Join the virtual Science for Sustainability Symposia
The sustainable use of raw materials in a way that conserves resources and protects the climate has been of central importance to the environment, the economy and society for many years.
Our use of plastics for instance in everyday items and manufacturing processes has resulted in a deluge of slowly degradable materials entering our environment and our food chain. Therefore, a sustainable use of raw materials is required in order to act in a resource and environmentally friendly way. Deepen your understanding of microplastic contaminants, bio-friendly alternatives to environmentally harmful materials and research into alternative energy resources and recycling.
Attend the virtual Science for Sustainability Symposia where international technical experts and scientists in the field will share perspectives to advance science, and to facilitate collaborations, in order to support researchers towards a cleaner, healthier and safer world.
Global Microplastics Symposium
Hear from analytical experts as they review the challenges associated with identifying and quantifying contaminants, like plastics in the environment. Learn the best methods to provide meaningful data and important insights on studying the microplastics in different geo-environment and different sample matrices. It will end with a panel discussion where you can engage with experts looking to assessing risks and developing regulations for microplastics.
Biomaterials & Recycling Symposium
In this series, technical experts discuss how material characterization techniques have helped enabling research on recycling materials such as plastics, and on the manufacturing and characterization of innovative materials with sustainable properties such as biopolymers.
Join us to learn about the latest innovations in sustainable materials and environmental research, while taking advantage of networking opportunities with experts. We look forward to staying connected with you virtually!
Dr. Andersen received his PhD in organic chemistry stemming from deep research into mechanochemistry and he has an MS in Environmental Science & Engineering.
Monica Arienzo is an Assistant Research Professor in the Division of Hydrologic Sciences at the Desert Research Institute. She earned a doctoral degree in Marine Geology and Geophysics from the University of Miami in 2014. In her research, Monica uses chemical tools to understand how humans have impacted the environment. After years of studying caves in the Bahamas and ice cores from Antarctica, now she studies pollutants and climate change impacts in the western United States. Her research focuses on pollutants (including microplastics) in snowy peaks, downstream lakes and rivers, and drinking water taps. This research would not be possible without the help of her colleagues, students, collaborators, and more than 25 volunteer citizen scientists.
I am an aeronautical engineer from Colombia, with experience in composites materials, manufacturing processes and characterization.
Mark Benfield is a Professor in the College of the Coast and Environment, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University. His research examines plastic pollution and zooplankton ecology. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, M.Sc. from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, and B.Sc. from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Ray Bergstra’s obtained his B.Sc. in Applied Chemistry from McMaster University and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Alberta. Ray has 13 years of international experience in the lubricants industry, having held positions at Mobil Oil and ChevronTexaco that included lubricant product development, product line management, as well as marketing and sales management. In 2003, Ray established MTN Consulting Associates, a market research, technology commercialization, and project management consulting firm, specializing in supporting new bioproduct ventures. Currently, Dr. Ray Bergstra is the director of Technology and Business Development for TerraVerdae Bioworks, an Edmonton-based PHA polymer/plastics technology and production company.
Dr. Janice Brahney is an Assistant Professor at Utah State University. She received her doctorate from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in Environmental Biogeochemistry. She holds an MSc degree in Earth Science and a BSc degree in Environmental Science, both from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada. Her research sits at the nexus of several critical zone disciplines and includes three primary themes, 1) the atmosphere as a vector for material transport to aquatic ecosystems, 2) climate change effects in mountain environments, and 3) the cause, effect, and mitigation of water quality impairment. She has received over $2M in research grants from a range of federal, state, and international agencies, including the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Utah State Division of Water Quality, Canadian Provincial Parks, the US Forest Service, and US Geological Survey. Much of Dr. Brahney's work has produced results with far-reaching implications for policy, land-use regulation, and ecosystem monitoring. Her work has been cited in the IPCC and has received considerable attention from the media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Scientific American, and NPR. Dr. Brahney is currently an associate editor for Freshwater Science.
