Student Council Members 

 

 

SETAC UK Student Council works alongside the SETAC UK Council to create the an annual meeting in relation to student activities. The SETAC Student Council also engages with the student community via the SETAC UK website and regular social media posts (co-ordinating with the SETAC UK Communication Officer). Some of the Council Members also have extra core responsibilities.

The SETAC UK Student Council has regular teleconference meetings (bimonthly or monthly near to an event) and is not required to have face to face meetings.

Taylor Lane
President
University of York 

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.

Oliver Flannagan
Vice President
University of Southampton

Oli graduated in 2019 from the University of Portsmouth with a 1st Class BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree. His undergraduate research project aimed to measure the uptake of dissolved uranium by freshwater algae in the River Fal, Cornwall; which is affected by historic uranium and on-going clay mining. With the increasing global need for nuclear fuel sources understanding the biogeochemical behaviour and mobility of liberated naturally occurring radioisotopes needs to be explored to minimise the potential for long-term contamination of freshwater systems by these chemotoxic and radiotoxic materials. The project attempted to isolate algae from suspended solids using density fractionation in colloidal silica and compare uranium concentrations between digested algal and unfiltered water fractions. Post-graduation, Oli went on to study an MRes at the University of Southampton.

Harrison Frost
Council Member
University of Sussex

Harrison graduated from the University of Reading in 2017, with a 1st Class BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science. During this time, he developed a keen interest in heavy metal pollution, which culminated in a research project exploring the capacity of surface-modified biochar to remove aqueous contaminants from water. Harrison continued his studies at Reading, graduating again in 2018 with an MSc in Environmental Pollution, where he achieved a distinction. His dissertation project involved fortifying biochar with the micronutrient zinc. During a series of pot experiments, this zinc-fortified biochar was found to be just as effective at providing plant-available zinc to ryegrass as a conventional zinc fertiliser. 

 

Harrison is currently a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Surrey. He is investigating how microplastics interact with inorganic metals and metalloids in wastewater. The laundering of synthetic clothing is a vastly understudied diffuse source of microplastic fibres, which contaminate wastewater streams. During wastewater treatment, microplastics are exposed to elevated concentrations of heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead. The majority of these microplastics remain in the solid sewage sludge fraction, most of which (in the UK) is spread on agricultural soils. Harrison is investigating the potential for these microplastic fibres to adsorb, or leach out, potentially toxic metals and metalloids. He also aims to understand how microplastics may change the bioavailability of potentially toxic metal(loid)s to organisms in agricultural soils, especially earthworms.

 

 

Innocent Iba
Council Member
University of Aberdeen

Innocent had previously studied Biochemistry specialising in Biochemical Toxicology before reading for a PhD in Environmental Science at the University of Aberdeen. His thesis is on environmental biogeochemistry. His research is based on the observation of recent upward trends in the production of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a source of great concern because of its impact on climate change; the global warming potential of nitrous oxide is estimated to be over three hundred times more than the corresponding quantity of carbon dioxide. The research aim is to identify the drivers of nitrous oxide production in organisms previously considered to be ammonifiers. The work is exploring the mechanistic pathways to understand the fate of the produced nitrous oxide in the environment using stable isotope techniques. Innocent is very concerned about global warming.

Prior to this, Innocent researched the effect of xenobiotics on water quality, which was focused on anthropogenic activities in commercial, industrial and residential catchments. He consequently developed a heavy metal remediation technique using the sorption process on acid modified agro-fibres. His work has been published in academic journals and presented at conferences.

Maria Staines
Communications Officer
University of Portsmouth

Maria is currently undertaking an MRes at the School of Environment, Geography and Geosciences at the University of Portsmouth. Her MRes focuses on trace metal, plastic and organic carbon and nitrogen pollution in Langstone Harbour and whether it likely results from the nearby stormwater outflow of the wastewater treatment facility . Maria graduated in 2019 with a 1st Class BSc (Hons) Environmental Science dregree also from the university of Portsmouth. Her undergraduate research project was in partnership with Alex Thompson Racing and 5°West, assessing sustainable waste treatment strategies for carbon fibre sailing boat materials. The toxic trace metal concentrations found in marine paint particles, which increasingly enters the marine environment, can alter salinity and dissolved oxygen levels. This leads to devastating effects to marine organisms. Chemical analysis will determine the concentrations of trace metals in the marine paints, with the aim of reducing their use and therefore toxicological effects. Due to the increasing demand and use of carbon fibre reinforced polymers, the materials will inevitably accumulate in landfill. This disposal is progressively being deterred by legislation, with industry becoming more in favour of sustainable options. The project will provide an environmental assessment into the reduction of toxic paints and methods of re-use, and recycling of carbon fibre. 

© 2023 by SETAC UK Branch.