Group Leader: Jochen Mueller
Senior collaborators: Beate Escher & Caroline Gaus

Objective

Evaluate human and environmental exposure and establish a link to disease.

  • To develop the tools, programmes, and infrastructures that allow us to assess temporal and spatial trends of chemical pollutants in the environment & people (including establishing long term monitoring programmes and sample archives).
  • To develop, validate and implement new monitoring tools covering sampling methods as well as state of the art analytical methods.
  • To evaluate human and environmental exposure (including exposure pathways) to emerging pollutants and use new analytical techniques to identify new potential hazards.
  • To develop strategies for assessing links between disease and pollutant body burden.

 

Research Topics

Development and calibration of aquatic passive samplers for emerging pollutants, estimating illicit drug use through waste water monitoring, evaluating sources, fate and human body burden of traditional and emerging chemicals (POPs, PFCs, PBDEs), emission of toxic chemicals from bushfires, long term monitoring programmes in air and water, environmental specimen bank.

 

Some Highlights/Accomplishments

Graduations: Laurence Hearn, graduated with PhD in 2013 “Brominated Flame Retardants: Industrial Emissions and Exposure”; Foon Yin Lai submitted her PhD thesis; Amy Heffernan and Sarit Kaserzon undertook their thesis reviews; Jake O’Brien, Celery Chen, Xianyu Wang (Fisher) completed their PhD confirmation milestones; Andrew Banks graduated MEnv and Andrew Novic graduated BEnvMan with first class Honours.

Our team: New group members in 2013 include postdoctoral research fellow Dr Daniel Drage and research assistants Yan Li and Soumini Vijayasarathy. Visitors to the group in 2013 included Prof Dr Adrian Covaci and his student Nele van Den Eede from University of Antwerp, Belgium; Dr Lesa Aylward Principal of Summit Toxicology; Professor Seppo Auriola, University of Eastern Finland; Dr Matt MacLeod and Naomi Lubick, Stockholm University

Travel: Phong Thai visited Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology in Japan; Jake O’Brien visited EAWAG, Dubendorf, Switzerland while stationed at the Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands during his INTERFLAME exchange; Michael Gallen visited Thermo Fisher in Bremen for specialised DFS instrument training; Amy Heffernan attended and presented at Environmental Health Conference in Basel, Switzerland and visited Hohenheim University, Germany, to work with Sarit Kaserzon during her DAAD-G08 funded travel to encourage Australian - German collaborations; the end of year wrapped up with a group retreat at the Gold Coast in December 2013.

Other news: Samples have been stored in our expanding Environmental Specimen Banks with the new ESB2   (-20oC) and ESB3 (-80oC) freezers; the ENVM3211 course at UQ continued in its second year with Jochen and Christine Baduel.

 

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