Council Members 

The SETAC UK Branch constitution requires that the Council has a President, Secretary, Treasurer and Student Representative, plus Council Members representing different sectors. Typically this includes 3 members each from government (G), business (B) and academia (A), (13 members in total). It is possible to count the executive roles from the sector, and the branch often operates with 9 members + student representative (10 people).

 

Each year the SETAC UK Council has a minimum of two face to face meetings (usually in London). Teleconferences are also interspersed between the face to face meetings.

Dr Michelle Bloor (A)
President

Michelle has a PhD in Environmental Engineering and specialises in aquatic ecotoxicology and pollution remediation. From June 2008 to December 2019 she worked at the University of Portsmouth and during that time gained promotion from Senior Lecturer to Principal Lecturer: Programme Manager for Environmental Science at the School of Earth and Environmental Science (SEES), followed by Principal Lecturer: Programme Lead for Geography and Environment at the School of Environment, Geography and Geosciences (SEGGS), (and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy). In December 2019, Michelle returned permanently to Aberdeen where her family home is located and now works as an academic at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and is also working on a project for the Scottish Government connected to the National Marine Plan. Pre 2008, she worked for the Fisheries Research Service (Scottish Government Executive Agency) and the University of Southampton.

 

Michelle has published a book and a substantial number of journal articles on topics related to her research. She is Senior editor of the Cogent Environmental Science journal, is on the editorial board of World International, International Journal of Earth and Environmental Science, and Advances in Environment and Pollution Research. She is a reviewer for the NERC and British Council’s Newton Fund and is a toxicity expert for the Science Media Centre. Michelle is the elected incoming Vice President of SETAC Europe (commencing the Vice President role in May 2020 and President role in May 2021) and a member of the SETAC Europe Executive Committee. Michelle is Chair of the SETAC Europe Awards Committee and ‘goalkeeper’ for SETAC Europe’s Strategic Goal 4 (Awards and Funding Provision), Co-Chair of the SETAC Europe Finance Committee, Past-Chair of the Education Committee and is a member of several other SETAC World and Europe Committees, including the Science Committee. Michelle has completed the Aurora Leadership Programme (AdvanceHE) and has since become an Aurora Mentor. She is also a member of the Scottish Freshwater Group and Institute of Environmental Science.

 

Michelle has edited special issues for Hydrobiologia and the International Journal of Zoology. She has been selected to sit on NERC Research Moderating Panels and participate in NERC Scoping Workshops. She has also acted as an Expert Referee for the Research Council of Norway’s CLIMIT Funding Programme, Outer Board Member for the Irish Research Council Postdoctoral International Assessment Board and  a reviewer for Advanced HE Teaching Excellence Awards (NTFS and CATE). 

Dr Kirit Wadhia (B)
Council Member

Kirit works for National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and is an experienced ecotoxicologist with a wide range of skills, and knowledge of the chemical industry. His role involves technical sales and business development, as well as direct consultancy on specific projects. He represents Fjords Processing on European Oilfield Speciality Chemicals Association (EOSCA) and on the UK Chemical Working Group. Kirit has previous work at Fjords Processing, Sheffield University, ALcontrol Laboratories, NCIMB Ltd and Fjords Processing. He has been an active member of the UK’s MCERTS Direct Toxicity Assessment (DTA) Steering Committee, Standing Committee of Analysts (SCA), International Symposium on Toxicity Assessment (ISTA) and the Society for Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety (SECOTOX), and represents the British Standards Institution (BSI) on the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Committees. Kirit was also the SETAC UK President between 2011 and 2016, and a SETAC Europe Council Member between 2016 and 2019.

Dr Christopher Green (G)
Council Member

Chris is an ecotoxicologist interested in interdisciplinary research to identify potential chemical hazards and to mitigate their risk. He worked with Brunel University assessing the efficacy of wastewater treatment technologies and studied the impacts of endocrine disrupting chemicals on sexual development in fish during his PhD. During his post-doc he provided scientific advisory on plastic pollution for the documentary film A Plastic Ocean and collaborating with a social scientist to better understand public perceptions of this environmental issue and how the risks it poses are communicated by the media. He also ran public engagement events and collaborated with citizen scientists of the eXXpedition Round Britain trip and the University of Hull to analyse microplastics in mussels and flame retardants in seawater. Having transferred into the world of regulation he is now part of Defra’s International Chemicals Team at Defra where he is involved in chemicals policy and engagement with the OECD Test Guidelines Programme for the development of ecotoxicity tests for chemical hazard assessment.