Dr. Susanne Brander has been faculty at Oregon State University since 2017, after moving from a the University of North Carolina, Wilmington where she was faculty for 4 years. Brander's research encompasses the fields of toxicology, endocrinology, and ecology; integrating molecular approaches with measurements at the organism and population level. Brander's main focus is on the effects of stressors such as emerging pollutants, plastics, and changing climate on aquatic organisms, but her research and teaching also spans the links between ecological and human health. She has a Ph.D. in Toxicology and Pharmacology from UC Davis (2011), and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University (2005). Although Brander has worked in academia for the past six and a half years, following completion of an M.S. and prior to pursuing a Ph.D. she worked in industry as an Environmental Analyst and Project Scientist at Weston Solutions, Inc. She has also worked briefly in the non-profit industry. Her research is currently funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation. She has presented on plastic pollution to the legislature in Salem and on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.
Dr. Scott Coffin serves as a Research Scientist at the California State Water Resources Control Board, where he performs research and develops drinking water regulations for microplastics and other contaminants. Scott completed his Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Riverside. His graduate work focused on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and eco-toxicological effects of plastic. Scott's expertise are in analytical chemistry, bioanalytical screening, ecotoxicology, bioaccumulation modeling, and human health risk assessments.
Win is a Ph.D. candidate and NSF graduate research fellow at the University of California Riverside. He studies the sources, transport, and fate of plastic pollution in the environment. His science focuses on identifying solutions to plastic pollution and assessing their effectiveness. As an applied scientist, Win works with nonprofit groups like Let's Do It World and 5 Gyres, Government agencies like SCCWRP and the Ocean Protection Council, and academics to implement science in practice.
Frederik Desplentere graduated as a master in mechanical engineering in 1999. In 2007, he obtained his Phd in materials engineering. From 2004 on, he is involved in the applied research on polymer processing combining material characterization, numerical simulations and validation experiments valid for injection molding, extrusion technology and thermoforming. Up to date lab equipment is present both to perform material characterization and instrumented processing. In 2013, Frederik Desplentere became a professor within the materials engineering department of KU Leuven Bruges Campus. Nowadays, he is the head of the Propolis research group which counts 20 members. The research group is mainly focusing on sustainable polymer processing; several projects are performed on the processing of recycled or biobased materials.
Dr. Ellie Fini is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University, an Invention Ambassador at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fulbright Scholar of Aalborg University of Denmark, a Senior Sustainability Scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation and Director of the Innovation Network for Materials, Methods and Management. Her research focuses on the production, characterization and atomistic modelling of sustainable novel materials for use in construction.
In addition to more than 200 scholarly publications and numerous invited talks, her research has been featured by BBC Women in STEM, Science Nation, Wired Magazine, and CNBC. She is editor of the ASCE Journal of Materials and Journal of Resources, Conservation & Recycling. She has served as the president of ASCE's North Carolina Northern Branch and a program director of the National Science Foundation. Her achievements have been recognized via multiple awards including an NSF CAREER award, ASEE Gerald Seeley award, BEYA Emerald STEM Innovation award, NC BioTech Research Excellence award and WTS Innovative Transportation Solution award to name a few.
Michael Forrester is a research scientist at Iowa State University who has 8 publications and 15 patents or patent pending, and has been extensively involved in acquiring grants for ISU totaling over $2.5M. Forrester was also a contributor to three ISU technologies that are currently being commercialized (Polyacrylated Glycerol based wood adhesives, soybean oil asphalt rejuvenators, and polyacrylated soybean oil asphalt polymer modifiers). Forrester and several collaborators have dedicated themselves to the commercialization of technologies developed at Iowa State University and have established three start up companies for this purpose.
Originally a traditional experimentalist, Forrester's responsibilities are now predominantly focused on acquisition of grants and mentorship of graduate students. To date, Forrester has mentored over 35 undergraduate students, many of which went on to pursue graduate school, as well as 15 graduate students, 3 of which have graduated. Forrester is currently helping manage 7 different research projects, ranging from asphalt based restoratives to chemical recycling of polyesters such as PET.
