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

  • Toxicity of uranium to aquatic organisms, including toxicity to native species, significance of life stage and water quality characteristics, and routes and mechanisms of uptake.
  • Distribution, speciation and bioavailability 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.


Selected Publications

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.

Muscatello, J.R. and K. Liber.  2009.  Accumulation and chronic toxicity of uranium over different life stages of the aquatic invertebrateChironomus tentans.  Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 57:531-539.

deRosemond, S., Q. Xie and K. Liber.  2008.  Arsenic concentration and speciation in five freshwater fish species from Back Bay near Yellowknife, NT, Canada.  Environ. Monit. Assess. 147: 199-210.

Robertson, E. and K. Liber. 2007. Bioassays with caged Hyalella azteca to determine aquatic toxicity downstream of two Saskatchewan, Canada, uranium operations. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 26: 2345-2355.

Liber, K., W. Goodfellow, P. den Besten, W. Clements, T. Galloway, A. Gerhardt, A. Green, and S. Simpson. 2007. In-situ-based effects measures: Consideration for improving methods and approaches. Integr. Environ. Assess. Manage. 3: 246-258.

de Rosemond, S.J.C. and K. Liber. 2004. Wastewater treatment polymers identified as the toxic component of a diamond mine effluent. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 23: 2234-2242.