Dr Liz Nicol (B)
Council Member 

Liz is a Senior Chemical Policy Consultant at Amec Foster Wheeler and is responsible for evaluating the implications of changing legislation or regulation of chemicals at the UK and EU level. Before this, she worked on a range of water quality projects, including the use of chemical source apportionment models to inform regulation of emissions of persistent pollutants and modelling the remediation and longevity of legacy contaminants in the environment. Liz previously completed a PhD in Ecotoxicology and Population biology at Brunel University where she investigated the effect of steroid hormones on fish populations and has also worked in research positions at both UCL and Imperial. She is also a STEM ambassador and member of the WISE campaign for gender balance in science, technology and engineering.

Dr Andy Smith (G)
Council Member  

Andy has worked in the Conservation, Water and Environmental Science fields since the 1990’s. He has over 15 years’ experience as an ecotoxicologist working mainly in marine research and test application, and leads a team of ecotoxicologists at Cefas, the government’s marine science agency. Andy started as a fieldwork specialist moving into lab and desk based science, and has worked on a diverse range of projects, from Endocrine disruption in European Flounder to Pharmaceutical Impact studies to Monitoring for evidence of contamination events for overseas Governments. He is part of the BSI, and ISO expert panels for Water Quality, Biological methods and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. Currently his work is involved with water quality and contamination issues in the middle east and in small island developing states. Andy is also a part of the Reading University THRIVE mentoring team, and the Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas (CCSUS), based at UEA.

Prof Dave Spurgeon (G)
Council Member 

Is an experienced ecotoxicological researcher who has worked on assessing the effects of anthropogenic stressors and pollution on soil communities for over 25 years. Following a PhD studentship and post-doc at Reading University (1991-1997) and NERC Advanced Fellowship at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (1998-2003), he has worked at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Monks Wood/Wallingford) on research projects to understand the responses of soil communities to pollution. Current areas of work included developing risk assessment schemes for nanomaterials; modelling the chemistry and bioavailability of nanomaterials during waste treatment and after release to soils; the use of physiological traits to assess species sensitivity to chemical hazards; the measurement and predictive modelling of the toxicity of mixtures; and the application of genetic and epigenetic approaches to understand adaptation to long-term exposure. To date he has published 130 ISI papers (>H’ index of 52), as well as other outputs including new model software, policy reports, media and web content. He is a visiting Professor at Reading University. 

Dr Laura Carter (A)
Council Member 

Laura an Environmental Chemist with an interest in the fate and uptake of emerging contaminants in the natural environment, with a particular focus on soil-plant systems.

Since completing her PhD at The University of York, Laura has spent time as a Risk Assessor at Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) and as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Adelaide, Australia where she investigated the biological effects of pharmaceutical uptake into plants. Laura returned to work as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of York in 2015, where she contributed to the European iPiE project on the intelligent assessment of pharmaceuticals in the environment. Laura is now based at the University of Leeds and was appointed as a University Academic Fellow under the 250 Great Minds Initiative in 2018.

Since starting at the University of Leeds Laura has been awarded a £1.2 M Future Leaders Fellowship to start a research programme on ‘Contaminants of Emerging Concern: A Risk to Soil and Plant Health?’ Laura has presented her research at a number of international conferences, published her work in peer reviewed journals and co-authored a book chapter. Laura currently supervises a number of PhD projects investigating the fate, uptake and toxicity of pharmaceuticals and microplastics in aquatic and terrestrial systems whilst taking on an active role in the SETAC Pharmaceutical Global Interest Group.

Dr Thomas Miller (A)
Council Member 

Thomas Miller is a postdoctoral research associate at King’s College London and currently holds a PhD in Environmental Toxicology (KCL). Previous taught degrees include a MSc in Analytical Chemistry and a BSc (Hons) in Biology. His interdisciplinary research is currently focussed on the impact of environmental micropollutants on aquatic wildlife. Thomas is currently a named co-investigator on a BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award (IPA) held with AstraZeneca and the Francis-Crick Institute (ref: BB/P005187/1). The research will focus on the development of high-throughput screening methods for the analysis of pharmaceuticals and their impact on the metabolome and phenotypic traits.

Dr Sean Comber (A)
Council Member 

Sean has over 30 years’ experience in the environmental industry working as a Principal Consultant at the Water Research Centre (WRc), Atkins and for the past 8 years, as a Reader at the University of Plymouth. Sean specialises in the pathways, fate & behaviour of chemicals (metals, nutrients, organics) within the aquatic environment from point and diffuse sources. His experience spans field, laboratory and desk-based research, with over 100 peer reviewed journal papers published across these subject areas. Sean’s research group includes a number of PhD students and post doctorate researchers predominantly funded via industry and stakeholder collaborations including Astra Zeneca, International Zinc Association, Copper Alliance, Natural England, Saputo, Wessex Water and the Westcountry Rivers Trust. Recent research has been centred on the biogeochemistry of phosphorus within the UK aquatic environment, pharmaceutical sources and fate in soils and water of developing countries discharging or reusing untreated wastewater and metal speciation in saline waters. Sean provides technical support and critical review for the UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) multimillion pound Chemical Investigation Programme (CIP) and Source Apportionment-GIS (SAGIS) projects. At the University of Plymouth Sean teaches on undergraduate and post graduate programmes and manages the MSc in Environmental Consultancy.  

