Professor Ian Cousins
Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Sweden
Topic: Sources, transport and fate of various PFAS in the atmosphere
Prof. Cousins has worked at the Department of Environmental Science at Stockholm University since 2002. His research comprises a combination of experimental and modelling approaches to investigate the sources, transport, fate and exposure of contaminants. For the last 20 years, he has conducted research on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and works closely with analytical chemists in his department to better understand the environmental behaviour of these contaminants. Prof. Cousins has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles and 8 book chapters. He was designated as a Highly Cited Researcher in 2018 and 2020. In 2020, Prof. Cousins kicked off the PERFORCE3 project, which is a Europe-wide multi-partner doctoral research training program in the field of PFAS that he coordinates. He recently became an Associate Editor of Environmental Science and Technology.
Laureate Professor Ravi Naidu
CEO & Managing Director, CRC CARE, and Director, Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Australia
Topic: Innovative technologies for the remediation of PFAS-contaminated water and soil
Ravi Naidu’s work focuses on the remediation of contaminated soil, water and air, and the potential impacts of contaminants upon environmental and human health at local, national and global levels. Prof. Naidu is a global leader in risk-based management of contaminated sites as well as the shift to in-situ remediation. Prof. Naidu is an elected Fellow of the Soil Science Societies of America (2000) and New Zealand (2004), and the America Society of Agronomy (2006), and was the founding director of the University of South Australia’s Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation. In 2013 was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is Chair of the International Committee on Bioavailability and Risk Assessment, former Chair of the International Union of Soil Sciences Commission for Soil Degradation Control, Remediation and Reclamation (2002 10), and former President of the International Society on Trace Element Biogeochemistry (2005-07). In 2016, Prof. Naidu was elected as a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and in 2017 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He has authored or co-authored over 700 journal articles and 80 technical publications as well as 11 patents, and co-edited 16 books and 71 book chapters in the field of soil and environmental sciences. He has also supervised over 50 PhD completions. In 2013, Prof. Naidu received an honorary Doctorate of Science from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University for “outstanding contributions to agriculture”, and won the Richard Pratt – Banksia CEO Award at the Banksia Sustainability Awards, recognising his contributions towards environmental sustainability.
Dr Arlene Blum
Biophysical Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley, USA
Topic: A scientific strategy towards healthier people and planet
Arlene Blum, working with the Green Science Policy Institute, has contributed to stopping the use of harmful chemicals in everyday products worldwide. This includes reducing the unnecessary use of flame retardants in furniture, baby products, bedding and electronic cases as well as PFAS chemicals in carpets, food packaging, and consumer products. Exposure to flame retardants and PFAS has been associated with adverse neurological, reproductive, immune and endocrine impacts as well as cancer. By limiting the use of entire classes of toxic chemicals, this work is contributing to healthier products, people and ecosystems. The Institute’s strategy is based on initiating innovative scientific research, communicating the results widely, and sharing with decision makers in business and government. During Blum’s illustrated talk, she will share some of her favorite stories illustrating scientific strategies for positive change.
Dr Paul Nathanail
Technical Director Contamination Assessment and Remediation, GHD, UK
Topic: Risk ‘evaluation’ of emerging contaminants – accounting for uncertainty, allowing for perceptions
Paul Nathanail is a chartered geologist and specialist in land condition, who combines consultancy, research and training in all aspects of risk-based contaminated land management. He is the lead author of the UK standard guide on asbestos in soil and of the UK’s largest compilation of soil screening values. Paul is well known to us here in Australia as a regular contributor to CRC CARE’s CleanUp conferences and the Risk to Remediation Masterclass. Paul is currently part of the European Union SoilVer PFAS Risk Assessment working group and also works with UK analytical laboratories to prioritise risk-relevant methods of soil and groundwater analysis of PFAS.
Dr Michael Dourson
Director of Science, Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA), USA
Topic: Comparing Human Observational Studies with Clinical Findings: The half-life of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA)
Michael Dourson has a PhD in toxicology from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, and is a board-certified toxicologist (i.e., DABT) serving as the Director of Science at the 501c3 nonprofit organization Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA). Prior to this, he was Senior Advisor in the Office of the Administrator at the US EPA. Before this, he was a Professor in the Risk Science Center at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine and also worked at TERA and US EPA. He has been awarded the Arnold J. Lehman award from the Society of Toxicology, the International Achievement Award by the International Society of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, and 4 bronze medals from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (i.e., FATS) and as a Fellow for the Society for Risk Analysis (i.e. FSRA).
