Keynote Speakers

An impressive lineup of 11 internationally recognized keynote speakers will address various aspects of environmental science. Learn more about each speaker below.

Sunday, 15 September

Kurunthachalam Kannan

Biomonitoring of Human Exposure Trace Organic Chemicals

New York State Department of Health, United States

7:30 p.m.–8:15 p.m. | Room: Arcos

Kurunthachalam Kannan is the Deputy Director of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health in Albany, New York. He is a professor at the School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany. He holds appointments as a professor at Ehime University, Japan; King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia; and Nankai University, China. He is internationally known for his pioneering research work on contaminants in the environment. He has published over 650 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, 25 book chapters and co-edited a book. Kannan is one of the top 2 most highly cited researchers (ISI) in ecology and environment globally with an H-index of more than 100 (Google scholar). He is known for his work on the discovery of perfluorochemicals in the global environment, among several other discoveries. Currently his research is focused on biomonitoring of human exposure to organic pollutants. He is one of the top leaders in the field of human biomonitoring in the world and his laboratory is well funded by the U.S. federal government agencies such as National Institutes of Health (NIH). Kannan has had a stellar career throughout his life including winning gold medals for his top rank in undergraduate and graduate education. He has won several medals and awards in his academic career. Kannan is a recipient of several international awards and honors throughout his career and to name a few, he has won Governor’s gold medal in 1986 and SETAC’s Weston F. Roy Environmental Chemistry award in 1999. Recently he has been awarded by New York State Department of Health’s Sturman Award for Excellence in Research. He was the editor-in-chief of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety and editor of Chemosphere from 1999–2017.  He is an associate editor of several international peer-reviewed journals and is on the editorial board of several professional journals. He has mentored more than 15 Master’s and doctoral level students and advised more than 40 postdoctoral research associates in his laboratory and secured more than $25 million in research grants in the past 10 years. Kannan has given hundreds of invited lectures and keynote speeches in his career is well known internationally for his work on contaminants in the environment.

Monday, 16 September

Ricardo Barra

The Global Environment Outlook and Global Chemicals Outlook 2019: Challenges for the Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Latin America

University of Concepción, Chile

11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m. | Room: Arcos

Ricardo Barra received his biochemistry degree in 1988 from the Universidad de Concepción in Chile and his doctorate in Environmental Sciences from the same university in 1993. He has been a Marie Curie Fellow in postdoctoral research at the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Milan, Italy, during the period 1995–1996. Since 1993, Ricardo Barra has been a researcher and now full professor at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences/EULA-Chile Centre of the University of Concepción Chile. His areas of expertise are environmental pollution, the environmental fate of organic pollutants, ecotoxicology and regulatory toxicology. He was nominated  chemicals and waste panel member at the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environmental Facility (STAP GEF)  during 2014–2018 period. He contributed as author of the UN environment flagship report Global environment outlook GEO 6 released in March 2019 and also was part of the steering committee of the Global Chemicals Outlook II released in April 2019. He has published more than 100 scientific articles in international indexed journals. In 2018 he was appointed member of the Scientific Council of the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Center (ISC3), an independent center created by the Ministry of the Environment of Germany. SETAC member since 1997.

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Alexandre Arenzon

Ecotoxicology on Effluent Assessment Legislation: The Brazilian Example

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Room: Arcos

Dr. Alexandre Arenzon is the Head of the Ecotoxicology Laboratory of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil.  He first became involved with ecotoxicology research during his Master Course, whereupon he studied a Brazilian annual fish as an ecotoxicological model. Since then, he has been working in fish ecotoxicology. His current research is focused on the use of zebrafish in environmental toxicity test, mainly concerning the difference in sensitivity among embryos, larvae, and juveniles. Arenzon has also been working on toxicity tests on the evaluation of industrial effluents with different trophic levels for more than 25 years. Thus, based on his experience he has been presenting courses and speeches related to the use of ecotoxicological tests in the Brazilian effluent legislation. Dr. Alexandre Arenzon has been involved with the Brazilian Society of Ecotoxicology (Ecotox Brazil) Board of Directors, nowadays as the vice-president.

