

Note: My first paper has recently been published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal ("Novel Use of Cell Profiling Technology to Visualise Mitochondrial Responses of Humpback Whale Fibroblasts to Chemical Exposure"). This study provides the first evidence of lipophilic environmental contaminants' impact on the bioenergetics regulator of humpback whales.

Short-term storage of cells

Imaging of humpback whale cell

Cell culturing

Automated microscopy

Humpback whale skin fibroblast

You can find Hafiz on research gate, SOPOPP website and Griffith website . Please don't hesitate to reach out to Hafiz!