He has co-published more than 150 papers on risk assessment methods or chemical-specific analyses (4 of them winning awards), and co-authored well over 100 government risk assessment documents (many of them risk assessment guidance texts). He has made over 150 invited presentations to a variety of organizations, and has chaired over 150 sessions at scientific meetings and independent peer reviews. He has been elected to multiple officer positions in the American Board of Toxicology (including its President), the Society of Toxicology (including the presidency of 3 specialty sections), the Society for Risk Analysis (including its Secretary), and is currently the President of the Toxicology Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a vision to help our public understand the essentials of toxicology. In addition to numerous appointments on government panels, such as EPA’s Science Advisory Board, he is a current member on the editorial board of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology and Human and Experimental Toxicology.
Dr Bernard Gadagbui
Coordinator, TERA Dose-Response Assessment Boot Camp, Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA), USA
Topic: Comparing human observational studies with clinical findings: the half-life of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA)
Dr Gadagbui has over 19 years of professional experience in human health and ecological risk assessment and toxicology. He is involved in diverse projects to assess occupational and environmental toxicants and carcinogens, including derivation of their toxicity values, which require an in-depth understanding of mechanisms and modes of toxicity, current methods for assessing toxicological outcomes, and interpretation of toxicological and human health data. Dr Gadagbui leads TERA efforts in safety assessment of ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products that involves detailed evaluation of the toxicological profile of the finished product and its ingredients, their chemical structure, and potential to produce local and potential systemic exposure. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and is also included in the United Kingdom Register of Toxicologist (ERT-UK). He is active in teaching risk assessment methods to diverse groups of risk assessors across the globe and is the Coordinator of the TERA Dose-Response Assessment Boot Camp. He was instrumental in the formation of the Society for Risk Analysis African Regional Organization (SRA Africa), serves as an Advisor, and is the liaison between SRA Africa and SRA International. He was a founding member and the first president of the Toxicologists of African Origin (TAO), a SOT Special Interest Group and was Publicity Secretary, Vice President, and President of the African Society of Toxicological Scientists (ASTS). He has authored about 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and more than 100 government reports.
Senior Hydrogeologist, Minnesota Department of Health, USA
Topic: PFAS in Minnesota, USA –18 years of investigating the forever chemicals and what’s next
Ginny Yingling is a senior hydrogeologist in the Environmental Health Division of the Minnesota Department of Health. She works with a team of Health Risk Assessors to evaluate human exposures to harmful chemicals in drinking water related to man-made contaminated sites. Since 2003, she has been the agency’s lead investigator of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS). Ginny holds a B.S. from Penn State, and a M.S. from the University of Wyoming, both in geology. She has over 25 years of experience working on contaminated sites – first as an environmental consultant, then at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and since 2000, at the Department of Health. From 2017 to 2020, she co-chaired the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council’s PFAS Team that developed an in-depth report on the current state of PFAS science and related factsheets, online training modules, workshops, and a risk communication toolkit.
Dr Kate Hughes
Risk Communication and Social Engagement , Ecology Data Bank Services, NSW, Australia
Topic: Adequate but with room for improvement: experts’ communication about PFAS risks
Kate Hughes has a PhD in Politics from The University of Adelaide and a PhD in Sustainability from the University of Technology Sydney. She has acquired a unique approach to risk communication and social engagement during her life as an industry professional. Kate was around when dioxin in Homebush Bay was the topic of the day, and when the Sydney Olympic site was undergoing broadacre remediation. She worked as Special Advisor to the Director of this landmark project and later was appointed Independent Advisor to the community during the remediation of the dioxin-contaminated sites on the Rhodes Peninsula, Sydney. She has worked as community advocate on other remediation projects concerned with asbestos, heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants, and most recently has been working with the Richmond, NSW, community to address PFAS contamination of surface water and groundwater. Kate is multi-skilled with a specialisation in language and communication.
With deep connections to community, a lived experience as a community advocate, and a thirty-year connection with the remediation industry, Kate offers historical and social insights about the current state of expert communication with the public. Her recent doctoral research was funded by CRC CARE as part of a broader project about social perceptions and attitudes to technological risks. Her research uncovered reasons why some remediation experts can communicate well whilst others cannot. This variation is strongly associated with visual and textual language skills and the capacity to understand the social and historical context of risk.
