Paola Movalli

Paola Movalli

I am an ecotoxicologist, interested in contaminants in the environment, in particular in wild animals, and the implications for wildlife and human health. I have a degree in pharmacy and a PhD in food and environmental toxicology. I have worked in contaminants in humans and in wildlife. Following two Marie Curie Fellowships, I have worked mostly on raptors and other apex predators (e.g. otters, marine mammals) as sentinels of environmental contamination in several European projects as well as national-level studies in The Netherlands. I use both archive and contemporary samples in my research, favouring non-invasive methods in working with these protected species.



Ecotoxicology, legacy and emerging contaminants, REACH, biocide, pesticide, raptor, apex predator

Dr Paola Movalli

Research Group Biesmeijer


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I am interested in exposure of wildlife to legacy and emerging contaminants in the environment, and the application of this knowledge to improve chemicals management in Europe. 

In recent years, my research has largely been in the context of pan-European collaborations on contaminants in top predators, including raptors, marine mammals and otters.  I work with colleagues in labs, collections and the field, across Europe, with a view to bringing contaminant data to bear for better chemicals management. I was previously involved in running the European Networking Programme EURAPMON ( I am currently publishing results from the recent LIFE APEX project which worked to demonstrate novel regulatory applications of chemical monitoring data from apex predators and prey. I led 2018-2022 a pan-European Working Group on Collections for the COST Action European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility.  Ongoing research includes long-term monitoring of emerging contaminants in peregrines in The Netherlands and monitoring of contaminants in the black-tailed godwit in The Netherlands.

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A selection of the topics I am working on currently/recently:

  • demonstration of use of contaminant monitoring data in raptors to assess effectiveness of chemical risk management measures
  • revealing presence of chemical contaminants in apex predators and their prey through targeted and non-target screening analyses (using novel and complementary high resolution mass spectrometry techniques)
  • bringing together collections in Europe for development of a distributed European Raptor Specimen Bank as part of a European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility in support of better chemicals management
  • proof of concept for pan-European contaminant monitoring in raptors under the European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility 
  • long-term contaminant monitoring of the Dutch peregrine population using state of the art methods
  • monitoring of contaminants in the Dutch population of black-tailed godwit


