Marc Amyot (University of Montreal)

Marc Amyot is a full professor in biological sciences at Université de Montréal and holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Change Ecotoxicology. His chair’s mandate is to understand the movement and transformation of contaminants in a changing world. Key areas of expertise include the change in metal(oid) speciation, mobility, bioavailability, bioaccumulation and trophic transfer at different latitudes, resulting from climate change and other anthropogenic activities. Also of interest are processes occurring during human digestion of contaminated traditional food in Indigenous communities. Finally, his lab develops biological remediation technologies for soil decontamination, adapted to northern conditions. These technologies are based on an integrated ecological approach and uses local products, in a circular economy perspective.

Contact: m.amyot@umontreal.ca

Alexandre Poulain (Department of Biology, University of Ottawa)

Prof. Dr. Alexandre Poulain is a Full Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Ottawa and the Associate Director of the Undergraduate Programme in Environmental Science. He is an elected member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. He was an invited scientist at the National Institute for Minamata Disease (2015), a President’s International Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) (2019-2020), and currently is an invited scientist at the CAS Institute of Geochemistry in Guiyang (2019-2024). His lab is interested in how microbes sense and transform metals, particularly for detoxification, how such processes evolved, and how this information can be used to develop novel analytical and bioremediation tools. Alexandre started studying Mercury biogeochemistry in 2000;  he contributed to the Canadian Contaminant Assessment Report, the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda Report and the Arctic Monitoring Assessment Program. He has work as a grant reviewer and panel expert member for various European and North American agencies. He has directly supervised or co-supervised the work of 4 postdocs, 9 PhD, 11MSc and 40 undergraduate research students, published > 70 peer reviewed scientific articles, opinion or review papers, produced 2 patents, and attended > 30 invited seminars and conferences.

Contact: apoulain@uottawa.ca

Eisaku Toda (Minamata Convention Secretariat)

Mr. Eisaku Toda serves as senior programme officer at the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, United Nations Environment Programme, since July 2017. He is responsible for scientific and technical matters regarding the implementation of the Convention, covering the lifecycle of mercury such as supply, trade, use in products and processes, emission, releases, storage, waste and contaminated sites. He joined UN Environment in July 2015 as the Head of Technology and Metals Partnership Unit, Chemicals and Waste Branch, to take charge of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership, Global Mercury Assessment, elimination of lead in paint, and sound recycling of lead batteries.

Before joining UN Environment, he worked in several positions in the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, including the Director of the International Strategy Division, Chemical Evaluation Office, Risk Assessment Office and Market Mechanism Office. During this time, he served in a number of international initiatives such as member of the Adaptation Committee under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, vice-president of the International Conference on Chemicals Management, and chair of the Working Group on Test Guidelines of OECD. From 2001 to 2004, he worked in OECD on chemicals test guidelines and risk assessments.

Contact: eisaku.toda@un.org

Lesley Sloss (Clean Coal Center)

Dr Lesley Sloss is an internationally recognized expert on the clean use of coal and unconventional gas in the energy sector, having provided expert independent guidance and recommendations to, among others, the UK Government, the European Commission, the US State Department, and the Governments of Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia. She co-leads the United Nations Environment Program’s Coal Partnership Area, acting as a senior independent scientific advisor to all stages of negotiations on the UNEP Minamata Convention. She currently runs projects and workshops in emerging economies on clean energy options, funded by the US Department of State.

Contact: lesleysloss@gmail.com

Jacqueline Alvarez (UNEP)

Jacqueline Alvarez joined the Chemicals and Waste Branch in August 2015 as the leader of the Knowledge and Risk unit. The Unit’s strategic focus is to support countries in the environmentally sound management of chemicals and waste throughout their life cycle including emerging issues, assessment of risks and monitoring of trends to keep the environment under review.

Jacqueline started her career in the Ministry of Environment of Uruguay in the field of chemicals and waste. She worked on chemical safety, risk assessments, policy development, national and regional work programmes implementation, projects and plans management, measures and strategies. In 2009, she joined UNEP as the Regional Focal Point for Chemicals and Waste in Latin America and the Caribbean region and since March 2011 Jacqueline worked for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat in its Technical Assistance Branch.