Sustainable Projects Lead, Water Infrastructure Planning, Logan City Council, Queensland, Australia
Topic: Gasification of biosolids – does it remove PFAS?
Johanna Johnson has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry and Microbiology from Griffith University and a Master of Integrated Water Management from the University of Queensland. She specialises in innovative projects such as the Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plant Biosolids Gasification Facility.
Dr Anithadevi Kenday Sivaram
Research Associate, Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Australia
Topic: Ecotoxicology of PFAS
Anithadevi received her PhD in environmental remediation and public health from the University of South Australia in 2014. She is currently working as a research associate in the Australian Research Council PFAS project on “Remediation of PFAS in current and legacy biosolids application sites”. Her research interests include: plant uptake and accumulation of PFAS in crops; phytoremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; plant photosystems and root exudates in the remediation of organic contaminants; and molecular toxicology of organic pollutants to aquatic invertebrates, earthworms and plants.
Dr Anthony Umeh
Research Associate, Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Australia
Topic: PFOS sorption in soils and the prediction of associated sorption coefficients by machine learning
Anthony completed his PhD in environmental remediation at the University of Newcastle in 2019. He has been working on the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soils since 2013, following his MSc at Lancaster University, UK. His PhD research investigated the potential risks to human and ecological health from exposure to highly sequestered PAHs in long-term contaminated soils using solvent extractions, in-vitro bioaccessibility assays that simulate the human gastrointestinal system, and earthworm bioassays. Anthony’s postdoctoral research focuses on understanding the fate and transport of PFAS in soils, as well as developing innovative remediation techniques for PFAS-contaminated soils and wastewater. His recent paper in Environmental Science & Technology presents the first application of machine learning for the prediction of PFOS sorption in a wide range of well-characterised tropical and temperate soils.
Dr Timothy Coggan
Lab Manager/ PFAS Specialist, ADE Consulting Group, Melbourne, Australia
Topic: Airborne PFAS – where is the risk and do we have the tools to measure and manage it?
Timothy is part of a dedicated team of scientists providing analysis of environmental contaminants at ADE Consulting Group’s Sydney Laboratory Services – Melbourne Branch. After completing a PhD on the development and application of PFAS analytical techniques in environmental matrices, he commenced as Lab Manager at ADE. His research and industry training has provided the core to drive the lab in an R&D direction, growing the analytical capabilities of the company’s multiple labs while simultaneously increasing sample throughput at the Melbourne laboratory. His team are working with a range of stakeholders on innovative and exciting new projects, which they are keen to share with the broader scientific community.
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Australia
Topic: PFAS in market vegetables – a survey of 53 vegetable samples from Sydney and Newcastle
Siyuan is a final-year student of the Master of Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation Program. Siyuan’s project is investigating potential health impacts as a result of dietary exposure to PFAS in the general food supply, with a particular focus on vegetables, in the Sydney and Newcastle regions. Siyuan developed and evaluated a practical method for processing, extracting and quantifying samples, considering potential matrix effects from various vegetables, with a view to further improvement and validation. This method can be used for ongoing monitoring of PFAS in the general food supply or quantification of PFAS concentrations in samples known to be contaminated with PFAS.
NSW Environment Manager, ADE Consulting Group, Sydney, Australia
Topic: 5 ASLP – is this the right tool for characterising PFAS risk in-situ and in waste materials?
Andrew is the lead for ADE’s environment business in NSW. He has 25 years’ experience in regulation, policy, emergency management, pollution incidents and site contamination, with extensive recent experience with PFAS. His roles have included being a regulator of contaminated land, funding the clean-up of derelict sites, developing policy and preventative approaches for contamination, managing high-profile remediation projects, leading the NSW EPA in incident and emergency response, and guiding the Department of Defence in investigating and managing PFAS contamination.
