Bioassays are experiments that use living things to test the toxicity of chemicals. Students can use bioassays to conduct a wide range of experiments relating to toxicity of known chemical solutions or unknown mixtures such as samples of water, sediment, or soil from the environment.

Bioassay Resources


What are bioassays? How are they used?
Some tips for planning an experiment


Lettuce Seed Bioassays
Daphnia Bioassays
Duckweed Bioassays

Peer Review

Participate in peer review and exchange feedback
with other students who have carried out bioassay experiments.

Message Board

Post A Note ImageRead or post questions, comments, or answers on the discussion board.

Research Challenges

Research Challenge #1: What are the best conditions for lettuce seed germination and growth?
Research Challenge #2: What are the environmental impacts of road de-icing?
Research Challenge #3: Is seed germination affected by herbicide residues in soil? 

Published Bioassay Reports

Read reports that have been published through the EI peer review system.

More Information

Assessing Toxic Risk Book Cover
For more information on student bioassay experiments, read about our book, Assessing Toxic Risk or visit our page on bioassay links.


Copyright 2009 Environmental Inquiry, Cornell University and Penn State University