Liber, Karsten

Director & Professor

Karsten Liber

Toxicology Centre
University of Saskatchewan, 44 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
S7B 5B3

Phone: (306) 966-7444



Academic Degrees

  • B.Sc., Ph.D. (Guelph)

Current Teaching

  • TOX 321.3 Risk Assessment and Regulatory Toxicology

Current and Recent Research Projects

  • Bioavailability of sediment-associated uranium to beuthic organisms and factors influencing U bioavailability in sediment toxicity of uranium to aquatic organisms, including toxicity to native species and the importance of water quality characteristics, and routes and mechanisms of uptake.
  • Distribution, speciation, bioavailability and food chain transfer of selenium in northern aquatic ecosystems.
  • Investigation of cause of benthic invertebrate community impairment at Canadian mine sites.
  • Alternative approaches to the derivation of sediment quality guidelines.
  • Assessment of leaching of toxic constituents from oil sands coke and associated implications for use of coke in aquatic reclamation landscapes.
  • Assessment of industrial impacts on aquatic ecosystems, including Investigations-of-Cause.


Crawford, S.E. and K. Liber.  2016.  Sediment properties influencing bioavailability of uranium to Chironomus dilutus larvae in spiked field sediments.  Chemosphere 148: 77-85.

Doig, L.E., S. Schiffer and K. Liber.  2015  Reconstructing the ecological impacts of eight decades of mining, metallurgical and municipal activities on a small boreal lake in northern Canada.  Integr. Environ. Assess. Manage. 11: 490-501.

Morrissey, C.A., P. Mineau, J.H. Devries, F. Sanchez-Bayo, M. Liess, M. Cavallaro and K. Liber.  2015.  Neonicotinoid contamination of global surface waters and associated risk to aquatic invertebrates: a review.  Environ. Internat. 74: 291-303.

Janz, D., K. Liber, I. Pickering, C. Wiramanaden, S. Weech, M. Gallego-Gallegos, M. Driessnack, E. Franz, M. Goertzen, J. Phibbs, J. Tse, K. Himbeault, E. Robertson, C. Burnett-Seidel, K. England and A. Gent.  2014.  Integrative assessment of selenium speciation, biogeochemistry and distribution in a northern coldwater ecosystem.  Integr. Environ. Assess. Manag. 10: 543-554.  (Best paper award, IEAM 2014)

Franz, E.D., C.I.E. Wiramanaden, M. Gallego-Gallegos, J.J. Tse, J. Phibbs, D.M. Janz, I.J. Pickering and K. Liber.  2013.   An in situ assessment of selenium bioaccumulation from water-, sediment-, and dietary-exposure pathways using caged Chironomus dilutus larvae.  Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 32: 2836-2848.

Burnett-Seidel, C. and K. Liber.  2013.  Derivation of no-effect and reference-level sediment quality values for application at Saskatchewan uranium operations.  Environ. Monitor. Assess.  (In Press).

Gallego-Gallegos, M., L.E. Doig, J.J. Tse, K. Liber and I.J. Pickering.  2013.  Bioavailability, toxicity and biotransformation of selenium in midge (Chironomus dilutus) larvae exposed via water or diet to elemental selenium particles, selenite, or selenized algae.  Environ. Sci. Technol. 47: 584-592.

Toor, N.S., E. Franz, P.M. Fedorak, M.D. MacKinnon and K. Liber.  2012.  Degradation and aquatic toxicity of naphthenic acids in oil sands process-affected waters using simulated wetlands.  Chemosphere 90: 449-458.

Anderson, J.C., S.B. Wiseman, A. Moustafa, M. Gamal El-Din, K. Liber and J.P. Giesy.  2012.  Effects of exposure to oil sands process-affected water from experimental reclamation ponds on Chironomus dilutes.  Water Research 46: 1662-1672.

Anderson, J.C., S.B. Wiseman, N. Wang, A. Moustafa, M. Gamel El-Din, L. Perez-Estrada, J. Martin, K. Liber and J.P. Giesy.  2012.  Effectiveness of ozonation treatment in eliminating toxicity of oil sands process water to Chironomus dilutus.  Environ. Sci. Technol. 46: 486-493.

Burnett-Seidel, C. and K. Liber.  2012.  Evaluation of sediment quality guidelines derived using the screening-level concentration approach for application at uranium operations in Saskatchewan, Canada.  Environ. Monitor. Assess. 184: 1593-1602.

Franz, E.D., C.I.E. Wiramanaden, D.M. Janz, I.J. Pickering and K. Liber.  2011.  Selenium bioaccumulation and speciation in Chironomus dilutus exposed to water-borne selenate, selenite, or seleno-DL-methionine.  Environ. Toxicol. Chem 30: 2292-2299.

Puttaswamy, N. and K. Liber. 2011.  Identifying the causes of oil sands coke leachate toxicity to aquiatic invertebrates.  Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 30: 2576-2585.

Liber, K., L.E. Doig and S.L White-Sobey.  2011.  Toxicity of uranium, molybdenum, nickel, and arsenic to Hyalella azteca and Chironmonus dilutus in water-only and spiked-sediment toxicity tests.  Exotoxicol. Environ. Safety 74: 1171-1179

Wiramanaden, C.I.E., K. Liber and I.J. Pickering.  2010.  Selenium speciation in whole-sediment using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and micro X-ray fluorescence imaging.  Environ. Sci. Technol. 44: 5389-5394.

Puttaswamy, N. and K. Liber. 2010.  Variation in toxicity response of Ceriodaphnia dubia to Athabasca oil sands coke leachates.  Chemosphere. 80: 489-497.

Wiramanaden, C.I.E., E. Forster and K. Liber. 2010.  Selenium distribution in a lake system receiving effluent from a metal mine and milling operation in northern Saskatchewan, Canada.  Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 29: 1-11.