A regional chapter of SETAC Asia-Pacific
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Achieving Environmental Sustainability in Australasia
Awards and Prizes
Student Awards and Prizes
We’ve got some pretty great members – check out some of their stories.
March 9, 2020
Dr Sharon Hook was born in Pittsburgh (USA), where her life-long interest in pollution began after witnessing the impact of groundwater contamination following the closure of steel mills. She has a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Smith College (MA, USA) and a Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography from Stony Brook University (NY, USA). She moved to Australia and joined CSIRO in 2009. Sharon enjoys bushwalks with her family, running (slowly), reading ‘pulp’ novels, and cooking. On the last point, she’s renowned for her authentic Thanksgiving feasts which include every type of pie you can imagine. Sharon works across disciplines to introduce new ideas into environmental toxicology. Her PhD research utilised oceanographic tracer studies to demonstrate the toxicity of metals in food. Sharon says: “I work with pollution with the idea of helping people and improving the environment (and ideally, doing both at the same time). I work with the ocean because it’s vast and unknown and filled with really different, wonderful creatures”. Sharon is a currently a Principal Research Scientist based at CSIRO, Oceans and Atmosphere in Hobart. Sharon applies modern –omics based approaches to environmental problems, determining the impacts of low-level exposures in generating long term ecologically relevant toxic responses, and in the appropriate design and implementation of toxicity testing. She was among the first to use modern genomics-based approaches in environmental toxicology -and one of the first to demonstrate that these modern molecular techniques could be used in the ‘real world’- for non-model organisms in the field. She is currently co-chairing a Pellston workgroup on using “-omics” studies in contaminated into the regulatory arena – and is hoping to talk about the outcomes of the workshop at the world congress in Singapore. Sharon has worked with a vast array of environmental contaminants, including metals, oil, and pesticides, and with a variety of taxa, from bacteria to fish. Sharon attended Science Meets Parliament 2019 with CSIRO as a Superstar of STEM. Photo by Bradley Cummings. Her research has also influenced policy. She was lead author on the oil spill monitoring handbook, now adopted as Australia’s national plan for a maritime emergency. She also highlighted that modern use pesticides may be impacting fisheries and aquaculture. Being a Superstar of STEM (a media and communications training program for women sponsored by Science Technology Australia), Sharon is a role model for young women and girls, and is working towards equal representation in the media of women and men in all fields in STEM. She joined the program out of a desire to better communicate the science we do so that more people would support evidence-based decision making. So far, the program has changed the way she thinks about promoting her science and herself (though she still feels a bit awkward about the whole self-promotion concept), and she would recommend that anyone who is thinking about applying give it a go! Keep in touch with Sharon on Twitter @SharonHook12 This member profile was adapted from CSIRO and STA profiles...
November 26, 2019
Dr Katelyn Edge is a Senior Operations Officer at the NSW Environmental Protection Agency. As a part of the Incident and Emergency Coordination Unit, Dr Edge combines environmental toxicology and emergency management expertise to provide scientific advice during pollution incidents. Dr Edge’s provides advice in these emergencies to reduce the effects to human health and the environment during the response and recovery phases of disasters. Dr Edge has been a SETAC AU member for the last 8 years and is currently the Strategic Directions Officer. She is at Science Meets Parliament this year and hopes to raise the profile of SETAC to influence the future of science in Australia. You can keep in touch with her on twitter and ResearchGate....
November 26, 2019
Drew is undertaking a PhD at the University of Melbourne investigating the environmental fate and ecological impacts of surface water derived emerging contaminants. He’s been involved with SETAC Australasia for two years and has already served on the national council as the Student Representative. The chance to learn about how the government uses science to form policy motivated Drew to apply for Science Meets Parliament, saying “in my brief time as a student member and council representative of SETAC, I quickly learnt that the integration of academics, government and industry is extremely important to the impact of science in Australia and around the world”. Drew sampling the water for plankton for PFAS analysis in Coles Bay, Tasmania Drew has already had a taste of this, meeting STA president Professor Emma Johnston at the SETAC Australasia conference in Darwin earlier this year, who gave insights on some of the politics of scientific research. He’s also interested in meeting some of the chief scientists of research organisations like the NMI, AAD, and CSRIO, and his local member Adam Bandt MP. He hopes this is the right environment to learn skills “to not only contribute to my field, but one day lead my peers, as many of the attendees to Science meets Parliament currently do.”. Drew wants to use this opportunity to develop the skills needed to communicate science to the public and public representatives – something critically important to our society as we manage new and emerging contaminants in our environment. Keep in touch with Drew vis his ORCiD and ResearchGate profiles....
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