Parisa Ariya (McGill University)

Dr. Parisa A. Ariya is a James McGill Professor of Chemistry, and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill University (Canada).  Her laboratory’s mission is to explore fundamental and applied research questions on chemical and physical processes involving aerosols, as well as organic and metal pollutants of relevance to the Earth’s atmosphere and its interfaces (air-snow/ice/water/soil). They also develop novel sustainable technology (natural nanoparticles, energy-neutral, and recyclable) for air and water pollution remediation, & innovative remote nanotechnology for ultra-trace detection of gaseous and particulate matter. Her lab’s direct research contributions are to the fields of physical and analytical chemistry, climate change, sustainable chemistry and technology, air pollution, nanoscience, environmental health, and medicine.

Contact: parisa.ariya@mcgill.ca

Frances Ligler (North Carolina State University)

Frances S. Ligler is the Ross Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University and School of Medicine and College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an elected member, past chair of the Bioengineering Section, and former Councillor of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Prior to joining NC State and UNC Chapel Hill in 2013, she was at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for 28 years, during the last 18 of which she was the U.S. Navy Senior Scientist for Biosensors and Biomaterials. She earned a B.S. from Furman University and both a D.Phil. and a D.Sc. from Oxford University. Currently working in the fields of biosensors, tissue-on-chip, and microfluidics, she has also performed research in biochemistry, immunology, and analytical chemistry. She has over 400 full-length publications and patents, which have led to eleven commercial biosensor products and have been cited over 19000 times with H=80 (Google Scholar). She is the winner of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award, the National Drug Control Policy Technology Transfer Award, the Chemical Society of Washington, D.C. Hillebrand Award, the Navy Merit Award, the NRL Technology Transfer Award, five NRL Edison Awards for Patent of the Year, the Furman University Bell Tower, Distinguished Alumni of the 20th Century, and Carl Kohrt Distinguished Alumni Awards, the national Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Outstanding Achievement in Science Award, the 2017 Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Analytical Chemistry (American Chemical Society), and the North Carolina State University Innovator of the Year Award for academic year 2017-2018. She serves as an Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry and on editorial/advisory boards for Biosensors & Bioelectronics and ACS Sensors. Elected an SPIE Fellow in 2000, a Fellow of AIMBE in 2011, a Fellow of AAAS in 2013, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2016, and an Honorary Member of the Hellenic Society for Nanotechnology in Health Sciences in 2017, she serves on the organizing committee for the World Biosensors Congress and the permanent steering committee for Europt(r)odes, the European Conference on Optical Sensors. In 2003, she was awarded the Homeland Security Award (Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Field) by the Christopher Columbus Foundation and the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Senior Professional by President Bush. In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Senior Professional by President Obama. In 2014 and 2018, she was awarded honorary doctorates from the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece and Furman University, respectively. She is a 2017 inductee of the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame, honored for her invention of portable optical biosensors. In 2020, she received the Simon Ramo Founders Award from the National Academy of Engineering “For the invention and development of portable optical biosensors, service to the nation and profession, and educating the next, more diverse generation of engineers.”

Contact: fsligler@ncsu.edu

Dario Acha Cordero (Universidad Mayor de San Andres, Bolivia)

Since 2010, I am a professor at the Institute of Ecology (IE)- Biology Department, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA). In 2010 I obtained my Ph.D. in Environmental and Life Sciences at Trent University, Ontario – Canada. In 2004 I obtained my Licentiate on Biological Sciences at Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz – Bolivia. My work is centered on understanding the role that microorganisms and biota in general play in the biochemical cycle of contaminants (Hg, S, As, C, N, and P) and natural elements in aquatic environments. I also work to understand how global change influences biogeochemical cycles. My most recent work is slowly moving towards bioremediation and alternatives to applying our understanding of biogeochemistry to solve environmental pollution and eutrophication.  Although I worked in boreal lakes and tropical low-lands, my current research interest is mostly focused on the tropical high-lands and endorheic systems. I am the leading researcher in five different projects (two international) and took part in at least seven other projects. I co-authored 25 research articles, 17 international communications, have 585 citations, H index: 12 (GoogleScholar), 9 (Scopus). I supervised 7 master thesis, 10 undergraduate theses, and the opponent to 1 Ph.D. thesis.