Professor Satyandra K Gupta
Smith International Professorship in Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Southern California, USA
Topic: Robots for ensuring human safety during disinfection and clean-up operations
Dr Satyandra K Gupta is Smith International Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Department of Computer Science in Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. He serves as the Director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing. He served as a program director for the National Robotics Initiative at the National Science Foundation from September 2012 to September 2014. Dr Gupta’s interests are in the area of physics-aware decision making to facilitate and advance the state of automation. He has published more than 400 technical articles. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He serves as the editor of the ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering. Dr Gupta has received numerous honors and awards for his scholarly contributions. Examples include a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research in 2000, Robert W Galvin Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 2001, CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2001, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2001, Invention of the Year Award at the University of Maryland in 2007, Kos Ishii-Toshiba Award from ASME in 2011, Excellence in Research Award from ASME Computers and Information in Engineering Division in 2013, and Distinguished Alumnus Award from Indian Institute of Technology in 2014. He was named one of the “20 most influential professors in smart manufacturing” by Smart Manufacturing Magazine in June 2020. He has also received ten ‘best paper’ awards at international conferences.
Professor Prosun Bhattacharya
Professor of Groundwater Chemistry and Coordinator of the KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Topic: Surveillance of SARS-CoV- 2 through wastewater
Prosun Bhattacharya is a Professor of Groundwater Chemistry at the Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, and an affiliate scientist at the KWR Watercycle Research Institute in the Netherlands. He is the Coordinator of the KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group, which has global collaborative research engagements on drinking water quality focusing on arsenic, fluoride, and other trace elements with universities, research, and civil society organizations in several countries like Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Bangladesh, Bolivia, India, Ghana, Tanzania, Turkey, and the USA. The present global pandemic COVID-19 has motivated Prof. Bhattacharya to build an interdisciplinary group of scientists to commence work on the surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater to understand the circulation of the virus in the societal segments. He has authored/co-authored over 400 international publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, cited more than 12,000 times.
Professor Stuart Khan
Water Research Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering , UNSW, Australia
Topic: Pharmaceutical contaminants in the aquatic environment – how we got here and key current issues
Stuart Khan is a Professor in the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, UNSW Australia. He is the leader of the Trace Chemical Contaminants research stream at the UNSW Water Research Centre. Khan is also a Hans Fischer Fellow at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. He has received funding for over 30 major competitive research projects from Australian, US and European funding agencies. He has published over 100 peer reviewed journal articles on issues relating to trace chemical contaminants in drinking water, wastewater and recycled water. Stuart Khan is a member of the World Health Organization Water Quality and Health Technical Advisory Group. He is also a member of the Water Quality Advisory Committee to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and of the National Water Grid Authority Advisory Body.
Professor Vincent Pettigrove
Aquatic Environmental Stress Research Group, School of Science, RMIT University, Australia
Topic: Understanding the major sources of microplastic pollution in Victorian inland waters helps to develop effective management strategies
Professor Vincent Pettigrove is the Leader of the Aquatic Environmental Stress Research Group (AQUEST) at RMIT University, formerly CAPIM (Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification & Management). He has over 30 years’ experience in the design and conduct of a broad range of biological and water quality research and monitoring programs that help catchment management authorities, water authorities and environmental regulators identify and address the priority issues impacting aquatic ecosystems, which are often emerging chemicals. He has produced over 125 published journal articles and peer-reviewed conference papers.
General Manager Research Services, Water Research Australia
Topic: Managing and assessing risks of contaminants of emerging concern for the water industry
Jacqueline has been in the water resources and water quality business for over 25 years. After completing degrees in hydrology and water resources engineering in Germany and the USA, her professional career has been marked by research assistant work at German and American universities, consulting with CH2M HILL in the USA for 10-years; and, for the past 18 years, working for the SA EPA and SA Water Corporation. She has been working with Water Research Australia since March 2020. Jacqueline is working closely with our utility and research partners as she facilitates and oversees the delivery of high-quality and effective research to enable efficiencies and greater understanding of current and future challenges for our membership. Water quality challenges now and into the future are marked by the ever increasing list of newly emerging contaminants that the water industry needs to remain aware of and proactively address, to ultimately continue their mandate of providing safe water for their customers and safeguarding the environment.
Dr Cheng Fang
Senior Research Fellow, Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Australia
Topic: Microplastics fate and transportation
Dr Cheng’s research covers several disciplines, from electrochemistry to preparation of nano/micro-porous materials including semiconductors and noble metals, to sensors for monitoring environmental pollutants. The technologies he has developed employ surface-enhanced Raman scattering, aggregation induced emission, electrochemistry, nanotechnology (e.g. nanowire, nanogap, nanomembrane). Dr Cheng conducts environmental monitoring and remediation using advanced electrochemistry, nanomaterials and lab-on-a-chip applications, and develops portable devices for field application. He has worked in several countries including China, Germany, Singapore and Australia.