Miss Olivia Harrod (G)
Council Member 
Miss Rhea Shears (B)
Secretary 

Olivia graduated with First Class Honours in Environmental Science at University of Portsmouth in 2019, and she is currently a civil servant. During her degree, she undertook a twelve month  industrial placement as a laboratory technician with Chemex Environmental International, based in Cambridge. During that time, she also collect data for her final year project. The title of her project was ‘Investigating the Viability of two Wastewater Inoculum for use in a Freshwater Variant of the BOD test for Insoluble Substances’.

 

Olivia currently works as a chemical risk advisor within the Offshore Chemical Notification Scheme at Cefas. Her role involves the assessment and registration of chemicals used in the North Sea oil and gas activities. However, she is currently on secondment to Defra's Marine Evidence team to provide assistance in managing and maintain the department’s budget.

Rhea undertook both her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Portsmouth. She graduated with a First Class Environmental Science degree and a Masters of Research in ecotoxicology, in which she achieved a Distinction, and focused on aquatic pollution from pharmaceuticals. Her research involved developing a novel video tracking approach to identify behavioural changes at a range of doses. 

Rhea now works for Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) the largest international industry funded co-operative that deals with response and preparedness as an oil spill responder. In her current role, she assists with client facing activities - advising members through both exercises and spills, as well as being hands on with the most appropriate response techniques, to minimise the recovery impact. Rhea also works with the dispersant core group at OSRL and collaborates on the current ecotoxicology research advances within oil spill response.

Dr Kristi Tatsi (B)
Council Member

Kristi is a Global Regulatory Ecotoxicologist at Corteva Agriscience. Her interests include terrestrial ecotoxicology, the application of predictive tools in hazard assessment and science communication. Prior to her current role, Kristi worked for a consultancy providing scientific support to the petrochemical and general chemical industries for the purposes of environmental risk assessment and compliance with the REACH regulation.

Kristi received her BSc in Environmental Sciences (First Class Honours) and PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Plymouth.  For her undergraduate dissertation, Kristi collaborated with the Environment Agency to measure the concentrations of thallium at historic mining sites in Cornwall over a six-month monitoring period and she subsequently assessed the toxicity of thallium to early-life stage fish, invertebrates and algae. For her PhD thesis, Kristi investigated the biological effects of surface modified engineered nanomaterials on soil organisms. During the studentship, Kristi teamed up with colleagues to organise a public science communication event and a lecture series to enhance public engagement in science. Kristi has published her research and presented it at numerous scientific conferences.

Mr David Mitchell (B)
Council Member

David is Director of Ecotoxicology at Smithers Environmental Risk Services in Harrogate. He provides scientific leadership and managerial direction for environmental ecotoxicology, comprising aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicology. Having moved from a career in food science where he managed multiple testing sites for a number of companies including Eurofins and ALcontrol over a 20 year period, David has for the last three years led a team of scientists providing a range of GLP testing services in support of regulated products in the crop protection, pharmaceutical and industrial chemical industries. 

Taylor Lane
President
Student Council

Taylor is a PhD student in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York. His research is investigating how abiotic factors in water and sediment influence chemical fate and uptake into organisms with diverse species traits. Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Taylor completed a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Environmental Toxicology while studying at the University of Saskatchewan. During his BSc, Taylor became interested in research whilst volunteering with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama.

 

After his BSc graduation, Taylor worked as a research technician at the Toxicology Centre at the University of Saskatchewan on a project that characterised the toxicity of a diamond mine effluent to freshwater organisms across multiple trophic levels. He then began his MSc research which focused on the development of an embryo injection exposure model for studying the effects of maternal transfer of selenium in early life stage fish. Throughout his time at the Toxicology Centre, Taylor was able to assist and collaborate on many different projects involving MSc, PhD and post-doctoral researchers, such as volunteering at the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre, collecting sediment cores from Buffalo Pound Lake to assess phosphorous efflux and the EcoToxChip project. These experiences have inspired and motivated him to continue to conduct research within the field of environmental toxicology and chemistry.

© 2023 by SETAC UK Branch.