Professor for non-metallic materials with the faculty for Technology and Bionics at the Rhine-Waal Univerity of Applied Sciences (Germany).
Research focus: Biopolymers, Polymer recycling, self-reinforced polymers.
PhD in physical chemistry at Uni Osnabrück (M.D. Lechner).
Gel structures based on renewable raw materials
Process and environmental engineering
Groundwater and soil vapor remediation
10+ yrs research manager at the industry for compounding of biopolymers
Christy has been a Research Associate in the Right Whale Ecology Program at the Center for Coastal Studies for ten years. After obtaining her M.S. in marine science from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, Christy worked at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, heading the Manatee Program at the Tequesta Field Station. From the sunny shores of Florida, Christy brought her experience in marine mammal necropsies, rescues, tracking, aerial surveys, and photo identification to the cool shores of Cape Cod and currently focuses on the food resource of the North Atlantic right whales and microplastics research.
Dr. Lynch's career has focused on understanding marine pollution and educating others to perform excellent science that can inform conservation and sustainability. Her Ph.D. dissertation at Duke University, in Marine Environmental Toxicology, measured and assessed the effects of persistent organic pollutant concentrations in sea turtles. he has worked in organic analytical chemistry for the National Institute of Standards and Technology for 18 years, and is the Co-Director of Hawaiʻi Pacific University's Center for Marine Debris Research, located in one of Earth's most plastic polluted marine environments. Recently, her research has focused on plastic ingestion by sea turtles and improving methods for polymer identification of plastic marine debris. She has published 57 scientific manuscripts, three book chapters, and mentored 95 students.
Scott Mauger is a scientist in the Process Science and Engineering Group within the Chemistry and Nanoscience Center. His research focuses on the science and engineering of roll-to-roll coating processes for manufacturing. Most of this work focuses on fuel cells and electrolyzers including work as part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office’s Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck (M2FCT) and H2NEW consortia. This includes researching how coating and drying physics impact the structures and functional properties of roll-to-roll coated layers. Another aspect of his research uses rheology and other techniques to understand colloidal interactions within particle/polymer dispersions to design dispersions for coating processes. Additionally, he leads tasks studying multilayer coating and mixing processes within the DOE's Advanced Manufacturing Office’s Advanced Materials Manufacturing Roll-to-Roll Multilab Collaboration. Other projects have included research developing coating processes for batteries and polymer films.
Charles Moore, Captain of Oceanic Research Vessel Alguita, was the first to scientifically sample microplastics in the North Pacific Gyre, after witnessing large amounts of debris on a voyage from Hawaii. Shelly Moore, a research scientist from Southern California, has studied marine debris and trash in aquatic environments since the mid 1990s. Together they have formed a new nonprofit, the Moore Institute for Plastic Pollution Research, with the mission of expanding the knowledge of the impacts of plastic pollution on our environment. Currently their focus is on micro- and nano- plastics and the threats they pose to the Biosphere.
Chelsea Rochman is an Assistant Professor in Ecology at the University of Toronto. Chelsea has been researching the sources, sinks and ecological implications of plastic debris in marine and freshwater habitats for more than a decade. She has published dozens of scientific papers in respected journals and has led international working groups about plastic pollution – including regarding method development.
15.06.2019 – onwards Institute of Plastics and Circular Economy IKK, Leibniz Universität Hannover
- Garbsen, Germany
Function: Head of Department Plastics Technology, Recycling and Plastics Analytics
01.02.2014 – 31.12.2018 Fraunhofer Institute of Wood Research WKI Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI
- Hanover, Germany
Function: Research associate in the field of (hybrid) natural fiber-reinforced plastic
composites and fiber surface treatment
01.04.2012 – 30.04.2013 Bayer MaterialScience, New Applications
– Leverkusen, Deutschland
Function: Intern in the field of plastic composites
03.12.2014 – 18.09.2019 Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Technical Chemistry
- Braunschweig, Germany
Dr. rer. nat.: Surface treatment of cellulose-based for the use in plastic composites
01.10.2010 – 23.04.2013 Universität Siegen, Chemistry
- Siegen, Germany
M. Sc.: Development of new plastic composites
01.10.2005 – 27.06.2010 Middle East Technical University
- Ankara, Turkey
M. Sc.: Chemistry
Dr. Wonjoon Shim is currently a principal research scientist of Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) and a professor of Department of Applied Ocean Sciences at Korea University of Science and Technology. His scientific background is environmental chemistry. His research focus includes development of analytical methods for microplastics, assessment and characterization of microplastic pollution, and weathering process of producing microplastics. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed research papers.
