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.


The free and open-source software openGUTS is now available for download! It is available as a standalone Windows executable or as Matlab package. It supports the use of GUTS for regulatory purposes, but will also prove useful for scientific studies. The dedicated website provides more information.

In August 2020, we will again organise our much-praised summer school "Dynamic modelling of toxic effects" in Denmark. Registration is open, and will close on 31 May 2020. See the course page. Download flyer.

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

  • Dedicated 2-day GUTS courses, geared towards professionals in risk assessment of pesticides. Wageningen, the Netherlands, dates to be announced. More information.
  • Roman Ashauer and myself will be giving a short course on the openGUTS software at the upcoming SETAC-Europe conference in virtual space. This will be a hands-on course for using the software, so very limited attention to the backgrounds of the GUTS model itself. However, you should be able to combine out course with Sandrine Charles' planned full-day course (which dedicates its morning session to GUTS theory).
  • In August 2020, we will again organise our much-praised summer school "Dynamic modelling of toxic effects" in Denmark. Registration is open, and will close on 31 May 2020 (or when we reach the maximum number of participants). More information on the course page; keep 10-19 August free! Download flyer.

Job opportunities for modellers

  • Nothing at the moment (that I know of).

Latest news

  • 11 Dec. 2019: new paper presenting an updated simplified DEB model for ecotoxicology (based on DEBkiss, compound parameters). See
  • 18 Sept. 2019: the GUTS course planned for October 2019 has been cancelled due to insufficient registrations.
  • 2 Sept. 2019: update for BYOM and a new DEBtox2019 package (replacing DEBkiss-tox). See the BYOM page.
Older news over here.

The DEBtox information site,, since July 2011