Contact: dacha@fcpn.edu.bo

Nil Basu (McGill University)

Dr. Nil Basu holds a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Environmental Health Sciences and is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at McGill University’s Macdonald campus.  He is jointly appointed in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and in the School of Human Nutrition.  He is also an Associate Member of McGill’s Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, as well as the McGill School of Environment.   He is a member of CINE (Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment), and it is in the CINE Building in which his office and main laboratory are based. Prior to joining McGill in 2013, he was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor (2007-2013).  He holds an Adjunct Professorship at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

 

Dr. Basu obtained his Bachelors of Science (BSc) degree from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) where he specialized in Environmental Sciences and Life Sciences (advisor: Dr. Peter Hodson).  A Masters of Science (MSc) degree was then obtained from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC) where he studied the relationships between chemical pollution and physiological stress responses (advisor: Dr. George Iwama).  He received a NSERC Fellowship to conduct his doctoral (PhD) research at McGill University’s Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE).  At CINE, his research focused on the impacts of mercury and other toxic environmental chemicals on ecosystem health and aboriginal health (advisor: Dr. Laurie Chan).  He next spent two years as a NSERC Postdoctoral Scholar with Environment Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service in Ottawa (advisor: Dr. Tony Scheuhammer), as well as the Center for Advanced Research in Environmental Genomics (CAREG) at the University of Ottawa (advisor: Dr. Vance Trudeau).


The goal of Dr. Basu’s research is to take an ecosystem approach to community, occupational, and environmental health whereby evidence is collected, scrutinized, and compared from both humans and ecological organisms (see other sections of this website, notably MissionProjects, and Publications).  The research has been supported by more than 45 grants totalling over $35 million, largely coming from Federal sources (e.g., NSERC, US National Institutes of Health, Environment Canada, US Environmental Protection Agency, Genome Canada).  The research has been covered by a number of news outlets, including NPR, Associated Press, Discovery Channel, Bloomberg News, and the Guardian, and documentaries have been produced by UK Channel 4 and France’s Extinction TV.  The group has published over 170 peer-reviewed publications and delivered over 400 scientific presentations (including >60 invited ones). Dr. Basu has provided mentorship to over 100 trainees, including 15 visiting scholars, 18 postdoctoral fellows, and 12 PhD students.  Dr. Basu has sat on a number of grant review panels (e.g., US EPA STAR program, Deepwater Horizon), organized and chaired numerous scientific sessions at national and international conferences, and serves as an Editor or Editorial Board Member of key journals in the field (Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Environment International, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety).  In recent years Dr. Basu has assumed roles to help build capacity and link academic, government, NGO, and/or industry partners.  For example, he helped co-organize meetings in the Great Lakes (170 scientists and policy makers; 300,000 data points; 35 peer-reviewed papers), Aamjiwnaang First Nation (~25+ scientists, community members and leaders), and Ghana/West Africa (35+ experts from government, industry, NGOs, universities, and communities).

Contact: niladri.basu@mcgill.ca

Jiubin Chen (Tianjin University, China)

Jiubin Chen is a professor at the School of Earth-System Science, Institute of Surface-Earth System Science (ISESS) of Tianjin University (China). He completed an undergraduate degree in Earth science in the Changchun Institute of Geology in China. He earned both his Master (DEA) and PhD degrees at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, University Paris 7 (France), where he studied the geochemistry of metal isotopes (Zn, Fe, Cu) in river system, and this was followed by a post-doc at Trent University (Canada) on Hg isotopes. He then worked in the Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGCAS) in Guiyang (China). Currently, he studies the geochemistry of metal isotopes, focusing on methodology development, fractionation mechanisms and experiments, and potential applications to different environments such as soil, atmosphere and aquatic systems. He has developed methods for purifying Zn, Hg, Sb and Ga from geological matrices for precise isotope analysis for tracing pollution sources and for understanding the biogeochemical cycling of metals.