Dr. Arenzon received his bachelor in Biological Sciences degree from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and his Ph.D. in Ecology by the same University in 2004.

Patrick Parsons

Biomonitoring for Human Exposure to Toxic Metals and Metalloids: The Analysis of Non-Traditional Matrices

New York State Department of Health, United States

3:30 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Room: Arcos

Patrick Parsons is the Director of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences and Chief of the Laboratory of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry at the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center. He also a Professor of Environmental Chemistry in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University at Albany. Parsons gained his Ph.D. from the University of London, England, and was a Visiting Fellow at NIH. His current research focuses on how trace elements affect human health and how human biomonitoring can be used to assess internal exposure. Parsons’ laboratory has developed specialized techniques for measuring trace elements at extremely low levels in human tissues and body fluids, as well as in food and environmental matrices, using state-of-the-art analytical techniques based on atomic spectrometry. His NIEHS-funded research has focused on developing improved exposure measurements using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry, and his laboratory has worked with NIST to produce SRM 955c Toxic Metals in Caprine Blood. Dr. Parsons has published more than 180 papers and 12 book chapters on trace element analysis and atomic spectrometry. He is a Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). In 2018, Parsons received the Gold Standard Award for Public Health Laboratory Excellence from the Association of Public Health Laboratories

Tuesday, 17 September

Mehrab Mehrvar

Advanced Industrial Wastewater Treatment Towards a Cleaner Production and Greener Environment

Ryerson University, Canada

9:30 a.m.–10:15 a.m. | Room: Arcos

Mehrab Mehrvar joined Ryerson University, Canada, in 1998 and he is now a Full Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Mehrvar has a strong commitment to research. His main research interests include the integration of advanced oxidation technologies and biological processes for the treatment of water and wastewater as well as photochemical reaction engineering. Recently, he was awarded more than half a million dollars from Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QES) in collaboration with the Environmental Modelling Group of the University of Cartagena to work on “strengthening coastal aquifer resilience and groundwater use against climate change effects in the Caribbean”. He has authored and co-authored more than 100 refereed journal papers, 4 book chapters, 20 conference proceedings and more than 200 presentations and abstracts. He has conducted more than 30 international invited seminars and workshops in different countries. He has also supervised or co-supervised more than 50 graduate students in both master’s and doctoral levels, more than 50 research assistants, exchange students, and visiting scholars and many undergraduate fourth year’s theses. He is currently the guest editor of Catalysts for a special issue on photocatalysis. He has served as editorial board member of several refereed journals and as organizing and scientific committee member of several international conferences. He has taught many courses in the area of Chemical and Environmental Engineering in both undergraduate and graduate levels. He served as the Chair of the Department for a couple of years. Mehrvar is a licensed professional engineer in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Glenn Suter

Advances in Ecological Assessment for Managing a Contaminated World

Environmental Protection Agency (retired), United States

11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Room: Arcos

Glenn Suter is recently retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he was Science Advisor in the National Center for Environmental Assessment, Cincinnati, and Chairman of the Risk Assessment Forum’s Ecological Oversight Committee. He has produced more than 300 publications including three authored books and four edited books over his 43-year career. He was one of the founders of both ecological risk assessment and ecological causal assessment. He pioneered the development of formal processes for weight of evidence in ecological assessments. He developed a toxicity test protocol for soil processes that was adopted by the U.S. EPA and OECD. He has received the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s Founder’s Award and the Association for Environmental Health and Science’s Career Achievement Award, and he is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served in various advisory capacities including International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis Task Force on Risk and Policy Analysis Under Conditions of Uncertainty, Scientific Auditor of Risk Assessment and Policy Advice on Chemical Substances for the RIVM, WHO’s Steering/Working Group on Integrated Risk Assessment, and committees of the National Academies of Science and Clean Air Act Science Advisory Committee. He has abandoned all positions with scientific journals except for Book Review Editor of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. All his accomplishments were made possible by outstanding collaborators.

