MTM was founded in 1997 and is one of Örebro University's strong research environments with researchers in chemistry and biology. The centre conducts environmental research on chemicals and their effects on humans and the environment together with regional, national and international actors in the business community, authorities, universities and research institutes. MTM consists of several research groups, among them one large group focusing on environmental toxicants and metals and one group with a focus on systems ecology.
The environmental toxicant group (approx. 50 researchers) studies the distribution, transformation and occurrence of chemicals and metals as well as their risks to humans and the environment. MTM is a national leader in the analysis of organic pollutants, especially per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) and polycyclic aromatic chemicals (PAC), effect-based and effect-directed analysis, ecotoxicology, metabolomics and biogeospheric dynamics. Examples of areas studied are chemical risks posed by polluted areas and development of effective measures in polluted areas; health risks posed by 3D printing; health risks posed by exposure to chemicals in indoor air; spread of and risks posed by microplastics in marine and aquatic environments; spread, occurrence and transformation of PFAS as well as their risks for humans and the environment; and search for new toxicants in the environment with non-target analysis, effect-based and effect-directed analysis.
Ecotoxicological research studies the effects of environmental toxicants on development, the nervous system, transgenerational effects and mixing effects of environmental toxicants. Studies are also carried out on the presence of, and risks posed by environmental toxicants in waste and in recycled materials (eg rubber granules, recycled plastics, sludge, ash, slag). MTM also contributes to the development of technologies for the restoration of polluted areas, the purification of polluted water and the development of methods for the extraction of rare metals from waste. The group participates in several national and global monitoring programmes regarding PFAS and other environmental toxicants and runs the research profile EnForce together with a dozen companies. In health-related research, the relationships between exposure to environmental toxicants and diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases and liver disease are studied, as well as how exposure to environmental toxicants during foetal development can affect the risk of developing various diseases.
The research group Systems Ecology (4 researchers) focuses on the turnover of carbon and nitrogen in forest ecosystems and effects on soil functions in polluted areas.
Didactics of science and technology (5 researchers) conducts practice-based research that focuses on teachers’ ability to conduct science teaching for younger children and research on the pedagogical potential in creating and using images and visualisations.
Furthermore, research is conducted in Meal Ecology (6 researchers), towards sustainable food production in perennial systems, school meals as a pedagogical tool, and towards cultivation methods such as Controlled Traffic Farming and agroforestry.
MTM wants to drive the development of multidisciplinary research initiatives within PSF@ORU, for example towards ensuring non-toxic circular material flows, which is a key issue in the transition to a circular economy. MTM wants to contribute to PSF@ORU within all its research specialisations.
Read more about the MTM research centre