Dr Shima Ziajahromi
Advance Queensland Research Fellow, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffth University, Queensland, Australia
Topic: Fate of microplastics in three Australian wastewater treatment plants: the significance of primary screening
Shima completed her PhD at the Australian Rivers Institute (2018) on microplastics in wastewater treatment plants and their fate and biological effects in aquatic systems. Her current project, which focuses on the fate and impact of microplastics in biosolids to agricultural land and soil biota, will improve our understanding of the transport of microplastics in soil–crop systems. Shima’s research interests include development of novel approaches for identification and quantification of micro -and nanoplastics and understanding how wastewater-derived microplastics negatively impact aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
PhD scholar, Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, University of Newcastle, Australia
Topic: Print documents, or print microplastics?
Zahra’s research focuses on the characterisation and fate of micro- and nanoplastics in wastewater, sludge and soil.
Dr Gerardo Pulido-Reyes
Department of Process Engineering. Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology (Eawag), Switzerland
Topic: Drinking water treatments and micro(nano)-plastics
Gerardo Pulido-Reyes completed his Doctorate at the Chemical Engineering, Environmental Toxicology and Global Change group (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain) in 2017. For his dissertation, he focused on (eco)toxicological assessment of different engineered nanomaterials from inorganic nanoparticles made of iron, cerium oxide or titanium dioxide to organic nanomaterials such us dendrimers. As a postdoctoral researcher in Universidad de Alcala (Spain) and, now, in Eawag (the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), he is tackling the issue of plastic pollution. On one hand, he is interested in assessing the environmental risk of micro/nanoplastics, the influx and transfer of plastic particles into the different environmental compartments and knowing the potential effects to aquatic organisms. On the other hand, he is also working in technical systems, evaluating the efficiency of current drinking water treatments to remove nanoplastic particles.
Professor Maria Cristina Fossi
Professor of Ecology and Ecotoxicology, University of Siena, Italy
Topic: The impact of microplastics on filter-feeding megafauna
Maria Cristina Fossi is Full Professor of Ecology and Ecotoxicology at the University of Siena and since 2000 has been Scientific Director of the Biomarker Laboratory (CIBM). She gave a key contribution to the development of the biomarker approach in terrestrial and marine ecotoxicology. Her research has focused on: development of biomarkers in bioindicator organisms for off-shore and on-shore oil extraction (ENI-IT), evaluation of endocrine disruptors in marine species, assessment of cetacean ecotoxicological status in Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of California, Indian Ocean, investigation on presence and effect of microplastics and plasticisers in Med ecosystems. Since 1991 she developed innovative diagnostic tools for ecotoxicological assessment of threatened species (marine mammals, birds, reptiles) bringing to the establishment of methods (non-destructive biomarker approach) currently acknowledged as golden standard at the international level. Thanks to her work on skin biopsies, she is a world reference for the assessment of ecotoxicological risk in cetaceans. Since 2001 she published the first papers on effects of on endocrine disruptors in marine top predators. In 2012 she provided the first evidence worldwide on the effects of microplastics on baleen whales. She is author or co-author of over 800 scientific papers (articles and review articles (250), chapters (29) and books (6), abstracts in national and international conferences (over 355). She is involved in several International Scientific organizations (e.g. past president of SETAC Italian Branch, SC International Whaling Commission, SC Pelagos Sanctuary, SC ACCOBAMS, Member of CORMON UNE/MAP).
Dr Arslan Ahmad
Global Business Partner for Technology & Innovation, Water Filtration & Reactants, Sibelco, Belgium
Topic: Advanced mineral-based solutions for removing pharmaceuticals from wastewater – a way forward to achieve global Sustainable Development Goals
Dr Ahmad has a PhD in water treatment and is the R&D Manager (Water) at Sibelco, a global mining company operating in 31 countries. He is the Vice-Chair of the International Water Association Specialist Group on Metals and Related Substances in Drinking Water (METRELS) and is on the board of the International Society of Groundwater for Sustainable Development. Before joining Sibelco, Dr Ahmad was a leading research scientist at KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Netherlands, with a particular focus on water treatment. His work has also focused on resource recovery from water, wastewater and residuals generated from treatment processes.