International Phytotechnology Society Conference
Alan J. M. Baker
Professor Alan J. M. Baker, DSc gained a First Class Hons BSc in Botany (1970) and PhD in Plant Ecology (1974) from Imperial College, London. Subsequently he was appointed Independent Research Worker in the Unit of Comparative Plant Ecology (NERC), University of Sheffield, UK, then Lecturer in Botany 1976-1992, Senior Lecturer in Plant Ecology 1992-1995 and Reader (Associate Professor) in Environmental Science in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield (1995-2000). From October 2000 – August 2008, he was Professor of Botany (Ecology and Environmental Science) at the University of Melbourne, Australia where he headed the Applied Ecology Research Group in the School of Botany. The Group was involved in restoration and revegetation projects of mineral wastes, remediation of contaminated land and phytocapping of landfill sites, in addition to carrying out fundamental research on heavy metal uptake and accumulation and on the development of new phytotechnologies. On retirement from the University of Melbourne he was made an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Botany and at the University of Sheffield, UK. He is also a Visiting Professor and Honorary Research Fellow in the Croucher Institute of Environmental Sciences at Hong Kong Baptist University, the School of Life Sciences at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, PR China and in the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation (CMLR) at the University of Queensland, Australia.
He was elected Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (FLS) in 1985, and Fellow of the UK Society of Biology (FSB, CBiol) in 1994 and is a Founder Member of the UK Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management; elected Fellow 2004 (FCIEEM). In 2006 Professor Baker was appointed to the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training Australia-India Research Fund Advisory Panel as an Expert Scientist in the field of bioremediation. In addition to extensive work experience in Europe, Australasia and the USA, he has worked in many developing countries including The Philippines, Thailand, New Caledonia, Sri Lanka, PR China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba and Chile. Professor Baker has served on the Advisory Panel of the IUCN-ICMM Post-Mining Alliance. He is Director of Research for the Centre for Contaminant Geoscience (CCG) of the Australian consulting/contracting group, Environmental Earth Sciences International (EESI) Pty Ltd.
Professor Baker is the author/co-author of 186 original scientific papers and articles, 32 chapters in books and 230+ conference abstracts, and holds 3 international patents. He was Editor-in-Chief (Inorganic Contaminants) of the International Journal of Phytoremediation 1999-2009 and remains a Member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of this and the journals Environmental Pollution, Land Contamination and Reclamation, Environmental Geochemistry and Health, Agrochimica, Pedosphere and the Journal of Environmental Sciences (China).
In October 2008 Professor Baker was awarded the Milton Gordon Award for 'a distinguished career in teaching, research, and applications of phytoremediation.'
Prof. Dr. Nelson Marmiroli obtained hise degree in Biological Sciences in Italy at the University of Parma in 1971. His career developed rapidly through positions of Research Assistant, Associate Professor, and Full Professor at the Universities of Parma, Udine, Lecce, Bologna, Verona, and Chicago. Since 1995, he is stably at the University of Parma, as Full Professor and Head of the Department of Life Sciences, with teaching activities in the fields of Environmental Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Functional Genomics and Systems Biology. He is Director of the National Interuniversity Consortium for Environmental Sciences. From the beginning his studies’ main research interest has been in the genetic and molecular bases of genotype-environment interactions. Topic addressed with different organisms (plants, crops, microorganisms) and in several contexts: temperature response, drought response, metal contamination, phytoremediation and other applications of phytotechnologies. In recent years, the research has been enlarged to encompass human health, genotoxicity, regulation by miRNAs in HIV infection, allergies, metabolic diseases. A novel focus is now on the genotoxic and metabolic effects of nanoparticles and nanomaterials, from yeast to plants and to human cells.
Dr. Newman is an Associate Professor of Plant Biotechnology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her work has included the genetic engineering of plants for increased tolerance to heavy metal stress and increasing degradation of organic compounds, uptake and degradation of chlorinated solvents and aromatics, fuel additives, pesticides, energetic compounds, and nitrogen reduction in soil and groundwater; and has included a variety of trees, herbaceous plants and grasses. In addition to the laboratory work, she has worked on the installation of a number of phytoremediation sites. Dr. Newman is also working with NASA to develop hyperspectral imaging technologies to determine plant exposure to environmental contaminates and is doing research on the use of endophytic bacteria to increase plant growth for biomass and agricultural production. Dr. Newman’s most recent area of research is the toxicological study of nanoparticles in the environment, and how crop plants respond to exposures to a range of nanoparticles. Work also includes the impact of nanoparticle accumulation on insects that might feed on exposed plants, and the potential for the particles to move through the food chain. Dr. Newman is co-Editor in Chief for the International Journal of Phytoremediation; founding member and currently Immediate Past President of the International Phytotechnology Society; founding member of the Northeast Phytotechnology Society; and Scientific Advisory Board member of the Association of Environmental Health Science. In the past five years, Dr. Newman has given over 50 invited talks about her research, including 19 in international venues.
Dr. David Tsao is the Americas Technology Manager for the Remediation Engineering & Technology group in BP’s Remediation Management function at their Naperville, IL office. He is responsible for a team of technical specialists coordinating, developing, and implementing the technical aspects of clean up strategies for a broad range of BP sites. David also has responsibility for evaluating and minimizing the potential environmental impacts of new BP biofuel products and activities associated with unconventional energy sources. He is a three-time chemical engineering graduate of Purdue University (B.S., M.S., Ph.D) where his areas of research included plant biotechnology, pharmaceutical production, and plant production for space (NASA) applications. Upon graduating, David came to work for Amoco where he specialized in the remediation of gasoline oxygenates and the use of phytotechnologies for remediation and prevention. He remains personally active in bioremediation, phytotechnologies, wetland technologies, and ecosystem restoration. Furthermore, David actively participates in the development of these natural-based technologies, establishes regulatory guidance on their use, and teaches these technologies through the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC), a U.S. state regulatory association. David also serves on the Board of Advisors for ITRC and is an active, founding member in the International Phytotechnologies Society.