Ethel Eljarrat

Chemical Impact of Plastics in Marine Biota

Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, Spain

3:30 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Room: Arcos

Ethel Eljarrat (Ph.D.-1999) is Scientific Researcher at the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA) – Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). With more than 25 years of research and 167 peer reviewed publications (H-index of 50), 30 book chapters and editor of two books, her work mainly focuses on persistent and emerging organic pollutants, with special emphasis on plasticizers, halogenated and organophosphate flame retardants, chlorinated paraffins, pyrethroid insecticides and apolar pesticides. She works on bioaccumulation and biomagnification in aquatic and terrestrial organisms, as well as human exposure to these pollutants through food and indoor/outdoor. Currently, she investigates the impact of plastic pollution in marine species from different seas around the world (Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, etc.). She also participates as an expert in the topic “Pollution by plastics” in the Congress of Deputies (Madrid) for the advice to politicians. She has supervised 11 Ph.Ds (three of them in progress) and 15 Masters. She has worked in several International, EU and National projects.

Wednesday, 18 September

Antonio J. García Fernández

Wildlife Toxicology Within the One Health Context

University of Murcia, Spain

9:30 a.m.–10:15 a.m. | Room: Arcos

Antonio J. García Fernández occupies, since 2008, the Chair of Toxicology at the University of Murcia and is the Principal Investigator and Head of the Research Group on Toxicology. He is also Head of the Forensic Toxicology Section of the External Service of Forensic Sciences and Techniques. He is an accredited Toxicologist by the Spanish Association of Toxicology (AETOX) and by the Federation of European Toxicologists (EUROTOX).

García Fernández is a well-known wildlife toxicologist and has published articles on the peer-reviewed literature on all sorts of contaminants impacting birds (but also mammals and reptiles) from pesticides to metals to pharmaceuticals. Professor García-Fernández and his team have published many high quality papers (more than 140), the most in international peer-reviewed papers and he is widely cited in his field. He is also author/co-author of several chapters in Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Toxicology. His papers often bringing multi-disciplinary approaches (ecotoxicology, biochemistry, veterinary medicine) that have advanced our understanding of how and why contaminants impact wildlife. More recently, a significant part of his work has focused on moving the monitoring of chemical exposure and effects in raptors from a national to a Europe-wide scale. García-Fernández is a work-package leader, a core group member and a leading figure in the European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility (ERBFacility) which is developing this EU-wide capability in monitoring within a Horizon 2020 program. More recently, Antonio’s team is carrying out biomonitoring studies on raptors from Latin America’s countries, such as Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

Antonio’s research and work also covers investigating poisoning incidents within Spain and in gathering the evidence needed to prosecute against illegal poisoning of wildlife incidents. Antonio has developed the capability to undertake such investigations and worked collaboratively with other key investigators in Spain to develop standardized protocols and a coordinated approach to detecting poisoning incidents across Spain.

Additionally, he has promoted the development and teaching of wildlife toxicology in his laboratory in Murcia and trained many graduate and post-doctoral students from several countries, thereby developing and nurturing the knowledge, expertise and capacity of the next generation.

Daniel Sánchez-Rodas

Arsenic and Antimony in Airborne Particulate Matter: Anthropogenic Sources and Speciation Analysis

University of Huelva, Spain

9:30 a.m.–10:15 a.m. | Room: Arcos

Daniel Sánchez-Rodas is Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University of Huelva, Spain. He earned his bachelor in Chemistry at the University of Seville, and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Huelva. His research activities are performed at the Centre for Research in Sustainable Chemistry (CIQSO), focused on speciation analysis. He is involved in the development of instrumental hyphenated techniques combining chromatography and spectroscopy and mass spectrometry for the determination of organometallic compounds of environmental and health interest. Since 2009 he has been a member of the Associated Unit “Atmospheric pollution” comprising of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the research group “Geology and Environmental Geochemistry.” For the last 15 years he has conducted chemical analysis of airborne particulate matter (PM) and devoted to the determination of elements of anthropogenic origin. He has mentored more than 40 doctoral, Master’s level and undergraduate students theses. He has served as a member of the committee of the Speciation Group belonging to Spanish Society of Analytical Chemistry and is currently deputy director of the Centre for Research in Sustainable Chemistry (CIQSO) of the University of Huelva.

