DEBtox information
Making sense of ecotoxicity test results

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DEBtox information

DEBtox information


Welcome to the DEBtox information site

Welcome to the DEBtox information page, the site for people that want to make sense of ecotoxicity data. This site contains information on mechanistic models for the analysis of stressor effects on the life-history traits of individual organisms (and from there to higher and lower levels of biological organisation). Specifically, this site is about models based on animal energy budgets (DEBtox and DEBkiss) and survival models from the GUTS framework.

This website constitues a node in the international DEBnet network, together with the associated site of DEBtox Research.

The mission of  is to simplify biology to get to the essence of what toxicants (and other stresses) are actually doing to organisms. Simplification is necessary if we need to gain understanding. Furthermore, we cannot expect to test even a small fraction of all possible (combinations of) toxicants, species and environmental conditions. Once we get to the essence, it is possible to make educated predictions of toxicant effects for untested chemicals, untested species, and under untested conditions.

Here, you can find information, lists of relevant publications, (links to) free e-books, and freely downloadable Matlab packages to analyse your data. Use the major categories on the top left of the screen to navigate through this site; the corresponding sub-categories will appear right next to it in the submenu.


Starting October this year, we will be organising regular 2-day courses on application of GUTS in risk assessment of pesticides, making use of the user-friendly software (still under development). More information.

WARNING! For users of BYOM, see the notes and warnings on the BYOM page. Specifically pertinent: the likelihood-region method yielded exaggerated confidence intervals on model predictions (fixed in version 4.2), and the LPx calculations (used with GUTS, to calculate multiplication factors on concentration profiles) is biassed when there is substantial background mortality in the calibration data set (fixed in version 4.2b).

If you are working with BYOM, and would like to be notified immediately in case of errors, new versions, etc., email me and I will include you in a mailing list. I may also use this mailing list for other important developments such as new (versions) of the e-books, and new papers. This saves you the hassle of checking this website every week ;-).

                DEBnet network of experts

The Duck of Vaucanson

Upcoming courses and events

  • For 2019, a new round of the DEB telecourse is planned, and also a classroom part (1-6 April), followed by workshops (8-9 April), and the international DEB symposium (10-12 April). This time, the location will be Brest, France. More information is provided on the symposium website. Application to the DEB2019 school is open and the deadline is extended to February 15, 2019.
  • Dedicated 2-day GUTS course, geared towards professionals in risk assessment of pesticides. 16-18 October, Wageningen, the Netherlands. More information. We still need to do some work on the organisation, so it is not possible to register just yet, but save the dates!
  • As part of the 2019 SETAC conference in Helsinki, Sandrine Charles is organising a 1-day short course on GUTS (on 26 May 2019). Download the flyer.
  • Sandrine is also organising a more extensive winter school 6-10 January 2020 (in Lyon, France) focussing on ecotox effect models.
  • Also at the 2019 SETAC conference in Helsinki, there will be the spectacular “GUTS to the Max”: Mechanistic Effect Models Hackathon, organised by Roman Ashauer. More information.
  • Not directly TKTD related, but very interesting: Eawag summer school in environmental systems analysis (focusses on Bayesian uncertainty analysis), near Zurich, 3-7 June 2019. More information

Job opportunities for modellers

  • Nothing special that I know of.

Latest news

  • 9 January 2019: new paper on automated high-throughput measurements of body size (which could really facilitate DEB(tox) application in the future). Open access. Note that this is my 100th (co-)authored paper ;-).
  • 8 December 2018: a new version of the GUTS e-book has been released at Leanpub. Most important change is in the statistical treatment. See version log at the support page for more details.
  • 15 November 2018: a new version of the DEBkiss e-book has been released at Leanpub.
  • 7 September 2018: small update of BYOM to v. 4.2c and updated GUTS package v. 2.3. More details on the BYOM page.
  • 27 August 2018: the EFSA opinion on TKTD models is now available over here. This opinion will be pivotal for the application of GUTS and DEBtox in environmental risk assessment (in particular for pesticides).
Older news over here.

The DEBtox information site,, since July 2011