  • Movalli, P., Koschorreck, J., Treu, G., Slobodnik, J., Alygizakis, N., Androulakakis, A., Badry, A., Baltag, E., Barbagli, F., Bauer, K., Biesmeijer, K…. Dekker,R.,... Koureas, D. et al. 2022. The role of natural science collections in the biomonitoring of environmental contaminants in apex predators in support of the EU’s zero pollution ambition. Environmental Sciences Europe, 34(1), pp.1-7.
  • Treu, G., Slobodnik, J., Alygizakis, N., Badry, A., Bunke, D., Cincinelli, A., … Dekker, R., ,... Movalli, P ... & Dulio, V. (2022). Using environmental monitoring data from apex predators for chemicals management: towards better use of monitoring data from apex predators in support of prioritisation and risk assessment of chemicals in Europe. Environmental Sciences Europe, 34(1), 1-9.
  • Badry, A., Rüdel, H., Göckener, B., Nika, M.C., Alygizakis, N., Gkotsis, G., Thomaidis, N.S., Treu, G., Dekker, R.W., Movalli, P., Walker, L.A. et al. 2022. Making use of apex predator sample collections: An integrated workflow for quality assured sample processing, analysis and digital sample freezing of archived samples. Chemosphere, p.136603.
  • Badry, A., Slobodnik, J., Alygizakis, N., Bunke, D., Cincinelli, A., Claßen, D.,… Dekker, R.,...Movalli, P., ... & Koschorreck, J. (2022). Using environmental monitoring data from apex predators for chemicals management: towards harmonised sampling and processing of archived wildlife samples to increase the regulatory uptake of monitoring data in chemicals management. Environmental Sciences Europe, 34(1), 1-8.
  • G. Gkotsis, M-C. Nika, V. Nikolopoulou, N. Alygizakis, E. Bizani, R. Aalizadeh, A. Badry, E. Chadwick, A. Cincinelli, D. Claßen, S. Danielsson, R. Dekker, G. Duke, W. Drost, N. Glowacka, B. Göckener, H. A. H. Jansman, M. Juergens, B. Knopf, J. Koschorreck, O. Krone, T. Martellini, P. Movalli, S. Persson, E.D. Potter, S. Rohner, A. Roos, E. O' Rourke, U. Siebert, G. Treu, N.W. van den Brink, L.A. Walker, R. Williams, J. Slobodnik, N.S. Thomaidis. Assessment of contaminants of emerging concern in European apex predators and their prey by LC-QToF MS wide-scope target analysis, Environment International (2022), doi:
  • Androulakakis, A., Alygizakis, N., Gkotsis, G., Nika, M. C., Nikolopoulou, V., Bizani, E., Movalli, P., ... & Thomaidis, N. S. (2022). Determination of 56 per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances in top predators and their prey from Northern Europe by LC-MS/MS. Chemosphere287, 131775.
  • Espín, S., Andevski, J., Duke, G., Eulaers, I., Gómez-Ramírez, P., Hallgrimsson, G. T., ... Movalli, P…. et al. (2020). A schematic sampling protocol for contaminant monitoring in raptors. Ambio, 1-6 . DOI: 10.1007/s13280-020-01341-9
  • Movalli, P., Duke, G., Ramello, G., Dekker, R., Vrezec, A., Shore, R. F., ... & Badry, A. (2019). Progress on bringing together raptor collections in Europe for contaminant research and monitoring in relation to chemicals regulation. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 1-5.
  • Movalli, P., Bode, P., Dekker, R., Fornasari, L. van der Mije, S. & Yosef, R. (2017) Retrospective biomonitoring of mercury and other elements in museum feathers of common kestrel Falco tinnunculus using instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Environ Sci Pollut Res. DOI 10.1007/s11356-017-0157-1
  • Movalli, P., Dekker, R., Koschorreck, J., Treu, G. (2017) Bringing together raptor collections in Europe for contaminant research and monitoring in relation to chemicals regulations. Trend Editorial. Environ Sci Pollut Res. DOI 10.1007/s11356-017-0096-x
  • Espín, S., Movalli, P. et al. (2016) Tracking pan-continental trends in environmental contamination using sentinel raptors—what types of samples should we use? Ecotoxicology 25(4): 777-801.
  • Gómez-Ramírez, P.,  Shore, R.F., van den Brink, N.W., van Hattum,  B., Bustnes, J.O., Duke, G., Fritsch, C., García-Fernández, A.J., Helander, B.O., Jaspers, V., Krone, O., Martínez-López, E., Mateo, R., Movalli, P. & Sonne, C. (2014). An overview of the existing raptor contaminant monitoring activities in Europe. Environment International 67:12-21.
  • Movalli, P., Lo Valvo, M., Gloria Pereira M. & Osborn, D. (2008). Organochlorine pesticides and polychrominated biphenyl congeners in lanner Falco biarmicus feldeggi Schlegel chicks and lanner prey in Sicily, Italy. In: Movalli, P. & Duke, G. (eds). Monitoring for and with raptors in Europe. Ambio 37(6), 445-451.
  • Movalli, P. (2000). Heavy metal and other residues in feathers of laggar falcon Falco biarmicus jugger from six districts of Pakistan. Environmental Pollution 109: 267-275.

For a full list of publications see ResearchGate


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    Over the last few years I have been involved in setting up and supervising short-term scientific missions within the context of the COST Action European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility. These have involved early stage researchers travelling from one European country to another. Topics have included a review of raptor collections in Europe, development of a  European database on frozen raptor specimens, and addressing constraints to shipping of raptor samples, hosted by Naturalis and the Danish Museum of Natural History. I ran a Summer School on monitoring for and with raptors at Naturalis in 2014 involving 15 early stage researchers.

    In the

    Here is a link to a feature online in The Guardian (originally published in The Observer) on chemicals in birds of prey which refers to work ongoing at Naturalis: 'How Birds of Prey are Exposing a Toxic Timebomb'

    See here a film on the role of collections in contaminant monitoring in Europe


    Observer feature on chemicals in birds of prey



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