Jesus Olivero-Verbel

Environmental Issues in Colombia: A Long Trip Toward Sustainable Development

University of Cartagena, Colombia

11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Room: Arcos

Jesus Olivero-Verbel is a Pharmaceutical Chemist from the University of Cartagena (Cartagena, Colombia). He earned his M.S. in Chemistry from the Industrial University of Santander (Bucaramanga, Colombia) and Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology-Environmental Toxicology from Michigan State University (USA)-Fulbright. Colciencias and Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow. Director of the Ph.D. Program in Environmental Toxicology at the University of Cartagena (Cartagena, Colombia).

Mary Reiley

We Want Our Research to Have Impact

SETAC World Council, United States

3:30 p.m.–4:15 p.m. | Room: Arcos

Mary is the Vice President of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and a Past President SETAC North America. She served on the SETAC North America Board of Directors for nine years and the SETAC World Council for six. Mary has chaired many SETAC North America annual meeting sessions on the use of risk assessment information in decision making. She has chaired, been a steering committee member, and participant in several SETAC Pellston Workshops®, a steering committee member for the SETAC Metals Interest Group, the Board Liaison to the SETAC North America Career Development Committee, Co-chair (with Annegaaike Leopold, SETAC Europe) of the Global Horizon Scanning Project Outreach Steering Committee.  She is currently Co-chair (with Helena Assis, SETAC Latin America) of the Global Membership Committee. Mary dedicates considerable time to mentorship and leadership development with student and early career members.

In her professional life, Mary is the Research Coordinator for the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Mary works closely with Agency leadership, her counter parts in the Office of Research and Development, Office or Air and Radiation and the broader research community to design a collaborative research program that will inform water policy, guidance and decision making to achieve the goals of the Agency’s environmental statutes. Mary’s expertise was used to co-lead a multi-office roadmap to integrate EPA’s reactive nitrogen research and policy to more effectively address impacts of over enrichment in U.S. waters. Earlier in her career, Mary’s leadership promoted similar integrating efforts: aligning effects assessment and risk assessment processes between CWA and FIFRA water protection efforts, drafting Agency peer review policies and information quality guidelines, developing contaminated sediment assessment measures, among others.  Mary is serving her third term on the EPA Risk Assessment Forum and recently co-lead a technical panel to enhance the use of ecological risk assessment information in Agency decision making.  She is also a trained facilitator and member of the EPA Facilitator Corps.

Prior to her current assignments Mary was the Acting Associate Director for Ecology in the Office of Science and Technology, Program Manager and Team Leader of the Aquatic Life Program, and Team Leader for the Contaminated Sediment Research Program. Before her investment in research and science policy coordination, she worked in EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) enforcement program within the Office of Water. Mary has been with EPA’s Office of Water for 35 years and has a master’s in environmental biology.

Reiley is frequently a speaker for both SETAC and EPA both state-side and internationally.  Her presentations have covered a range of science-based policy challenges for a variety of audiences: water research needs with the State Water Researchers Association, pesticide risk assessment for an Oregon State University workshop, metals bioavailability and risk assessment for a European Union workshop and Copper 2003, implementing ambient water quality risk assessment and water quality protection programs in South Korea, and the science-policy interface for SETAC Australasia, SETAC Latin America, and graduate seminars at Baylor University, University of Delaware and Texas Tech. She currently sits on the University of Delaware Engineering Program External Advisory Committee.

Outside of her professional life, Mary lives in Virginia with her husband and three young adults. She is a fitness enthusiast, teaches environmental science and science careers to Girl Scouts and K-12 in Prince William County, and an occasional graduate seminar. On the rare occasion she finds herself with nothing to do, Mary paints murals and is an accomplished do-it-yourselfer.