Contact: jbchen@tju.edu.cn

Lynwill Martin (South African Weather Service)

Dr Lynwill Martin is a senior researching scientist at the South African Weather Service’s Global Atmosphere Watch station at Cape Point. He has a MSc in Environmental-Analytical Chemistry from Stellenbosch University and a PhD in Electrochemistry from the University of the Western Cape where he graduated in 2013. His research centres on long-term monitoring of greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants, including mercury. His work combines atmospheric models and measurements with the overarching goal of increasing fundamental understanding of the impacts of human activity and natural processes on the atmosphere. Currently he is the project coordinator of the South African Mercury Network (SAMNet), that started in April 2020 which aim is to establish new monitoring stations throughout the country. SAMNet is the first coordinated mercury program in South Africa involving academia, industry and government. He is a member of the UNEP Air Fate and Transport Partnership and the chairperson of the 15th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant, which will take place in Cape Town in July 2022.

Contact: Lynwill.Martin@weathersa.co.za

Terry J. Keating (US Environmental Protection Agency)

Growing up in Los Angeles, the nation’s smog capital, Terry Keating developed a strong interest in the science and policy of controlling air pollution. He began working on air pollution issues as a field research assistant and an unpaid government intern during his undergraduate studies in environmental science at the University of California at Riverside. Terry went on to get a master’s degree in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and returned to L.A. to work in air quality consulting. After 3.5 years working for industrial and government clients, Terry returned to graduate school in Chapel Hill where he received a Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering with a minor in public policy analysis. After finishing his dissertation, Terry entered the itinerant scholar phase of his career spending one year at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on a project exploring the use of science in international environmental agreements and then moving to Washington DC on a fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science to work at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At the end of his two-year fellowship, Terry was hired full time at the EPA and now works as an advisor to senior management on a variety of issues ranging from the implementation of ozone and fine particle standards, to the intercontinental transport of air pollutants and the linkages between air quality and climate change.

Contact: Keating.Terry@epa.gov

Prof. Dr. Saša Novak Krmpotič (JSI, JSIPS)

Education:

  • MSC in Chemistry, University of Ljubljana
  • PhD in Chemistry, University of Ljubljana

Current positions:

  • Scientific Advisor at the Department for Nanostructured Materials of the Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia (http://nano.ijs.si/) ; part time
  • Full Professor at the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana, https://www.mps.si/en/, Lecturer in Science Communication and mentor to postgraduate students; part time
  • Director of the Science on the Street, Institute for the promotion of Science, Ljubljana (https://znc.si/english/); not employed
  • Partly retired

Awards

  • State (Zois) Award for Significant Scientific Advances in Materials, 2013
  • State (Zois) Award for Technology Achievement, 2003
  • Recognition by the Slovenian Science Foundation “Finalist of the National Choice Communicator of Science”, 2014

Leadership, involvement in professional and other associations

  • Member of the National Equal Opportunities Commission in the field of Science
  • Member of the National Commission for Women in Science L’Oreal-Unesco
  • Vice-President (2017-18) and President (2016) of the Slovenian Academic Society of Technical and Natural Sciences (SATENA)
  • Public Information Officer of the Slovenian Fusion Association (2005- )
  • Member of the European Fusion Information Network FuseCOM
  • Member of committees of international conferences
  • Leader of national and international research projects
  • Leader of national science promotion-related projects

Main areas of research:

Processing, composites, biomaterials, structural materials, science communication

Bibliography

Innovations:

  • 2 international patents (EU, US), 1 EU patent application, 5 national patents
  • 2 technical improvements
  • 3 license agreements

Mentorship

  • Completed: 7 PhDs, 2 Masters Degrees, 5 Graduate Theses
  • in progress: 3 PhDs, 1 Master’s degree

Contact: sasa.novakk@gmail.com, sasa@znc.si