Dr. Clare Steele is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management at CSU, Channel Islands. Dr. Steele's Ph.D. in Natural Resources Science from the University of Rhode Island examined the population dynamics of coral reef fishes in the Bahamas. Her M.Sc. in Tropical Coastal Management from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK assessed community-based management of coral reef fisheries resources in the Philippines. Her career in marine ecology and coastal management began at the University of York, UK, with an undergraduate research experience examining tourism impacts on coral reefs in marine protected areas in the Egyptian Red Sea.
Dr. Steele is an applied marine ecologist with extensive experience in marine and coastal environments around the world, conducting research and natural resource assessments to enable informed management decisions. She has conducted research assessing the benefits of protected areas and community-based resource management to reef fish assemblages and artisanal fisheries in the Philippines, Fiji, Kenya and the Bahamas. In southern California, her research has focused on productivity of fishes on natural kelp and artificial reefs, and assessing anthropogenic impacts to sandy beach ecological communities.
Dr. Steele's current research focuses on the impact of human activities on marine and coastal natural resources. Her ongoing research in the California Channel Islands and Southern California coast examines the ecological impacts of ocean litter and microplastic debris on coastal ecosystems. Dedicated to providing research opportunities to undergraduate students, she provides educational and research experiences in the California coastal zone and at CSUCI's undergraduate research station on Santa Rosa Island.
Ineke Velghe graduated in June 2018 as a master in Product Development at the University of Antwerp and graduated in June 2020 as a master in Polymer Processing at the KU Leuven. In August 2020 she started working in the ProPoliS research group as a PhD-student on the Tune2Bio-project, aiming to tune the biodegradability of biopolymers. The role of ProPoliS in this project is to characterize new formulations of PLA and perform numerical simulations to predict the extrusion process, together with lab scale testing.
My name is Maaike Vercauteren after my masters in Biology, I obtained a FWO-grant for a doctoral research at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine. During this research I studied the cause and impact of skin ulcerations in flatfish from the Belgian part of the North Sea. By pinpointing the occurrence of said disease and investigating risk factors for development of ulcerations, mitigation measurements are possible. After the successful doctoral research, I shifted my focus towards microplastic pollution. As postdoc, I coordinate all microplastic research of our research group ranging from study on sinking behavior of plastics to environmental effects, monitoring and human health effects.
Jeff Wagner is a research scientist with the California Department of Public Health Environmental Health Laboratory. He assesses potential exposures to environmental toxics using novel measurement and modeling techniques. Recent projects have included low-cost community particle monitoring, wildfire smoke, infectious aerosol transmission, vaping devices, and microplastics/POPs.
Dr. Charles Wong is Department Head Chemistry at SCCWRP. His research interests center on methods development, fate, and effects of constituents of emerging concern, e.g., pharmaceuticals, polyfluorinated alkyl substances, and their metabolites and degradates, and microplastics. Prior to joining SCCWRP in 2019, he was Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Winnipeg. He continues to hold concurrent adjunct appointments there and at Jinan University (China), the University of Manitoba, and the Costa Rica Institute of Technology. Dr. Wong is Associate Editor for Environmental Pollution, and for Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, and served on the SETAC North America Board of Directors from 2012-2015. He holds undergraduate and master's degrees from MIT and a PhD from the University of Minnesota, all in civil and environmental engineering.
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